The Right Sales Technology Buys Time to Turn B Players Into A Players – Business Intelligence Info

Insales,A-B-CdoesnotsimplyrefertotheAlecBaldwinsceneinGlengarryGlenRoss。

Itsthesystemthatsalesmanagers(andsalespeoplethemselves)usetocategorizeperformance。

Aplayerssmashtheirquotasonaregularbasis;Bplayersbattletodeliverresults,andusuallydo;Cplayershaveahistoryofmissedobjectivesandshouldconsiderworkinanotherfield。

However,salespeoplearenotpermanentlyensconcedintheirspotontheA-B-Ccontinuum。

AnAplayerwhoslacksofforfailstoembracesalestechnologycanslideintoB-playerterritory。

ACplayerwhoworkshardandlearnscanbecomeaBplayerorevenattainthatdesiredAstatus。

Alotofupwardanddownwardmobilityispossible。

TheaimofeverysalesdepartmentistobefullystockedwithAplayersnotjustatthetimeofhiring,butthroughouttheirtenurewiththecompany。

Thatsnotarealisticobjective,howeverAplayersarehardtorecruitawayfrombusinesseswheretheyreprospering,dislodgingthemisexpensive,andtheycanaffordtobechoosy。

Unlessyouhaveanoverwhelminglyattractivevalueproposition,buildingastaffofAplayersfromtheoutsideinisatoughtask。

(Thatswhysalesrecruitersdemandandgetimpressivecompensation。

)

Formostcompanies,gettingthatA-teamisabuild,notbuy,proposition。

Salespeoplearehired,andachieveatdifferentlevels;someexcelimmediately,butothersstruggle。

Thequestion,then,becomesthis:Howdoyouelevatethosestrugglingbutpromisingsalespeopletothenextlevel?

ForresteranalystTimHarmon,acolleagueofmineatapreviousjob,wasastrongadvocateofinvestingthemostintheBplayers。

ImprovingtheirperformanceelevatingthemtoA-playerstatuspaidoffmorethaninvestmentsintheCplayers,whomightneverreallygetthehangofwhattheyweredoing,orintheAplayers,whowerealreadyexceedingexpectations。

WhileTimwasspeakingaboutchannelpartnersinmostcases,hisobservationsholdtrueforindividualsalespeopleaswell。

TimeandExperience

HowdoyougivetheBsaboost?

Firstoff,buythemtime。

Muchofasalespersonsdayisoccupiedwithdoingthingsthatarenotselling:31percentofthetimeisspentsearchingfororcreatingcontent,and20percentisdevotedtoreporting,administrativeandCRM-relatedtasks,accordingtoa2015studybyDocurated。

Onlyathirdofthedayisactuallyspentselling。

Lesstimemeanstheyreabletoworkfewerleadsor,moreimportantly,theyreunabletospendenoughtimewiththeleadsthatmattertoclosedeals。

Inthistime-constrainedenvironment,partofwhatmakesanAplayeristheabilitytoevaluatetherelativequalityofqualifiedleadsandmanagetheirlimitedtimetofocusonthemostlikelytoclose。

Howdotheyhavethatability?

Someofitistalent,butmuchofitislearnedthroughexperience。

TogetBplayersuptoAlevel,theyneedthatexperience。

Tobenefittheircurrentcompanies,theyneedtogainthatexperiencequickly。

Thatswhereadditionaltimebecomesabigbenefit。

Sohowdoyougivethemadditionaltime?

Atimemachinewouldbeuseful,buttheresothertechnologyouttherethatcandothejobwithoutwarpingthefabricoftime-space。

DuplicatedEffort

TheDocuratedstudypointedoutthat31percentofsalespeoplestimeisspentsearchingfororcreatingcontent。

Thatcouldbedrivenwaydownbytheuseoftwoassociatedsalestechnologies:salesenablementandconfigure,price,quotesoftware。

Enablement,whenitsdoneright,providesaframeworkthatclassifies,sortsandevaluatescontent。

Itallowssalespeopletoaccesstherightcontentforthecustomerstheyreworkingwithandnotjustbytopicbutbythecontentseffectiveness,basedonfeedbackgarneredfromsalespeopleandfromsalesresults。

AgoodCPQsolutionbuildsonenablementbydeliveringtherightcontentatthetimeaquoteisgenerated。

Sixtyto70percentofallmarketingcontentcreatedgoesunused,accordingtoaSiriusDecisionsstudy。

Thatisnotbecausethecontentisallbaditsbecauseitsdifficultforsalespeopletofinditunlessagoodenablementsolutionisinplace。

Thatleadssalespeopletocreatetheirowncontent,oftenduplicatingtheeffortsofthemarketingdepartment。

ItiswastefulandcostssalestimetimethatBplayerscouldbeusingtogetbetter。

Theothertimesinkforsalesisadministrativetasks。

Theresnogettingaroundthefactthatourvarioussalesmanagementsystemsneeddatatofunction,meaningthatdataentryfallstothesalesperson。

Havingmultiple,disconnectedsystemsmultipliestheeffortsalespeopleneedtoexpendtofeedthesystem。

Italsoincreasesthelikelihoodoferrorsoromissions,causingproblemsthatmayneedtobeuntangledlater。

BringintheCIO

Theanswerhereisintegrationifnottheuseofasingleplatform,theuseofasetofsystemsthatareconnectedandcansharedatarapidly。

Thesalespersonstillhastoenterdata,butthenitssharedacrossseveralsystems,cuttingdownondataentryandensuringtheresasingleversionofthedatainthecompanysrecords。

ThatiswheretheCIOcanplayaroledirectlyconnectedtorevenue。

Bybeingincludedintheprocessofbuildingasalessoftwareecosystemwithinacompany,theCIOcanensureadegreeofunityacrossallsystemsthatimprovesproductivityandbuysbacksometimeforselling。

Again,themoretimetheBplayershave,thefastertheycanturnintoAplayers。

ThesidebenefitofemployingthesetechnologiestohelpimprovetheBplayersisthatitwillbuyadditionalsellingtimefortheAplayers,tooandwhendrivensalespeoplehavemoretime,theirperformanceimprovesaccordingly。

CRMBuyercolumnistChrisBucholtzisdirector,contentmarketing,forCallidusCloudandaspeaker,writerandconsultantontopicssurroundingbuyer-sellerrelationships。

Hehasbeenatechnologyjournalistfor17years,focusingonCRMsince2006。

Whenhesnotwearinghisbusinessandtechnologygeekhat,heswearinghisairplanegeekhat;heswrittenthreebooksonWorldWarIIaviation。

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