Sales – has it ever been about anything other than generating leads, transforming them into opportunities, creating innovative solutions to suit your prospect’s needs, and successfully closing a sale? Once upon a time, all that was achieved face-to-face, using printed marketing materials carried in a sales bag and a hopefully well-timed visit to a prospect’s home or office. Today, however, best-in-class sales teams harness the power of the digital age to sell smarter; the time has never been better to maximize sales effectiveness.
Start with Sales and Marketing Alignment
According to Aberdeen Group’s Peter Ostrow (Research Director, Sales Effectiveness), today, sales enablement is about sales and marketing alignment. It should be deeply collaborative. In best-in-class companies, marketing gives front-line sales teams access to company assets that are
- compliant and consistent with corporate messaging, and
- customizable so that they can be tailored to fit individual sales situations.
Follow with Improved Sales Intelligence
Sales intelligence – information about companies, demographics, trigger events – compliments what Ostrow calls “the bare-bones information” that reps enter into the CRM system, allowing for a more strategic and targeted sales effort.
Aggregated data certainly has its place in the digital age, but in sales today, there’s no need – nor any excuse – to abandon the human touch; sales intelligence actually brings that touch to the sales cycle. Best-in-class companies use it to guide their sales teams, enabling them to bring relevant information to prospects and customers right when its needed.
And Then Leverage Customer Intelligence
Customer intelligence, aka Big Data: this is the information about customers and prospects – buying history, customer service calls, etc. – that’s collected over time by personnel at all levels who’ve interacted with a particular client. Ideally, it gives what Ostrow calls a “360-degree view” of the customer.
Imagine what your sales team could achieve if each rep could pull this information into one screen and draw information from that screen while interacting with customers. To customers, it might seem that the sales rep has a crystal ball, delivering the right answers at the right time. Best-in-class companies, however, know that no magic is necessary; leverage the power of customer intelligence, and you can achieve results that are wholly replicable.
To hear more of Ostrow’s sharp insight on these topics and others (including traditional training in the digital age – is it necessary or not?), watch this 9-minute SalesOpShop video, and then be sure to visit the SalesOpShop to learn how you can become a member of this highly collaborative, peer-to-peer community of sales leaders.