By Paul D’Souza
On this blog, we’ll occasionally feature insights from peak performance mindset experts. Today’s expert, Paul D’Souza, believes sales teams must have 1) the right sales strategy and 2) the right sales process before salespeople can achieve a peak performance mindset. Learn more at www.DeliveringPeakPerformance.com. – Sales 3.0 Conference Editors
In today’s world of electronic communication in business, keeping track of it all might seem daunting to the digitally uninitiated.
The good news is that – because so many of our customer touch points are digital – the dots are connectable. This is where Sales 3.0 comes in. The new breed of technology solutions in business intelligence, analytics, and machine learning give sales and marketing organizations the ability to help their salespeople make the right call to the right prospects with the right offer.
Predictability vs Convenience
The fundamentals don’t change. But how customers go about educating themselves and how they reach out for help have changed tremendously. They are using digital channels like Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, email, podcasts, and blogs to name a few. Sales 3.0 solutions will help you make sense of all the touchpoints your customers are making across these channels – giving you actionable reports on whom to call and when. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team. These reports are designed to “predict” which customers you should be focusing on and why.
You cannot afford to leave the future of your company up to when a salesperson decides it’s convenient to make a call. Or the feelings a salesperson might have about who might be a good prospect to call on any given day.
Step #1: Shift Your Mindset
Sales 3.0 requires a fundamental shift to do things differently. Shift your mindset and choose to operate at peak performance. Decide that you and your entire Sales team will operate at peak performance. You need to choose to want to do things differently. Your salespeople need to be engaged in this process because – when you get these solutions up and running and access their insights – your salespeople have to be operating at peak performance to leverage the insights and information efficiently and effectively. There is nothing worse than giving a salesperson an opportunity and they waste it by doing a bad job with it or not following up in a timely manner.
Step #2: Know Where Your Data Is
So what can you do to start moving toward a more connected Sales 3.0-driven sales organization? Start by doing an audit of what data you and your extended organization are creating. By “extended organization” I am referring to all your prospects, lead sources, social media friends and contacts, customers, partners, employees, and vendors – everybody that is touching you in any way.
Partner with a team of data scientists, data modelers, and statisticians. They are easy to come by in today’s world of IT. Have them map this out for you and build you your data map.
Step #3: Decide Where Your Best Opportunities Are
Take this slowly. Start by thinking through and assessing where your best opportunities for growth might be. I like to start with your known universe. Are you maximizing your existing customer relationships? Have your data team identify all the data that links to existing customers that have transacted with you in the past 18 months.
Step #4: Design a Sales 3.0 Solution
Customers have access to your competition and are bombarded with more than 6,000 ad messages a day. This is why retaining customer loyalty is critical to preserving your revenue. Less than 10 percent of salespeople are good at following up with existing customers. They are always chasing the next new customer. The customer churn analysis solution predicts attrition and helps you build a personalized strategy to retain your customers. A solution like this will help you predict when your customers might be thinking of talking to your customers. This information will give your salespeople a short, targeted list of customers to call on before they leave you, helping you retain their business and your revenue. It uses historical data and learns customer behavioral trends to determine future customer behavior.
The result will be the production of actionable predictive reports your salespeople will get on a weekly basis. These reports will show up in your CRM application as tasks – customers on whom they must call in a timely manner to reactivate and re-engage them on your products and services. Having your sales team operating at peak performance is key to reaping the benefits of this investment.
You Are on Your Way
Congratulations – you are well on your way to embracing Sales 3.0 technologies in sales. Remember: Execution is key. If you are going to make the investments in technology to create solutions that will give your salespeople insights that will accelerate their sales activity, you must train your salespeople and have them operating at peak performance. Do both. Awaken their mindset and raise the bar on expected behavior – while you start enhancing your technical capabilities to leverage analytics, business intelligence, and machine learning. This combined holistic approach will produce wonders. Expect significant increases in revenue.
Stay tuned: I will be writing more on how you can transform your sales organization into a Sales 3.0 environment. There are several solutions and technologies you can deploy. My suggestion: Do not throw money at this transformation. Instead, go about it systematically. Pick the right solution at the right time and invest in your people along the way. Coach your people and get them in the right mindset so they can embrace your new technology-driven sales and marketing ecosystem. This is key.
Founder of the D’Souza Group’s Delivering Peak Performance and author of the award-winning book, The Market Has Changed: Have You?, Paul helps business leaders take themselves and their teams to peak performance levels of activity by improving their sales strategy, sales process, and mindset.