By Suresh Balasubramanian
According to a SiriusDecisions study, 65 percent of organizations say that sales reps spend too much time on nonselling activities. Here are some of the most common ways salespeople lose core selling time:
- trying to figure out who all the decision makers are in an account,
- selling armed with incomplete customer profiles,
- chasing down poorly qualified leads,
- manually updating multiple, unsynchronized systems.
These activities eat up valuable time and take salespeople away from the critical tasks that help your organization accelerate sales and drive revenue.
Some of these time wasters can be blamed on a changed selling environment. Because today’s buyers don’t reach out to sales teams until they’re significantly through the purchasing process, salespeople don’t have the ability to engage prospects in the same way – and that’s not the only problem: outdated sales processes and a lack of coordination between marketing and sales have also created huge roadblocks for customer engagement.
How Digital Listening Strengthens Customer Relationships
By using advanced technology to improve engagement, you can focus the rep’s attention on strengthening the customer relationship, thereby enhancing value and building trust.
“Digital listening” tools can capture significant customer behaviors that show at a deep, granular level when and how prospects engage content. Harnessing a scientific approach, these tools can give you unprecedented insight into
- a prospect’s interests,
- all stakeholders within an account,
- the qualifications of warm and cold prospects.
Digital listening tools showing customer-to-content engagement provide a depth and breadth of insight that goes far beyond tracking email opens. When delivered as part of a complete platform, you gain even higher value, with tangible metrics to measure a prospect’s interest level and urgency, as well as area of interest. Imagine working a complex deal and immediately spotting key decision makers – even across different departments!
How Integrated Systems Increase Your Productivity
If you’ve ever lost a sales opportunity because you had an incomplete customer profile, you know this frustration. Maybe you’ve spent way too much time on prospects but would have known earlier that they simply weren’t qualified if only you’d had a complete profile.
Unfortunately, systems between marketing and sales are not always synchronized, so you may not have easy access to information residing with the marketing team; thus, you can sometimes miss big chunks of critical data. If you try to track down this data, you can also spend a lot of time going back and forth across disparate systems – and all of this takes away from your core selling activities.
Systems should be seamlessly and automatically updated throughout the organization so that the entire business has access to the most comprehensive customer profiles possible. Similarly, sales teams can benefit from some of the same automation capabilities currently being used by marketing. By offloading or automating these types of routine sales tasks, you can focus on making more calls and driving more revenue for the business.
To learn more, join Suresh Balasubramanian at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, April 27–28, where he will speak about how digital listening can strengthen customer relationships.
Suresh Balasubramanian is CEO of LiveHive Inc., whose comprehensive sales-engagement platform provides the deepest insight into a prospect’s interest level based on the prospect’s real-time engagement with digital sales content. Suresh is a seasoned software-industry executive with more than 20 years of operations and senior-management experience. Before LiveHive, Suresh served as CEO of Armor5 and general manager of Adobe Software.