While most front line sales professionals would say that they are getting much less out of Sales Engagement Software than they put in terms of time and effort. See my previous post on the problems that sales professionals have with Sales Engagement Sofware by clicking here The good news is that there are some efforts that can improve the experience for front line Sales Folks. Here are my "Top 5" improvements that I have researched to date. These ideas will require some skin in the game from executive management, but the investments will pay off large.
Key Personnel Information:
Every prospect or customer that salespeople have to deal will have specific needs, likes, dislikes, and attitudes. Why not share this information if known. Some organizations build a contact database with key pertinent information and places to write comments like "This contact is totally cost focused" or "This person is a strategic operation focused person" or "This person hates to be smoozed". The corporate knowledge about your prospects or customers needs to be captured and shared. Sales professionals need to be armed with contact information even if it is unstructured information and they appreciate insightful tips.
Market Segmentation Information:
Every organization that exists lives within a context. How does the target organization compete within its market? What are the management philosophies, culture, and corporate charter? Who are the likely competitors that might be circling to sell to competitive products and services? What's the history with this account over the last ten years? What are their planning and budget cycle seasons? Is this a learning institution and who do they feed trained people to? Information about the targets competition would also add value to sales efforts.
Product/Service Utilization Information:
For existing customers that you want to sell more to has used your organization's products or services. How often do they reorder? Is there a way to view the inventory to suggest that they might be getting low. What are the consumption and spin down rates of inventory? What are the organizations planning horizon for readiness? What are the real satisfaction scores (not just answers on rigged surveys)? What products are a real hit and where are the hotspots around lagging results with your products or services?
Integrated Sales Playbooks:
Your organization has some proven methods or playbooks that are representative of best practice for selling. If playbooks are even available, are they available through the sales engagement system? If not, can they be linked to in a convenient way? Are there patterns to these plays and how they might apply to the prospect or client? Are there success stories documented in the playbooks to encourage the sales staff, particularly when their managers are pegged for time and they are unavailable to coach in a timely manner.
Next Best Action Suggestions:
Having smart software (AI / algorithms) to assist sales folks is a great help particularly if there are large amounts of data/information or the data is changing in near real-time from multiple sources. Can a sales professional decision assistant be built to take in the data and information to suggest some alternative next steps? These can be large scoped or spot advisors taking into account recent prospect/customer activity or emerging product/service offerings/features. These kind of decision advisors are starting to emerge out of the digital assistant movement.
Powering salespeople with Sales Enablement Software takes much more than buying software and demanding that sales just fill in data for management control. Sales folks want something back and assists to help them close new deals or expand existing footprints in customer organizations. I'm sure there are more ideas that would make sales professionals feel like they are getting something back from sales engagement software.