The days of using traditional sales methodologies are over. Buyers have become extremely connected, empowered with an immense amount of information. This has sparked a research first, engage second buying process. Buyers now expect to quickly engage with salespeople who have in-depth product knowledge and understanding of industry related problems, thus changing the B2B sales landscape. So how do organizations remain relevant in this connected sales landscape?
Today’s most innovative organizations are leveraging cloud-based sales platforms, which are no longer a luxury, but a necessity (Cernel, 2016). Cloud-based sales platforms are a cost effective and highly scalable digital solution. These platforms are redefining sales methodologies in order for sales teams to accelerate sales and drive sales revenue forward. Salespeople can deliver an “engaging experience, whenever and wherever the customer needs it” (Accenture, 2016, pg. 2).
How do today’s most innovative organizations leverage cloud-based sales platforms?
Cloud-based sales platforms are closing the gap between CRM based intelligence and real-time sales performance. Sales data is collected in real-time, giving sales managers the ability to continuously monitor and measure sales performance trends. Ultimately sales managers can analyse and act upon successes and failures with little time delay, enhancing sales training and coaching.
Sales training and coaching should never be a one time occurrence, the B2B sales landscape in continuously evolving. It is crucial that salespeople develop and up skill on a regular basis in order to effectively engage with buyers. Cloud-based sales platforms enable sales performance to be monitored in real-time. This enables sales managers to tailor sales training and coaching sessions at both a team-wide and individual level. Not only focussing on the area’s salespeople may be lagging in, but also on the efforts which are most effective at specific points in time.
New data and insights are discovered all the time, thus ongoing sales training and coaching enables sales managers to ensure the entire sales team is on the same page. Salespeople will always be up to date with the sales collateral that is resonating with buyers. Thus salespeople can disrupt a buyer’s beliefs with relevant insights in order to influence their buying process, and accelerate the sale.
As organizations grow cloud-based platforms can be scaled as required. Cloud-based sales platforms enable a defined, repeatable sales process to be established which can be scaled across the entire sales force. With the aid of sales data sales managers can scale the sales efforts delivering the highest ROI accordingly, making adjustments with little time delay. Salespeople will be able to reach a larger proportion of buyers and close more deals efficiently and effectively.
The best cloud-based sales platforms have been designed so sales teams can conduct business on the go. Administrative tasks can be completed out in the field, even during a sales meeting as cloud-based sales platforms serve as a CRM activation platform. Thus the need for salespeople to manually enter sales data is removed. Cloud-based sales platforms automatically sync sales data with CRM systems in real-time, providing sales managers with accurate sales data in a comprehensible format.
Salespeople can access sales collateral via their digital devices just moments before a sales meeting with buyers. Never left unprepared, salespeople can deliver fast and effective answers to a buyer’s concerns. Cloud-based sales platforms organize sales collateral in a logical way, with each piece of content matched to the specific stage in the buying process in which it is most relevant. Salespeople can personalize every sales conversation to a buyer’s specific situation. With the ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and powerful market insights, salespeople can meet the needs of hyper-educated buyers for an accelerated sale.
SALES & MARKETING ALIGNMENT
Effectively leveraging cloud-based sales platforms enables organizations to break the communication barrier between sales and marketing teams and create a tight team alignment, which can result in 38% higher win rates (Ye, 2015). Cloud-based sales platforms enable sales and marketing teams to work in unison. Teams can communicate and collaborate during the content creation process, sharing valuable insights that are key to driving sales. As a result one standardized key message can be shared across all touch points. With a shared definition of the sales process sales and marketing teams can ensure there are no gaps in the sales funnel and that leads are nurtured every step of the way.
Leveraging cloud-based sales platforms enables organizations to develop a sales force that can effectively meet the needs of today’s hyper-educated buyers and accelerate sales to close more business, ultimately driving sales revenue forward. According to Accenture In-house Analysis (as cited by Accenture, 2016) organizations that have improved the performance of their sales force with cloud-based sales platforms have seen a 10% increase in sales revenue.
Accenture In-house Analysis (as cited by Accenture). (2016). Empowering Your Sales Force. It’s Not Just Automation. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/t20160408T020032__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-12/Accenture-Empowering-Your-Sales-Force-Digital-Sales-Info-Final.pdf#zoom=50
Accenture. (2016). Empowering Your Sales Force. It’s Not Just Automation. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/t20160408T020032__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-12/Accenture-Empowering-Your-Sales-Force-Digital-Sales-Info-Final.pdf#zoom=50
Cernel, S,. (2016). Is Sales Enablement Technology a Luxury or a Necessity? Retrieved from https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2016/03/is-sales-enablement-technology-a-luxury-or-necessity.html
Ye, L,. (2015). 20 Stats That Prove the Power of Sales and Marketing Synchronization [SlideShare] Retrieved from http://blog.zoominfo.com/20-statistics-about-sales-and-marketing-alignment/