At the Sales Management 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia, I talked a lot about how automating the sales process can drive higher revenues faster and more efficiently. In fact, I continue to be amazed at the number of Sales 2.0 tools and solutions that continue to emerge to make life easier for B2B sales teams.
I firmly believe that, to succeed, sales leaders need to constantly be experimenting with and adopting new tools for their sales teams. But do tools alone create better sales teams? Of course not. Why? Because salespeople continue to fall into the same old traps:
- They talk all about themselves and their products and fail to uncover customer needs.
- They run from one opportunity to the next without consulting with their sales manager or tapping intelligence that already exists within the sales organization.
- They reinvent the wheel every time they need to write a proposal or reach out to a prospect.
Inevitably the sales organizations that provide the best sales tools to make teams more effective are the ones that win more. They continually train their salespeople and help them seamlessly integrate process with technology.
At the same time, these sales leaders never lose sight of the need to train and coach sales reps on the ground-level selling skills.
No other department in any company can do what sales does; the value of its function is unique. The sales team has the rare ability to build rapport, to create relationships where none existed, and to persuade executives to make the changes and decisions that will help them run a better business.
All paths related to the sales cycle -- technology, process, selling skills -- lead to one final destination: the customer. The customer is the reason we are in business. They dictate our actions and reactions. They drive the conversation and tell us where we need to go next.
Yet, as I told the audience on Monday at the Sales Management 2.0 Conference, only 13% of customers believe a typical salesperson can demonstrate an understanding of their business issues and solve them. This number should make every sales leader sit up and take notice. What is the level of customer understanding at your company? And what actions will you take to make sure you're in synch with their needs?
This Thursday during a live webinar, I'll be talking about one area sales leaders can leverage to build a better sales organization: CRM. I'm excited to share ideas that can help you put the customer back where they belong: at the heart of your selling strategy. I invite you to register now for this webinar and join the conversation.
And I hope you'll consider joining me on April 2-3 in San Francisco, where I'll host the next Sales 2.0 Conference. For my money, there is no better investment of your time than to take the time to network with other sales leaders. Everyone needs consistent exposure to new ideas that can help them meet the challenges and realities of selling to today's customer. That is why I continue to dedicate my time to these events -- there's nothing I enjoy more than bouncing ideas off of other top-notch sales leaders and industry experts. There is always something new to learn about how to make a better customer experience in a digital age.