According to DePaul University, in 2015 there was an increase in the average turnover rate to 28 percent in sales-related jobs. The same DePaul study found that less than half of organizations follow a formal selling process and even fewer, 35 percent, can even describe what that selling process is.
However, best-in-class organizations across the survey have a strong impetus toward defining sales processes. And CRM systems are important to align with how targeted customers purchase goods and services, and are increasingly important to organizations that want to consistently outperform their peers.
One of the challenges here has always been acquiring and using accurate data within the chosen CRM platform. It always comes down to how companies are aligning their processes to investments made for various technologies. This will further distinguish any company.
In looking at 2015, obtaining accurate data is playing a more and more important role in the complex selling cycle. The top drivers for any sales organization were organizational practices,
organizational behavior, and performance metrics.
In 2016 we can add a new spoke to that wheel: Automating the inside sales process using predictive data intelligence. This involves decreasing dialing time and actually speaking to more qualified leads: an emerging term called adaptive analytics.
Adaptive analytics involves incorporating a predictive intelligence engine to create a lead scoring process for outbound prospecting (i.e. cold calling), based on an ideal profile using a given set of metrics. Elements of this process are also referred to as big data, or data mining. Regardless of the nomenclature, the process is showing great promise in boosting qualified pipeline leads and also maximizing the efficiency of the sales calling process.
There are five basic data insights that are involved:
• The use of installed technology data to understand what technologies are installed at the prospect business. This information is gathered by indexing unstructured documents across the open Internet, the archive web, and offline resources.
• The use of intent data to understand which prospect shows intent to buy certain products or services. This information is garnered from white paper downloads, webinar attendance, trade show sign-ups, search terms used, articles read, and social media engagements – for predictable and applicable segments.
• Using direct dial phone numbers from the most updated and accurate B2B databases to intelligently optimize connectivity with the prospect.
• Verified target databases to decrease wasted calls on targets no longer employed at perspective businesses.
• Leveraging automated process to predict the best calling times and ensure targets are contacted at moments they are most likely to have conversations.
By themselves, these key areas have shown significant value to organizations that have embraced them in the past. However, the most progressive sales organizations are gravitating toward a new unified solution that cuts through these once siloed areas. This new process establishes a single platform infused with all the knowledge to ensure the best possible calling outcomes with the least possible effort.
Successful sales organizations must never forget the key drivers that are tried and true for successful outcomes. However, to embrace today's sales acceleration, companies must engage in big data scenarios. There is a wealth of valuable information that has been amassed through a myriad of different online form submissions and social media engagements. Those companies that are successful in this next-generation campaign will have found solutions that unlock the secrets of mining and gathering this raw material. When properly assembled and delivered through integrated CRM solutions, this raw material is forged into a single consolidated tool, putting the most accurate and conversation control into the hands of sales professionals.
Edited by Maurice Nagle