This post is guest authored by Peter Ostrow, VP & Research Group Director of Customer Management and Sales Effectiveness at AberdeenGroup
Today’s enterprise sales professionals are looking for every opportunity to beat the competition and exceed quota by building better customer relationships. Are you providing them with the best mobile, visual, and agile tools to succeed, or merely assuming that the traditional CRM platform is a sufficient technology investment?
This five-blog series is designed to help contemporary Sales and Sales Operations leaders learn – from their peers, contemporaries, and competitors – how to more effectively enable the kind of mobile, tech-savvy sales team required to win in a business environment in which buyers are more informed than ever before. Aberdeen's ongoing Sales Effectiveness research continuously showcases how top performers leverage:
- A 360˚ view of their customers, to ensure a single “version of the truth” for all externally-facing staff – far beyond simply assuming the CRM’s very existence will suffice
- Sales enablement solutions that help sales reps put the right message, in front of the right person, at the right time
- Mobile-friendly platforms and practices to guarantee sales effectiveness in an “anywhere, anytime, any device” world
- Analytics tools that yield better sales forecasts, coaching opportunities, and annualized revenue growth
Indeed, the companies that most aggressively adopt these solutions and best practices are consistently aligned with our research that distinguishes the most successful sales teams from under-performers. Referred to as the Best-in-Class, the top 20% of survey respondents in Aberdeen’s recent "360° view" research posted these impressive year-over-year business results:
These data points are particularly interesting in that profit and revenue growth are so closely aligned. Traditionally, sales leaders have been held accountable only for the latter metric: grow revenue, push more product, sell more stuff. And yet, much as their counterparts in Marketing have evolved from a volume-driven, grab-more-eyeballs machine into a ROMI-centric (Return on Marketing Investment) P&L center, today’s sales operations function is not considered successful if it sloppily grows the bottom line any faster than the top line. After all, financial stakeholders such as VC’s and Wall Street eventually demand a profit.
How exactly do companies whose annualized sales results look more like the green data above move into the blue? They replicate what their much-envied Best-in-Class competitors are doing, not just around buying software, but also through the adoption of core competencies to support such applications. Stay tuned for the remaining entries of this series:
- It’s All about Visibility: How the Best-in-Class Establish a Clear Line-of-Sight into Their Business: With so many "versions of the truth" about a customer – the marketing automation platform, CRM, help desk, ERP, etc. – how can we possibly achieve a clear, 360° understanding of each of our trading partners?
- Tribal Knowledge and Campfires, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Borg: Every great salesperson is a great storyteller; what is the best way for complex, mobile sales organizations to capture and disseminate all the right knowledge to all customer-facing stakeholders?
- Farewell to "I'll Have to Get Back to You on That”: Those precious "closing moments" in B2B sales conversations are growing ever more scarce; woe to those sales leaders not already enabling a fully mobilized opportunity to seal the deal.
- A Sales Rep, Accountant and Data Scientist Walk Into a Bar… Best-in-Class companies have jumped out of the gate to embrace "Big Data" analytics for their sales and marketing teams. What are you missing?
Great lessons, taught by your peers, await in these subsequent entries; enjoy. I'll also be speaking on MicroStrategy's upcoming webcast on June 18th at 12PM EST. I'll be available live to take your questions. You can register here.