Salesforce is known for being a leader in CRM technology, but more recently they’ve expanded into the realm of professional research. In 2018, Salesforce Research surveyed over 2,900 global sales leaders and compiled their findings for the third edition of their “State of Sales” report. The themes captured in the report were echoed at Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual user conference, where sales enablement was presented as the answer to the changing sales landscape.
Buyer expectations are changing
Today’s modern B2B buyers are raising the stakes and expecting more from the buying experience. According to Salesforce Research, 78% of business buyers seek trusted advisors that add value to their business. It’s no longer enough to sell based on relationships or to spew a list of features and functionality at a buyer. Winning new business comes from understanding the customer’s unique industry, market, and challenges, and identifying how your product or service can make an impact.
Most sales reps are falling short of this standard, as 57% of reps are expected to miss their quota this year1. They’re increasingly bogged down by administrative tasks and show no signs of straying from the status quo. If sellers don’t change, they’ll continue to fall short of customer expectations.
Sellers spend too much time on administrative tasks
Reps aren’t hitting their quota for two reasons: a lack of efficiency and effectiveness. Let’s talk about efficiency. According to Salesforce Research, sales reps spend just one-third of their time selling. Selling takes a backseat to non-revenue generating activities such as preparing for meetings, manually entering data into CRM, and other administrative tasks.
As a result, sellers do not spend enough time discovering and reviewing a prospect’s needs or current solution. The buyer experience suffers because the salesperson is unprepared and wastes the buyer’s time with generic, boring pitch decks they serve up to anyone and everyone.
Sales enablement technology is increasingly popular as B2B companies look for ways to increase sales efficiency. Sales enablement solutions can help reps reduce time spent on administrative tasks by automatically logging meeting notes in CRM and providing suggested content that will resonate with buyers based on where they’re at in the buyer journey.
Sellers must embrace data-driven approaches
Today’s sellers need charisma and conviction to prove their value with a data-driven approach. With increased access to technology and data, sellers must cut through the noise and pull out insights that show how their product or service will impact the buyer’s business.
Data helps sellers prove business value. But human skills, like extracting the relevant data and acutely listening to the buyer’s needs to share the right data at the right time, are needed to make it most impactful. The most successful salespeople will leverage data to help them win business and prioritize opportunities.
The right sales enablement solution will also equip sellers with interactive sales tools that capture real-time input from the buyer, allowing them to engage buyers in a new way. Tailored presentations with insights relevant to the buyer’s business help differentiate sellers from their competition and leave the buyer eager for the next meeting because they know it will bring value.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to help salespeople, not replace them
While only 21% of sales leaders say their organizations use AI today, adoption is set to skyrocket by 155% over the next two years1. Why? One word: Empowerment. AI helps salespeople better understand their customers’ needs and reduces the burden of manual tasks.
According to Salesforce, 65% of B2B Buyers are likely to switch brands if they perceive they’ve been treated generically. In today’s age of the customer, it’s imperative for sales reps to personalize communications according to each unique buyer. AI offers great promise in the context of improving sales engagement by equipping sales reps with key insights to drive meaningful customer conversations.
While some worry that machines will soon replace people, this is simply not the case. Machines can help people make data-driven decisions and essentially make them more human by making sense of vast amounts of data and customizing it so it’s relevant for each buyer. As a sales enablement technology, Mediafly’s main goal is to help sellers improve sales engagement for better buyer experiences.
To learn more about how Mediafly’s sales enablement solution can help your sales organization increase sales efficiency and sales effectiveness with interactive presentation elements, contact us here.
1 – Salesforce Research, “State of Sales”, 3rd Edition, 2018