In the last post we explained that most companies deal with some very specific business pressures that slow down the process of finding new prospects and getting them into the sales funnel. Knowledge about your customers, finding new prospects and having a sales process that takes too long is a common pain point for businesses.

  • 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

I predict in 2012 that these numbers will not change too dramatically but the results from companies that are actively leveraging technology and sales intelligence as a method of combating them will. Sales managers should be constantly on the lookout for ways to solve these business pressures and based on research by the Aberdeen Group, the top performing sales organizations have built strategies that can drive measurable results in building a sales pipeline and increasing the quality of leads.

Sales Intelligence Research

  • 59% of the best in class companies have leveraged sales intelligence tools to identify or disqualify prospects with more accuracy
  • 53% of companies have been able to identify existing customers that have upsell/cross sell opportunities
  • 48% of companies have increased the quality of leads intheir pipelines
  • 28% use technology to capture and share sales knowledge internally.
  • 21% of companies reduce the amount of time doing sales research

This research is important because it’s showing that companies that are having the problems listed above are able to continue achieving results by leveraging sales intelligence in traditional and non-conventional ways. Top performers in lead qualification teams understand that moving less qualified prospects out of their view has more value than dumping a volume of under vetted opportunities on the sales team. By not relying on data but the contextual news and social profiles of the companies and people you are contacting, better decisions can be made on which prospects to pursue and which leads to abandon.

The research study on the science of sales intelligence goes a long way in showing that companies that want to increase revenue quickly with your existing sales team can do so by leveraging technology to speed up the sales process. A strategy around using sales 2.0 applications to identify strong/weak prospects should be a key focus for your 2012 sales plan.

Just a quick poll: Are the issues described above the same as for your company?

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