5 Hurdles to Clear on the Way to Sales Transformation Success

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UnitedHealthCare’s sales organization pulled top sales reps from out of the field to help design a mobile application that adjusts to customer needs and requirements. According to Benedetto, the app “auto-adjudicates” to make sure it has all the right data, formats, and spots on the form where clients can sign with their fingers. “According to some of the initial metrics, they’ve decreased the amount of time it takes to do this application by 40 percent, have rolled it out to more than 10,000 reps in six to nine months, and the reps love it,” Benedetto says. “It’s very easy to use and it’s right there—it’s almost like a point-of-sale kind of model in a more highly considered purchase.”

Pegasystems regularly recommends that clients pull end users out of the field to conduct usability testing. “That was actually one of the keys to success at UnitedHealthCare—they pulled one of their experts out of the field and said help us build this thing and design it from the ground up so it works for reps,” Benedetto notes.


“In the digital era, good enough is no longer good enough,” Galvin said at CRM Evolution. Now, “it’s about precision and accuracy.” He recommended injecting that mind-set into sales processes whenever possible. In other words, rather than working solely with gut feelings and with unchallenged assumptions about what does and doesn’t work in sales, pay attention to those elements that can be measured and proven. For instance, it’s not safe to assume that the percentage of leads that convert will always remain fixed. There could be unknown, insidious forces working against those close rates that could prove long-standing beliefs wrong. This is why companies should consult tools that verify their predictions.

Galvin cited as an example Birst, a vendor of business intelligence (BI) reporting tools, which, using its own technologies, abandoned traditional methods for segmenting its customer base in favor of an approach that utilized Big Data and analytics. Many other companies are following suit.

Robert Blohm, vice president of strategic services at Xactly, a provider of cloud-based incentive solutions, says that many of the vendor’s clients adopt its technology and service because they want to know how to determine compensation for their salespeople based on performance. The technology enables users to assess their plans compared to those of companies in the same industry that fit similar profiles and cater to similar customers, to see how their compensation stacks up. This type of intelligence, he says, can help prevent the poaching of talent and reduce employee turnover.

Similarly, if a B2B technology company is making a transition from selling hardware to selling software, for instance, it might not be familiar with the standard payment structure for that kind of selling. By having a view of the aggregated data, users can make better judgments about how they should be compensating star performers.

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