Feb
02

You will have undoubtedly heard of the digital transformation. Perhaps you have even already made the change in your company. But have your sales people really grasped how to make the most of it? And, above all, are they trained to do so?

What do we mean by the digital transformation?

Today, people and objects are interconnected (at anytime, anywhere, with any device). Digital really is omnipresent… via online reservation platforms, all kinds of comparison sites, consumer opinions, conversations on social media, etc.

And digital no longer only affects the way in which companies market and sell their products and services; it genuinely affects all professional activity.

How to take full advantage of it for the sales team

Let’s take a basic example: in B2B, when a buyer has to choose or change a supplier, they will conduct their research upstream of the purchasing cycle. They will undertake their studies, make inquiries, compare, contact, analyse, and then finally decide on a vendor with which to finalise their purchase!

During the entire period preceding their purchase, they are going to make noise on the web and create signals on social and professional networks, forums, etc.

It is precisely during this phase that it is judicious for the sales person to position themselves as an advisor and as a potential business partner.

But how do we detect this phase? And how do we approach our lead with a relevant sales pitch and enter the race? For a clear majority of sales people, it is perhaps at this point that the problem arises in terms of a lack of tools and/or training!

Sales Intelligence tools to make life easier for your sales people

We have talked previously about detecting business signals. This is the crux of the matter! Why cold call when we can score leads according to targeting criteria that are important to the company, and thus increase conversion rates?

Today there are tools that are capable of centralising all the public data of each company and the much vaunted business signals (sector of activity, increase in capital, flotation, appointments, new premises, internationalisation, new nomination to a strategic position, product launch, tweets or posted comments containing a key word, etc.).

It therefore becomes quite easy to focus on the right leads via strategic lead scoring: those that have the best profile and that are likely to make a purchase in the short/medium term.

And the good news is you don’t need to look very far! You only need to attend a Sparklane demo in order to get an idea of all the potential this type of solution can offer your sales teams.

It’s a leap forward in terms of business intelligence and sales performance!

So what do we do now with the hyper-targeted leads? And how do we contact them intelligently with a view to stimulating their preferences? Are your sales teams trained in digital prospecting and relevant prospecting?

It’s all well and good to have identified the best potential leads, but if your sales people don’t know how to stand out, intelligently capture attention, and create a climate that is favourable to the sale, then the digital lever won’t bring you anything more than the rest.

To position yourself upstream of the purchasing cycle and as a potential business partner, you need to know how to stand out through your commercial relevance!

And what better than relying on the news of the company or the buyer in question, so as to obtain an angle of attack and a hook for your prospecting (whether this is via telephone/email/in the field/digital).

It is precisely (unfortunately) this that is lacking in a great number of sales people who prospect indiscriminately with a generic and stereotypical sales pitch focused on supply rather than on demand.

How can we rectify this?

Train your sales people to use sales intelligence tools, teach them to contextualise their sales approaches according to each lead, and you will see your sales indicators soar!

Do you need a few practical examples of application?

Example 1: You sell office furniture and supplies. You should target and score companies whose turnover is growing, whose financial health is solid and which have just bought premises in order to move/open a new agency, sales outlet, etc.

Your sales people will be able to stay informed in real time, access the company information file, and easily address decision-makers at the right time, by asking them questions such as:

  • What are their development plans?
  • How do they intend to manage these new premises?
  • Have they already begun to consider how to optimise layout for optimal productivity?
  • What image do they wish to convey via these new premises?
  • And ultimately, would they be interested in a one-stop solution provided by a professional?

Example 2: You sell an emailing solution in SaaS mode designed for the marketing teams of SMBs and large groups. You should target the marketing or IT directors of companies with more than X number of employees and making a minimum of XX million euros in turnover, which have tweeted, commented on or shared an article with specific key words (emailing, email marketing, big data, etc.).

Your sales people will be able to contact them on the pretext that they saw the tweet or comment, and ask them questions such as:

  • How do they handle deliverability in a context in which regulations within the different ISPs are becoming more complex?
  • What types of commercial communication scenarios do they use?
  • How do they manage the behavioural segmentation of their databases and the R.O.I of their emailing communications?
  • Would they be interested in the free demonstration as a comparison of a tool that would easily enable them to send the right email, to the right person, at the right time?

In both examples, you see that we are leaving the generic approach behind in order to use a contextual commercial approach. And all this has the right timing for the lead! What better way to improve relevance when making contact in the prospecting phase?

So this is how your sales team can really leverage the digital transformation… it involves using the right tools, combined with the right sales behaviour! That’s what Sales Intelligence is.

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Victor Cabrera
About the Author
Victor Cabrera is a French consultant and expert in sales efficiency training. The author of ‘Sale techniques: step-by-step winning strategies’ (published in French: ‘Sales techniques: les stratégies gagnantes étape par étape’) and ‘The key to effective negotiation’ (published in French: ‘Les clés de la négociation efficace’), he is also a blogger and runs the Technique-de-vente.com website.