I used to work for a major corporation that utilized a “home grown” solution for sales information. I use the term information generously as it was really nothing more than an “electronic phonebook” of sorts.
This home grown solution was used as the end-all, be-all sales tool for the sales force. It came complete with lots of “Sales data”, utilizing a combination of data from both disparate internal and external sources. It had all the supposed critical information for sales success. (i.e., Business name and address. Contact information, complete with generic phone number, incorrect email address, and that all-important critical title, “Decision Maker”)
To some extent, it was helpful as it provided me with a starting point for prospecting. But what it lacked was true “Sales Intelligence”; that relevant information that would allow for more meaningful conversations with prospects. I found myself spending an ever-increasing amount of time doing research on the Internet. The result, less time selling, slower sales and you guess it, less money.
The truth of the matter is that I wasn’t alone. Recent research indicates that sales reps only spend approximately 38 % of their time actually selling. Furthermore, the same study showed that they spend approximately 20 % of their time searching for relevant information about their prospects. If you do the math, it equates to roughly 48 selling days a year. If you were to multiply that by 10 sales reps on my team, the company was not only looking at staggering costs in lost productivity, but also the opportunity cost of lost sales.
So what’s the best approach? What’s the key to ramping up sales productivity in your organization?
Simple, Invest in Sales Intelligence tools.
Gone are the days of sales people starting the conversation off with “tell me about your business”. Customers expect true sales professionals to know about their business, what they are doing, and whom they do it with. Additionally they expect that the sale person to not only know everything about their business but to know what key business issues that their product, solutions or service, will address
As I wrote in a post last month, Sales Intelligence provides the who, what, when, where and why about the organization. It provides the business, and more importantly, the social intelligence required to successfully interact with the individuals and their organizations.
By implementing a Sales Intelligence solution into your organization, odds are you’ll find there are opportunities to not only increase the available selling time but also ensure that the time is focused on working with the right customers. With just a few clicks of the mouse, sales reps will cut call preparation time in half, be able to map out a winning strategy, and engage prospects in a meaningful dialogue.
Good sales data combined with solid sales intelligence will help the sales professional target the right customer, with the right offering, at exactly the right time. The results; greater sales productivity and more revenues from new and existing customers.
Feel free to share your comments and thoughts on the subject.