"There is at least one point in the history of a company when you have to change dramatically to rise to the next level of performance. Miss that moment, and you start to decline." - Andy Grove
According to CSO Insights' 2015 Key Trends Analysis, "the time for companies to refocus their efforts on how to get to that next level of sales transformation is now! As sales leaders, you need to erase any complacency that may have crept into your sales organizations and reignite the sense of urgency firms brought to optimizing sales after the 2008 economic downturn."
In the results of the 2015 Sales Performance Optimization Study released by CSO Insights earlier this month, almost 50% of respondents listed "increase sales effectiveness" as one of the top sales objectives for 2015. It ranked number two on the list, just below "capture new accounts." Of course, increasing sales effectiveness will benefit both the capturing of new accounts as well as improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. There is the need for sales teams to make their numbers today in an environment that's changing rapidly and where the legacy sales enablement solutions are just not working. So, you ask, how can this be done when we are "selling at the speed of change?"
The CSO Insights study reports one of the current barriers to sales effectiveness as "difficult competitive differentiation." The speed of change and availability of data for buyers and competitors, that which salespeople need to compete now, is data that can be leveraged as a competitive weapon. Jim Dickie of CSO Insights points out that "data is the new oil for salespeople." However, much like oil it needs to be extracted and refined to be usable. Organizations are awash in big data... what we need now is actionable data at every stage of the sales cycle in formats that salespeople can use.
Words coming out of salespeople's mouths have never been more important. As many of you know, Forrester reports that buyers have already collected knowledge available on the web and are "60-90% ahead of sellers." Sellers' need for real time knowledge that adds value to customer conversations has never been so important. Without a technology and knowledge conduit to sales they are making these conversations up on the fly or reverting to old patterns that are not relevant in the new world.
5600blue has created the first-ever vertically integrated sales platform that delivers the knowledge salespeople need to sell at every phase of the sales process. Technology to house, distribute and update that knowledge; enablement in the form of training, coaching and win-loss reviews to empower salespeople to sell at the speed of change.
The CSO Insights 2015 Sales Performance Optimization Study was released on February 3, 2015. For further information, go to www.CSOinsights.com.