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Stay Connected. Be Smart. Sell Better.

marc-benioffIn his keynote address at Dreamforce on Wednesday, Marc Benioff talked about topics ranging from the Internet of Things to groundbreaking approaches to cancer treatment.

But, there was one consistent, underlying theme: connection.

Everything we’re doing in sales right now is (and needs to be) moving toward a stronger, more informed customer connection than ever before.

Benioff said that 77% of customers aren’t being properly engaged by their companies and that only 1% of customer data is actually analyzed. That’s important, because creating deeper connections is the only way to sell better, and being more informed is the only way to tailor your customer service to form those connections.

The reason we’re championing ‘smart sales transformation’ is because that’s what drives sales success now, and will do so in the future–something Benioff’s speech made clear.

Getting Closer Comes From Growing Smarter

That 1% of data use that Benioff talked about in his speech is both depressing and exciting. Why? Because it means most companies are not using the information that they have to serve customers the way that they deserve. BUT it also means there is potential to do so much more.

Data-driven selling is something we’ve been talking about for a long time–it’s a foundational component of our Dealmaker suite of apps. Tools like data science and predictive analytics have enabled us to do even more with data–to strategize a sales approach for each individual customer, instead of a one size fits all approach. In general, more information is always better, and more structure to help us process and understand that information is better still.

dreamforce15-future-of-intelligent-sellingIn Wednesday’s other keynote, “The Future of Intelligent Selling,” presented by Data.com, they talked about how most salespeople don’t understand their buyers’ business problems and how to drive value for them. They discussed how living, evolving technology like a CRM can help change that by giving salespeople more information, so that they can engage customers on more levels and tailor their selling approach to support buyers’ needs.

And they’re absolutely right. The technology we have now can help us know our customers more deeply than ever before. But, as Malcolm Gladwell argues, “Just because you have more data doesn’t mean you’re going to make better decisions.” Today, there is a deficit of neither information nor technology, but rather a lack of automated insight. And, as we are starting to discover, data alone won’t help salespeople sell better.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Why data alone won’t help #sales people sell better” quote=”Data alone won’t help salespeople sell better”]

The future of intelligent selling lies in technologies that will give back time to the sales team, while delivering meaningful actionable insights based on the data that is already available. These insights will go beyond mere predictions, and will be guided by context and enriched by prescription. They will know where salespeople are in a deal, how much time is left in the quarter and where the opportunities are in their biggest customers. All this, while delivering value conveniently on the phone and in the cloud.

smp_screenshot_laptopWe’ve been building for the ‘future’ ever since we started developing Dealmaker. And we’ve taken one step further ‘into the breach’ with the imminent release of Dealmaker Sales Performance Manager, our intelligent app aimed at making the lives of sales managers much easier.

To see the future of intelligent selling in action, sign up now for a webinar demo of Dealmaker Sales Performance Manager. There will be limited dates available so grab your seat now.

About The Author

Donal Daly
Donal Daly
Donal Daly is Executive Chairman of Altify having founded the company in 2005. He is author of numerous books and ebooks including the latest Amazon #1 Bestseller Digital Sales Transformation in a Customer First World (Nov 3, 2017) and his previous Amazon #1 Best-sellers Account Planning in Salesforce and Tomorrow | Today: How AI Impacts How We Work, Live, and Think. Altify is Donal’s fifth global business enterprise.
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3 thoughts on “Stay Connected. Be Smart. Sell Better.”

  1. Paul Lanigan says:

    Excellent article Donal.

    I can’t help but feel uneasy when “data” and “sales” are used in the same sentence. If you exclude vendor-centric data (product’s shipped, seasonality, etc. etc.) and focus on customer intelligence there’s a major disconnect.

    Very few sellers (I’m excluding the top 5% to whom this does not apply) possess poor customer insight. They don’t know their customers business well enough. Therefore there is a major data gathering deficit on the front end.

    I’d love to know your thoughts on how you crack that nut….?

    Paul

    1. Donal Daly Donal Daly says:

      Paul, thanks for the comment.
      The challenge here for sellers is to get to understand their customer’s business problems as deeply as they understand their own solutions. The requisite insight is generally available somewhere in the seller’s company – typically in the product management function. After all the products were designed to solve particular problems and when the products were being designed the designers generally did so in the context of the customer’s business problems they were trying to solve – at least in the case of well designed products. Getting that insight into the hands of the sellers has been the challenge. Our approach to ‘crack that nut’ has been to enable the product management / product marketing people to create smart customer insight maps that describe in a visual story form the ‘typical’ business problems of the target customer/persona. That gives the sellers the foundation the basis for deep insight for their customers. This is what Salesforce chose to do to help their sales organizations find the right solutions for their from their extended partner networks to augment the Salesforce solutions. There is a description of that here.

  2. Molly says:

    Staying connected is increasingly an intrinsic part of selling. Staying connected to people as well as online! Thank you for sharing

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