3 Smart Ways to Increase Sales Success
Speaking from the sales perspective, Millham highlighted three factors that small businesses can focus on for improved sales results while addressing a growing problem for all businesses; the vast increase in noise and available online information.
The Challenge of Increased Noise
“Every sales rep will tell you they spend way too much effort and time on administrative work, on doing research about the customers and the contacts that they’re selling to. This is only amping up as the information that’s in the public domain is constantly increasing.” notes Millham.
“Reps will tell you that they spend 50, 60, 70, 80% of their time researching information on all these disaggregated sites to try to find information about the prospects they’re selling to. You’ve got to be able to deliver products and solutions that can help them bring that information together quickly.”
So with this in mind, how does a small business improve effectiveness with all this noise to cut through?
1. Gain a Complete View: Sell More with Shared Customer Insights
While there has been an increase in noise, there's also come an increase in insights on your potential customers. “When individuals try to find information about products and services offered by today's vendors, instead of going to their website or calling, oftentimes they’re going to their social networks and publicly asking their friends and peers what they think of the products,” notes Millham. “We believe that you’ve got to figure out a way as an organization to engage in those processes or you’re going to get left behind.”
"You’ve got to deliver a complete view of your customer in a single source. You’ve got to sell more effectively with shared customer insights. It's essential that you provide solutions to your salespeople that aggregate this information, that every touch point with your customer your prospects is captured within a single system.
“That absolutely includes integration to these social networks so that you’re aware of what these people are doing, what they’re saying about your technology or service, who they're talking to, and what’s important to them. So integration in a single location around a social profile is hugely important to organizations today.”
Today, consumers are armed with so much information that oftentimes the potential customer knows more than the sales rep so what’s key is to be relevant, to know every relevant tweet they’ve produced, everything they’ve done on Facebook and LinkedIn, know every page they’ve visited in your site, every email they’ve clicked on.
2. Collaborate to Improve Sales Productivity & Effectiveness
Millham believes that collaboration is THE top driver of efficiency and effectiveness within sales organizations today. Expanding the number of people who can touch your sales cycle and your customer, and being able to quickly bring the experts into the sales process is very, very important.
“Now, I can bring in a pricing guru on a tough pricing negotiation, or competitive and product people when it gets complex in a sales process. You should collaborate across your entire organization to bring those people into your sales process.
You can also collaborate around things like proposals or presentations. You can actually expose a lot of information to your customers or maybe a customer champion who can give you direction and guidance on ways you can make your proposal more effective. And because you’re collaborating with your partners, collaborating internally with your experts, and potentially even with customer champions, you have a higher chance of winning those deals.”
3. Use Analytics to Gain Insight and Increase Sales with Real-Time Information
“Analytics is where I live and breathe. It helps me make smarter decisions about where I should be taking the business. It allows me to predict where we should be taking the business, investments that we should be making going forward. It’s not just looking backwards. All this information needs to be at your fingertips.”
If you’re an effective leader in any organization, not just sales, you want access to as much information as possible. It’s going to help you run your business more effectively. You need to be able to deliver all those things via mobile devices. There’s more pressure on organizations today to deliver all information via mobile. It’s now part of the lives that we live today and you need to be able to deliver all of this information across all mobile devices.”
To see Millham's presentation for yourself, as well as marketing tips from Brian Halligan of HubSpot and customer service wisdom from Desk.com's Alex Bard, check out the webinar in its entirety. And for more Sales Success tips, be sure to download the free ebook below.