Looking through the Seller's Lens

Sales | 7 minutes to read

04th Jan, 2019

Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust” said Zig Ziglar. 

The same obstacles transcend into opportunities when a committed seller understands the science of selling. With sales enablement foraying its way into the mainstream, selling has now become more technology oriented with a continued focus on incremental revenue impact.

Businesses aim to find the right combination of skilled people, uniformly standardized processes, break-through innovation via leveraging new-age technologies.

These are the basic elements to help conceive a robust sales enablement strategy catering to the increasingly personalized but less humanized remote sales environment.

The underlining factor, however, is that sales enablement is not a one-time process. It is a continuous process for improving the efficacy and efficiency of sales strategies and tools.

Methodical Selling
Moving away from yesteryears’ final objective of sales which was achieving the desired sales closure, sales has evolved to encompass the elements of business value-add through alleviating customers’ pain points, building their trust and earning credibility for the longer-run.

 Digital transformation in this context has become the golden chariot of the sales function. There are five broad steps towards methodical selling that witness a play of people, process, innovation & technology – in varying degree and scale.

Identifying the next new customer - Going beyond the database, entering whitespace to explore incremental contactable database access.

A full-fledged, updated and an accurate database is a key to sellers’ success. However, this database is a live entity with an ever-widening ambit due to data deluge in this digital era.

The existing database which is being continually mined is good for sustaining business momentum, however, for finding new customers and achieving an accelerated growth it is imperative to dive into the untapped segment of a database called ‘Whitespace’. Whitespace discovery brings forth more suspects which through Intelligent Database Management can be used to yield ‘prospects’.

A technology-driven scientific process which works as a smart data extraction engine using  Machine Learning based algorithms (ML) and comprising data evaluation, data analysis, data verification that is augmented by Analytics-driven insights.

Drilling down to buying probability of a suspect/prospect
Prioritizing probable buyers based on purchase history/ buying pattern/ techno-graph of look-alike organizations

Identifying the next new customer furnishes the list of quality prospects which then needs to be prioritized based upon an assessment of their potential purchase journey. The purchase journey maps out customers’ needs, their motivation to buy, their preferences, their spending habits, their influencers, and various touch-points to reach them.

While this initially involved manual interactions, today almost 70% information is collected without any verbal conversation involvement. Automated pattern matching and Predictive analytics have started playing a pivotal role at this stage. Once the priority list is in place, the gaps in the existing set-up (competition’s play with the prospect) and matching of the products/services that suit the prospects’ needs happen.

Going back to the basics, it is imperative that prospecting is done regularly to not only keep the pipeline full but also helping the marketing team to be up-to-date in terms of evolving business requisites to aid the process of sales content optimization.

Ascertaining who is likely to buy
Identify purchase propensity of probable buyers

Despite the needs and the awareness of the best-fit solution, the seat of authority pertaining to decision-making and the purse strings besides the inclination to spend are the deciding factor for the sales conversion.

This probably is the most sought-after information for the seller – a sales nirvana! This information is ascertained when the duo team of sales and marketing work in tandem to cultivate those qualified prospects via credible communication outreach.

This can be done by sales content optimization which in essence is generating relevant and credible content and innovative tactics to micro-target the prospects via digital/physical platforms which figure high in their touch-points.

An understanding gained from the report that around 94% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase and around 84% of C-suite use social media to make purchase choices is noteworthy in this context.

The report further mentions that 92% B2B buying decisions are influenced by digital channels – underlining the fact that a digital positioned market has far-reaching potential. It then is needless to mention that sales content optimization goes a long way in helping the sellers to optimize their efforts.

Pure play of tools like Marketing Process Automation channeling communication across relevant digital platforms along with integration with a smart CRM helps greatly at this stage.

We are given to understand that 50% of sales’ time is wasted in unproductive prospecting. Probability further honed by propensity calculation increases the conversion rate by another 40%-50% thereby increasing effort to yield ratio – the biggest indicator of sales effectiveness.

Improving the sales motion by driving higher productivity and quicker impact
Generate sales qualified leads for profitable growth

With propensity score applied for whitespace database access, the pre-work effort of a salesperson is reduced by 30%-35%. However, there are other elements in the sales motion that can also be optimized to enable a quicker sales output.

Leveraging smart CRMs with an ability to automate lead quality validation, Smart Assistant within the CRM enabling the sales force to walk through during a customer conversation and speech recognition reducing the data entry effort of the salesperson, the sales motion can be optimized by more than 20%-25%.

The intuitive design of the screens allows the user/sales person to walk through the sales process with minimal wastage of time. The evolving trends in Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, IoT, Data Analytics etc. have also left no page unturned in a complete optimization of the sales process.

Along with this, the micro-targeting which is resultant of requisite information being captured at the right time, right moment along with the precise need detection, allows minimal time-consuming price negotiations resulting in quick closures.

Last mile visibility for quick sales closure
Close the sales loop with the ecosystem

This stage involves seamless integration of the CRM with the sales ecosystem that is driving the sales closure. It entails capturing all the relevant real-time data points to give crucial insights into the sales elements like total time taken, reasons for the loss of sales, customer’s expectation, real-time view on market dynamics making it possible to react quickly and aptly.

Trust is All That Matters
Sales enablement allows sellers to engage effectively and efficiently with buyers at every stage of the selling process. It entails strategic and data-driven insights to accelerate revenue with technology playing the role of springboard by transforming sales effectiveness.

Having said that, building trust and credibility is the most important benchmark of a sellers’ journey – without any debate.

This article was originally published here.

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