There’s a lot of hype around the emerging space known as “Sales Acceleration”. Unfortunately, the focus on sales acceleration has been limited to only a subset of sales people (sales development reps) and the associated solutions are laser focused on just one functional area such as email tracking, local presence dialers, automated voicemails and the like. In other words, these are just point solutions and don’t properly address the requirement of accelerating sales.
Before we talk about making it work, let’s take a step back and look at where sales acceleration fits.
Sales acceleration sits between the traditional marketing function and the sales process.
Marketing is responsible for lots of things including thought leadership; branding and dealing with a four letter word call a “lead”. Lead management is typically the domain of marketing automation platforms. The sales process is designed to take an opportunity and close it. This is managed within traditional CRM applications.
The problem is the gap that exists between turning a marketing lead (or ideal client profile account) into a qualified sales opportunity. This gap doesn’t just affect sales development reps; it impacts the entire revenue chain from marketing to sales. It’s an enterprise problem.
Acceleration Tools Overload
Last I looked; there are a growing number of products out there. They include
- Sales intelligence tools
- Data / contact sourcing
- Sales playbook & scripting
- Predictive analytics
- Content engagement
- Email tracking
These “tools” enable your sales people to figure out who to call first (predictive analytics / contact sourcing), how to call them faster (dialers), the right way to prioritize people to call (email tracking / content engagement), prompt you with insights to prepare you for your call (sales intelligence) and tell you what to say if and when you get them on the phone (sales playbook & scripting). Certainly some of these tools go further in the sales cycle, but the most common purpose is to facilitate a lead into a sales opportunity.
Many sales organizations buy or implement one or more of these point solutions and the key to scaling is integrating as many of these functions as possible to drive results.
Integrating them technically is one thing, but integrating them from a process point of view is things get ugly. This is because sales people don’t really know how to use the tools effectively. So what happens when they don’t know how to use it or see immediate results? To the graveyard it goes….
So what does this mean to you?
Imagine you need to cut down a very large tree in your backyard. You are armed with a chainsaw, rope and ladder. If you don’t know how to use these tools effectively, you risk injury to yourself, damage to your property and / or you will give yourself a lot of extra work if you don’t do it correctly.
The same goes for the myriad of so-called sales acceleration tools. Each by itself seems like it would be helpful, but if you don’t know how to use them and use them effectively, you could actually do yourself more harm than good.
The key to integrating these technologies is being sure they are proven to work together effectively. For example, if you use a scripting tool, make sure the scripts in the tool are proven to be effective. If you use automated voicemail functionality, be sure the voicemail is statistically the most effective one possible. If you are doing email tracking to see when your emails are opened, know for sure what the optimal follow-up frequency and intervals are.
Just like you don’t want a tree to fall against your house, you’d hate to invest in all this technology only to do more of the wrong things, at the wrong time, and push your prospects away.
FRONTLINE Selling specializes in integrating all your sales acceleration tools to enable sales teams to be more effective. Reps will create more quality opportunities, execute the first call with precision and advance more opportunities to close. Learn more about our solutions!