In our recent blog posts, we’ve looked closely at the importance of big data and analytics from a management perspective. We’ve seen that big data and analytics are more than just buzzwords, management can analyze every aspect of their sales force, improve decision-making and ensure their sales team is a cut above the rest (Harvard Business Review, 2014). But ultimately, big data gives management the ability to predict what has always been the unpredictable, a buyer’s purchase behaviour (Business News Daily, 2013).
At Qotients recent Sales Disruption Seminar in Sydney, panelist Arman Masoudi - Senior Product Marketing Manager of Microsoft Dynamics highlighted how management is gaining value from big data and analytics, but what are we giving back to salespeople? What value are they gaining from big data and analytics?
Having big data is all well and good, in fact it’s great, but only for management. Big data alone is effectively useless for salespeople, it is too complex and only increases the amount of time salespeople don’t spend out in the field. According to Brudner (2015) salespeople currently spend just 32% of their working hours completing customer meetings.
The value of big data for salespeople is found in ‘small data’, the intelligence and insights derived from the analysis of big data. In short salespeople need insights, they need actionable pieces of information. But, the ultimate value is how salespeople use these insights out in the field to drive a sales forward. Thus today’s top performing sales-led organizations are investing in data-driven sales platforms that “mask all that complexity, and keep it simple for the front lines so salespeople can do what they do best, sell” (Forbes).
The Qotient platform provides management with the perspective they need to analyze every aspect of the sales force while providing salespeople with the intelligence and insights they need to guide their sales meetings. At Qotients recent Sales Disruption Seminar in Sydney, panelist John Munnelly, Executive Director of KPMG Hands-On Systems highlighted how data-driven sales platforms like Qotient are effectively arming salespeople with bite-sized learning as they go. The Qotient platform enables salespeople to gain an overview of the entire sales force via the Qotient dashboard, which is broken down into four key sections:
- Successful Conversations - Next Steps
- Ineffective Conversations - Reasons
This section of the Qotient dashboard provides salespeople with an overview of recent activity, which can be used to guide their future activities. Salespeople are able to see exactly which conversations and insights within the conversation library are being used out in the field and resonating with buyers. Ultimately salespeople can gain insight into the best sales practices at specific points in time, and quickly adjust their techniques to replicate those of the star performers. This also eliminates the time salespeople currently spend searching for the most effective sales collateral to inject into their customer conversations, which is approximately 30 hours per month (Yeager, 2015).
Successful Conversations - Next Steps
There are two main reasons why sales deals often fall through:
- Salespeople approach buyers at the wrong time, or (Talk Desk, 2014)
- Salespeople continue to sell once a buyer is already sold (Sobczak, 2016)
In turn, salespeople unsuccessfully move buyers through the stages in the sales cycle. Approaching at the wrong time because they were unable to determine the stage in the decision-making journey a buyer was in results in salespeople delivering insights and supporting collateral that are irrelevant, which provides no value to a buyer. On the other hand, salespeople often continue to sell even once a buyer is already sold. This can result in buyers starting to rethink their decision to purchase, as salespeople present new information. Therefore salespeople face a high chance of a lost deal as a buyer may decide to stall the deal, or worse back out all together (Sobczak, 2016).
However with access to the Qotient dashboard salespeople can see exactly which stage in the sales cycle prospects are in before they engage, and following each sales conversation. This gives salespeople guidance on when to move buyers to the next stage in the decision-making journey. They also now have a more accurate way to determine when a buyer is sold on a value proposition, and ready for a deal to be closed.
Ineffective Conversations - Reasons
Analysing conversation ineffectiveness is extremely important, if this isn’t a focus for sales managers poor performance will only continue. The Qotient dashboard provides salespeople insight into the reasons why their sales conversations were ineffective. Thus adjustments can be made quickly with regards to the sales collateral they present, and the way in which they present it during customer conversations.
The Qotient platform breaks the leaderboard section down in three key areas:
- Star Sales Performers,
- Most Successful Conversation, and
- Most Successful Insight
Thus salespeople can see exactly where they rank against the rest of the sales team. Leaderboards like these serve as an incentive for salespeople to perform at the highest possible standard, driving a competitive team spirit and consistent performance improvement from month to month.
This also enables salespeople to implement selling techniques utilized by star performers into their own sales meetings.
Overall, sales-led organizations that enable their sales teams with the Qotient platform can ensure their salespeople walk into every customer meeting incredibly well armed, with the insights and intelligence they need to effectively drive a deal forward.
Yeager, M. (2015). How to Build Sales Tools (Content and Collateral) That Actually Work. Retrieved from http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/27619/how-to-build-sales-tools-content-and-collateral-that-actually-work
Sobczak, A. (2016). The Rookie Sales Closing Mistake That Kills Done Deals. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/when-to-stop-selling#sm.00000o4slv18duebkqt9nwsm2ahlv
Talk Desk. (2014). 5 Ways Big Data Will Transform Sales Forever. Retrieved from https://www.talkdesk.com/blog/5-ways-big-data-will-transform-sales-forever’