By Alex Wares - 16th April 2018
Traditional sales teams have always been hamstrung by two primary challenges. First, there’s never enough time in the day, or days in the quarter, and second, they are forever under pressure to deliver revenue.
The cause and effect relationship between the two is obvious, and most salespeople will tell you, waking up the first Monday of each quarter is like a scene from Groundhog Day – same problems and so they deploy the same tactics.
But if you begin to unpick the problem of lack of time, you begin to understand the reasons driving the behaviour. Traditionally, sales-qualified leads (SQLs) delivered by marketing campaigns were few and far between, which put the onus on sales to proactively seek out and engage qualified leads. It takes time and effort to sift through LinkedIn or other sources to find such people, and natural instinct is to revert to type and begin playing the numbers in tried and tested fashion.
But in today’s changing landscape, with new technology arriving on what seems like a daily basis, the tools exist to help sales work smarter rather than just hard.
Across different industry verticals, marketing teams are now changing, pivoting their thinking away from ‘spray and pray’ tactics and deploying account-based marketing (ABM) approaches which embrace tech and machine-learning to drive a more targeted, personalised strategy and significantly reduce wasted efforts.
An ABM can use intent and propensity data to inform how you find companies that show signals around topics and pain points your products and services can potentially satisfy. Most of these tools in silo tell only part of a story, but when they’re used together as a ‘tech stack’ that story begins to have more value. Sales need to adopt a similar approach.
The tools now exist for sales to operate their own ‘tech stack’ and execute a similar, personalised, approach at a one-to-many level. You no longer have to carpet-bomb every person in a particular job title, in a specific vertical with a cut-and-paste message, hoping a few have a problem you can solve. Instead, you can now work with a smaller, more targeted universe – because the data tells you those prospects are more likely to be engaged with your offering and, importantly, you now have the tools to engage them with the correct messaging.
Different people consume information differently, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. But overlaying tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator and IP tracking software, with automation and psychometric tools enables you to ‘cluster’ these people and do personalised outreach at scale. Resulting in more valuable engagement with more valuable people. Reduced stress with better output – a win/win!
Some traditional salespeople can be put off by the notion of using tech to inform their work; perhaps because they simply don’t speak the language, perhaps because they are stuck in a rut in how they do things. But that’s a fairly simple fix and certainly not an excuse for ignoring the myriad benefits a tech-led strategy can offer. The results speak for themselves and it is only logical that target oriented people take all the opportunities available to increase performance and ultimately win.