Let’s face it - your sales team is statistically likely to be lagging behind in terms of their use of technology. They’re most likely to be applying more relationship driven sales methods than data-driven - especially if your hiring pool includes salespeople with more than 10 years experience in sales. The reason for this is that digital technology has been available to Sales for years, but the systems and processes to use the technology in your sales process has been difficult to apply. Altify claim there’s a 13% retention rate on sales training - that means, essentially, that even if you were to train the sales team to follow your own unique sales system or methodology the likelihood is that after training is complete, most of your salespeople will put the manuals on the shelf and do what they were doing before. The same is true of your CRM - statistically salespeople spending too much time on data entry and not enough on sales. From 'The State of Inbound', a report commissioned by Hubspot:
There is an imbalance between the state of digital marketing and digital sales. Proportionally, the marketing stack is bigger and better, and marketing teams are more savvy. Digital marketing got a head start, but sales is catching up. For sales leaders, this presents an opportunity to introduce the same sort of digital innovations we have seen develop in marketing over the past 5 years. It also means many sales organisations are being left behind as they cling to traditional ways of selling, just as marketers stuck to traditional forms of marketing until they were forced to move. Digital selling involves the use of data, sales automation, an inbound sales process and inside (a.k.a. remote selling) as part of the mix.
Selling software to businesses has changed a lot in the past 5 years. In the old days, sales people could approach a prospect, do a demo of the software, give a couple of examples of how it’s worked out for other similar customers in the past, then whip out the 12 month contract to close the deal before retiring to the bar. OK, maybe it wasn’t that simple - but for the majority of sales people, they at least knew what they were selling when they were meeting with a customer.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force this May 2018, replacing the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive.