Sales Intelligence at the Speed of Light

The best way to increase sales effectiveness is to speed up the research process and then get regular updates on your prospects and the companies they work for. In an article, Forbes spoke with some leaders in sales and got insights on the sales process and what steps sales managers should take to increase their effectiveness on finding more deals and closing them faster.

The overwhelming observations and advice from Wendy Weiss and Paul Castain pointed to finding the right prospects, being more prepared for the call, having intelligence around the prospects, and leveraging non-traditional communications channels to reach prospects.

Paul Castain,Vice President of Jedi Mastery at Castain Training Systems, says a lot of salespeople research a prospect only once during the process. “Business is moving at the speed of light, and things change constantly,” he says. “When you gather information, review it over and over again before you reach out to the client.”

Finding the right prospects to contact shouldn’t be a painful process. Sales intelligence can give you a fresh group of prospects based on sales trigger events in the industry specifically in your territory. These trigger events give you accurate and relevant news about the company or person you are calling. Since we know that most executives will not respond to a cold call, using connections to get introduced is important. If you can’t locate a professional connection to your prospect, use the intelligence you gather through news sources and social media to understand your prospect and make the connection.

Top sales tips to follow

  • Approach them before they are in buying mode
  • Focus on finding the best prospects
  • Stop calling prospects if they are not responsive. Get creative in communications
  • Sales people are expected to know about their prospects before the call
  • Only talk 20% of the time and listen the other 80%
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions
  • Turn rejection into a learning experience
  • Never stop learning how to be more effective

Surprisingly there are still a large number of companies that do not leverage sales intelligence. The Aberdeen study on the Science of Sales Intelligence shows that most companies deal with some very specific business pressures that sales intelligence can help with.

  • 42% have insufficient knowledge of the business needs of prospects
  • 40% do not have the ability to identify the most likely buyers of their product
  • 34% complain of having a sales process that is too long
  • 21% See an increased customer churn forcing them to focus on filling the funnel

All of these point to companies needing to be more nimble and enabling their sales teams to move faster with more targeted information. What are you going to different in 2012 to address these business issues?

Advertisements