In my last article, I touched on the tremendous value of utilizing your CRM data to give your customers a “voice” in order to gain insights on how they like to buy, the interaction they have with your front-line sales professionals, and even why they choose your brand over the competition. Of course, this is just the tip of the valuable data that our clients have received with our ClientMAX solution.
I would like to shift gears and focus that same technology on your sales organization. Today, the role of a field sales professional has become more complex. They must navigate technology, changing customer expectations, and even generations of buyers and decision-makers that all view the value of what they offer differently. Most sales professionals have worked hard over the years to sharpen their skills, experience, and industry expertise to evolve and be successful in a role that brings great risk, competition and difficulty.
In the last 6 months alone, I have spoken with dozens of industry leading CEOs, VPs of Sales, and other senior leadership. The trend I am witnessing is apparent throughout the manufacturing, packaging, material handling, and even the software industry. Today’s sales professionals are responsible for large territories, a complex buying environment and have more pressure to develop new business than ever before. Many of these teams that I have been in contact with have been in their role for many years, have a wealth of knowledge and are often trapped in old habits that limit their “focus” and the time needed to generate new business. Often they will spend too much time with existing customers where there is limited growth opportunity and “not have the time” for new business development. This is, of course, a double-edged sword... “Focus on my current accounts or develop NEW customers” – BOTH actually.
To help a sales team “see” or realize what they are doing and transform how they look at their role, top leaders are now utilizing technology to engage them in a process designed to gain their “voice,” understand how they look at their role, assess where they focus their time, and compare how they “see” their role to what the role requires.
A quick example of Company ABC: Based on my rapport with the President of Company ABC, I was able to uncover that the team (1 new VP of Sales and 40+ field sales professionals) was struggling with new business development and the new VP of Sales wanted to better understand how he could help the team transform their efforts, increase sales, and gain valuable insights on how to coach, develop, or lead each team member. Our SalesMAX Sales Force Intelligence Survey bridged this gap, arming him with measurable data, suggestions, and recommendations to optimize team performance.
More importantly, this program gave the sales team a “voice” to help the VP of Sales understand their needs, concerns, and how to best support their efforts... a strategic solution to transform sales team performance. You can see how this solution has been able to support other companies here.