At the recent Sales 3.0 Conference, Selling Power’s Gerhard Gschwandtner argued that the inexorable rise of data and automated technology solutions poses threats to the sales profession. Specifically he said these advances could replace much of the selling function as we currently know it.
It’s a message that anyone involved in sales needs to listen to. Why? Quite simply, it’s because it comes from someone who has made a career out of being one of the thought leaders in the art of sales and who has consistently and correctly called what the future of sales will look like.
The problem, however, is that too many people in sales are not heeding the message. Instead, entrenched behavior remains stubbornly in place and, time and time again, I see sales teams and leaders repeating practices that are now outdated and increasingly ineffectual.
So, it’s time to move the needle. Afforded by the explosion in available data, there’s tremendous opportunity to manage data to better understand and engage with customers and prospects. However, this requires a change in working practices as well as mindset. (Watch my video interview with Gerhard Gschwandtner, below, to learn more.)
The sales and marketing people who embrace insight rather than instinct when developing selling strategies are the ones who are going to win, big time, in today’s increasingly competitive market. Businesses lose out on sales efficiency and effectiveness because they lack awareness of buyer behavior during the sales funnel, particularly at the early stage. By better understanding buyer behavior and intent at the critical consideration and research stage of the buying cycle, brands can more effectively create targeted sales and marketing campaigns that can accelerate the sales process.
Agent3 helps businesses generate a bigger and faster-to-close sales pipeline by delivering unique, actionable customer insight across the buying funnel – particularly at the early stages – through a unique account insights platform. We provide trusted, high-quality key and named account data on the global Forbes 2000 list of companies to allow our customers to build better sales and marketing strategies.
Our sales users tend to come from across the entire sales ecosystem and our typical user is driven by the desire to better understand who to engage, why to engage, and when to engage in their key and named accounts and prospects. We’ve just launched the next version of our Agent3 Platform and we have introduced something we call Insight Qualified Leads, or IQLs. We believe IQLs will become a stage in the sales and marketing process before MQLs and SQLs, where customers will start to understand where interest may be building within their key and named accounts – and Agent3 will provide the insight required to know who to contact, why, and when.
Sales and marketing executives face a stark choice: adapt or die. But the good news is that tools like the Agent3 platform are now coming onto the market to help the sales function deliver ever greater value to the business. By adopting new ways of working, embracing technology innovation, and taking a positive attitude to change, any sales or marketing executive can survive the shift that’s underway and become a winner in the new world of Sales 3.0.
If you’re based in the Bay Area and want to discuss some of the issues I’ve raised in this blog as well as share experiences with senior sales executives, please sign up to attend our executive roundtable on June 21 in San Francisco. Hosted by Agent3 and moderated by Gerhard Gschwandtner, the evening will explore best practices for creating a well-defined digital transformation strategy that accelerates changes to people, process, and technology for increased sales and marketing efficiency in the Sales 3.0 era.