These 2 Factors Are Preventing Your Sales Team from Selling More
Sales is a competitive sport, with everyone vying for contacts and meetings, trying to beat out the competition. And sales isn’t one-and-done: Only 2 percent of sales happen at a first meeting, forcing sellers to nurture relationships to win. So with all this time and effort spent duking it out in the field, what’s preventing us from selling more?
Lack of insights into accounts and failure to prioritize can cause real pain and wreak havoc across every sales motion. As modern sellers, the No. 1 thing holding us all back from selling more is prioritizing our valuable time and effort. And without the right tools, Big Data can overwhelm rather than empower. AI must be a part of the solution to help marketers turn a massive volume of buyer intent signals into actionable insights that accelerate demand.
Let’s look at the inbound, outbound, and renewal sales motions and see where the disconnect is happening.
With way too many “false positive” leads, it’s hard to know where we should spend our time as sales reps. Time is money, and we don’t want to waste it pursuing dead-end opportunities. But how do we find that needle in the haystack? Unfortunately, most of our lead-scoring methods are broken, limited to first-party data, and focused on one persona versus looking at the entire buying committee. The problem is, you could focus on a lead from a CEO on your website that isn’t even in-market or completely ignore a lead from an intern doing research for the CEO for an account that is in-market.
All this running around chasing the wrong opportunities is the result of misalignment between sales and marketing. As a sales leader, if you told me to redirect budget and resources previously driving hundreds of leads to start focusing on fewer accounts, I’d have thought you were crazy. But instead of hunting down questionable “leads,” marketing and sales can start selling more when they have a more accurate way to prioritize time and effort.
When you’re armed with the ability to predict for timing—or when accounts are actually in-market—along with critical insights that show not only why it’s important to engage now (timing) but also the details on all previous interactions (content consumption, website visits, third-party research, keyword searches, etc.), you’ll be able to drive meaningful conversations with any member of the buying committee.
Outbound is a tough gig. Business development reps and account executives are expected to make hundreds of calls and send tons of emails a week—but how do they know the contacts they’re calling aren’t random? Or even in-market? How do they know the best time to call or what to even discuss without knowing the contacts needs? With outbound efforts, BDRs and AEs want opportunities, not just activity, but they don’t have a good way to make the right connections with the right content.
To give outbound sales teams the best chance of success, we have to give them insights with a robust group of digital signals to show if an account is actually in-market to buy or beginning the early stages of research. The right ABM program can help us understand where each account is in their buyer journey, identifying the ideal time to engage and with what message, taking the conversation from a cold call to a productive, meaningful one.
For many organizations, the bulk of their revenue is in their customer base. But just because they’re a customer today doesn’t mean we can push them to the side while going after new accounts. Customers should always be treated like prospects. Spending the right amount of time with customers and important stakeholders is an important part of the sales process, but this critical part of the business can be lost in the shuffle without insights and AI giving us the ability to know when, to who, and how often to reach out. When they’re looking at the types of products or services in the market, they should always have your organization top of mind. Having the insights to know what they’re interested in or if they’re looking at your competitors can help you filter the right content to your customers.
So now that you know what’s holding your sales team back from selling more, what can you do about it? With limited resources and not enough hours in the day to orchestrate all of that data into meaningful outreach, across thousands of accounts and dozens of channels, we must look to the power of AI. Let AI and your ABM platform work for you while you are out there closing deals and hitting your sales goals!
Mark Ebert is vice president of sales at 6sense and is responsible for leading all of 6sense’s sales and business development teams. Residing in Boston, Ebert is a passionate veteran of the SaaS enterprise MarTech/AdTech space with more than 12 years of experience helping businesses leverage technology to achieve real, measurable results. Prior to joining 6sense, Ebert spent six years with Responsys and later the Oracle Marketing Cloud (BlueKai, Eloqua, Maxymiser, Responsys, etc), working in its enterprise division in both sales and sales leadership capacities.