This post was written by our Partner, Matt Lopez.
Modern sales organizations need to be able to change and adapt quickly, as 66% of sales leaders believe that the buying process is changing more quickly than most organizations can keep up. As buyers have more and more information at their fingertips thanks to advances in tech, how sales organizations respond to these changes will define their success moving forward.
As technology continues to change how buyers make decisions, sales teams can either view these changes as challenges to overcome, or as an opportunity for to optimize their processes and put their skills to the test. Forward-thinking leaders will understand the importance of adaptability and sales process development, as these habits allow teams to get the right reps closing deals at the lowest cost for the organization.
So how are successful modern sales organizations staying on top of their game to reach targets and adapt to the modern, knowledgeable buyer’s needs?
At Skaled, we’ve seen three key trends within salespeople who make up the modern sales organization:
1. Today’s Sales Reps Utilize Tech Everyday
Technology is constantly evolving, which means that the way it’s used within modern sales organizations needs to evolve and change at the same pace.
Sales organizations need to integrate technology use into their operational approach to sales and use it to track the sales pipeline, support company goals, and growth.
Modern buying practices have changed in the last few years, with 93% of buying processes starting with an internet search. From finding qualified leads to closing sales, tech and tools such as cloud technologies, CRM software, sales enablement platforms, and even AI-based predictive sales management tools to increase efficiency and profitability.
According to a State of Sales Report conducted by SalesForce, high-performing sales teams utilize three times more sales technology than teams who underperform.
However, these technological advances aren’t always welcomed by reps and other sales team members, as advanced CRM tools and sales enablement tech are rarely used correctly. Within businesses, CRM software has demonstrated an ability to increase revenue by 41% on average per sales person, but a stunning 43% of businesses who utilize CRM are not using even half of the CRM system correctly.
For your sales organization to successfully implement new technologies into daily processes and infrastructure, tools and technologies must be implemented with cooperation from other departments. Additionally, reps often feel like CRM and other sales tech doesn’t benefit them directly, or that they’re only designed to send spam-like content to potential leads. These uneasy feelings surrounding tech often result in a resistance of use within sales reps and teams, which can damage your organization.
If reps aren’t comfortable using new sales tech, then the tech needs to be worked into existing practices around prospecting and following up on leads. Stressing the importance of tools for communication between reps and management, as well as reps and clients, is critical.
Not only do the best tools increase communication between reps and management, but sales technologies such as InsightSquared and SalesForce allow workflows to be customized and from user to user, and lead to lead. This makes these tools and others like them invaluable to a modern sales organization, since personalization is key for both efficient sales communications and optimized sales processes,
2. Today’s Sales Reps are Adapting to Modern Buyer’s Needs
As the modern marketplace is increasingly buyer-centric, salespeople must be able to keep up with the ever-changing needs and concerns that prospects care about. Selling isn’t just about putting billboards up and sharing specific features about the product that is being sold.
Buying behaviors have shifted immensely, even within the last decade. Potential leads are seeking valuable solutions to the problem they are experiencing. The State of Sales Report from SalesForce Research found that for 83% of business buyers, interacting with a salesperson who is focused on helping achieve their companies needs is rated as critical or very important.
In the modern salesforce, members of successful sales teams need to be able to successfully run simultaneous sales processes while they aim to understand the wide variety of qualified prospects and clients. With high-performing sales teams three and a half times more likely to utilize sales analytics, using analytics tools and for data-driven decisions helps reps manage these multiple sales processes successfully.
Platforms such as Showpad and Clearslide allow teams to gain client insight across their sales cycle with customizable content delivery, suggested communicative touch-points, and high-quality data that is represented in an understandable and actionable manner. This helps the modern salesperson better understand their clientele as they guide them down the sales funnel.
3. Today’s Sales Reps Help Buyers by Being Thought Leaders
Modern sales organizations stopped product-dumping long ago.
They realize that modern buyers are focused on providing thought leadership and industry insights specific to the qualified lead or buyer’s market, as 92% of buyers will engage when a professional is known as a thought leader in their industry.
As prospect leads move through the sales funnel, modern and forward-thinking sales reps know that they need to utilize industry insights to provide the value-add that potential clients are looking for.
Modern salespeople access these insights through dedicated research, knowledge of current market trends and analytics, and collaboration with the marketing department through efficient technology usage. As sales teams demonstrate predictable needs of qualified leads to the marketing department throughout the sales process, marketers can work to develop high-quality messaging and content that can be delivered to multiple stakeholders and Decision Makers when paired with analytics and predictive steps to generate an increase in closed deals.
As this effective content is delivered to relevant contacts within a prospect business, modern sales organizations are demonstrating that their service or product is a high-value and high-quality solution that they’ve been seeking.
Moving forward, the main objectives of sales teams include:
- Increasing the retention rate through cultivating deeper relationships (51%)
- Becoming trusted advisors to their customers (39%)
- Providing customers with a more personalized experience (37%)
Modern sales teams realize that buyers have access to more information than ever before, and should work with marketing teams to define themselves as industry experts and thought leaders to strategically move prospects to close.
Through these process-driven communications with prospective clients, sales teams demonstrate the value of their product or service, and exactly how their solution will benefit the potential buyer.
Looking for more information on industry trends within modern salespeople and sales organizations? Download our free ebook, Hiring Superior Salespeople.