Most company’s biggest assets are their employees and information. In today’s digital economy, information is gold. There are many sources of information and the one that is least utilized is the information that employees create and never share with the company. The gap between what employees know and share is a growing problem for all businesses especially for sales organizations.
Selling today has never been more difficult. Today we are in a new era of selling that is defined by a new era of buying. Buyers buy differently today than a decade ago and like it or not, today buyers control the selling process.
Today buyers have unlimited access to digital online information which enables them to complete majority of their purchase cycle without speaking to a vendor. By the time a sales person finds an active buyer, that buyer has done the research, short listed vendors and is more informed about competition than the sales person. Today, sales people face a completely different and a very unique buyer.
When buyers avoid sellers before completing majority of their purchase cycle, sellers face no other option but to search for active buyers in hopes they can find them in time to influence the buying decision. This vicious circle is the biggest time consumer and according to CSO Insights research, over 60% of sales effort is spent on searching for active buyers. This is what sales organizations refer to as sales lead prospecting.
The reason why sales’ prospecting consumes such huge effort is well known to the front line sales people. They search for new contacts to have live conversations with them and try to convert them to qualified sales leads. They know why contacts became leads and why they did not. After all, they do this every day and sadly, most sales organizations focus only on capturing hard data which are qualified leads that feed their pipeline. The critical sales information on why contacts could not be converted to leads, their objections, why conversations were negative, how many times they lost an opportunity, which sales people struggle and why is not utilized. And yet, this is the biggest time consumer in any sales organization.
In the next series of articles, we will share insights on what information front line sales people know and can reveal about; why they win and lose new prospects, emerging influencers and threats they discover, which team members win and which struggle and when. We refer to this information as critical Soft Data. We will share insights on how companies can monitor measure and trend their critical Soft Data to help sales leaders adjust their sales strategies to increase the number of sales wins.