Loading...

Follow Smart Selling Tools on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid


Do your sales people have what it takes to be successful in educating, engaging with, and selling to your customers? Ensuring that each sales person has the right information and content at their fingertips to help them to improve the likelihood of closing a sale is critical to sales ops, sales enablement, and sales team managers. Over the last 20 years, since the inception of the digital revolution through the laptop, finding ways to help the busy sales person to get this content ready to go has become even more important.

According to an Accenture study, 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research at some point in the buying process, and are more educated than ever before. To move forward a sale, today’s digital-ready sales person needs to be prepared, trained, and ready to present that unique, extra valuable information that the prospect hasn’t just picked up online.

Achieving this for a single sales person is tricky enough, but imagine having to do this when you have hundreds or even thousands of sales people engaged daily in these interactions. That kind of streamlined engagement takes considerable resources. Sales enablement teams have been hired, trained, equipped with the best tools, and whilst they are doing a great job of helping the salesperson to build a relationship with the customer through content and messaging, consistently keeping this process up to date can be a losing battle.

The most common, albeit flawed, approach to this problem focuses on content tagging. Humans – in marketing, sales support, and even sales management – assist the reps by adding small marks or additions to each content piece to help classify that content and indicate where it can have the most impact. Tags enable easier search for sales people, filtering and presenting results that the business has decided, at least at one point, will help move that deal forward.

The problem is, most organizations are experiencing exponential growth in the amount of information and content that is available for these teams to work with. The wealth of information in internally-created materials, online guides and marketing pieces, independent blogs, and peer feedback and collaboration has created perfect content storm. And let’s not even get started on auditing tags to ensure the proper ones are being used, not slightly differentiated versions – i.e. if the proper tag to use in a content piece is Marketing Automation, but someone tags it with MAP, that content won’t appear where it needs to. When it comes down to it, tagging is simply not sustainable.

AI Technology – More than Just Calling an Uber

AI technologies are more than just asking Siri to order the sales rep an Uber to the next meeting, or checking the flight departure time with Alexa before heading off to the next road trip. AI is a way to help the everyday performance of sales teams, in a way that simply was not possible before.

Machine Learning and AI tools can be used to perform some of the tasks that management teams are doing, but at scale and with adaptability. By processing content, AI can actually eliminate the use of tagging all together.

AI systems not only look at content, but also at what the entire team does – how each person is working, what materials they are using, and how the use of those materials impacts the likelihood of closing a sale. Using all that data, an AI system can, in real time, recommend content, and content centric actions, that can help the sales person to perform better. Share this here, present this here, and so on. The insights come from actual sales usage and data, not just management’s perception of what works best. The proof is in the data!

So How Do We Start with AI?

While getting to full utilization of advanced AI will be a larger initiative – think of it like the Level 5 self-driving car that we know is coming – you’ll have to start somewhere. A great way to start on this journey is beginning to, or continuing to, build a strong library of materials and sales person engagement that can then be used by AI systems to make recommendations that work. The most relevant recommendations, insights, and automation that will come from these systems will come with time – after all, they get smarter the more they have to study!

AI isn’t scary, and isn’t here to take our jobs – it’s here to help us do the human aspects of our jobs better. Who doesn’t want more time for the most enjoyable parts of their job?

This week’s post is by guest author, David Keane, Founder & CEO of Bigtincan. The Bigtincan Hub is the market’s only AI-powered enablement platform, which transforms the way sales and service organizations access, share, and collaborate on the most effective sales content.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This will be my second year of attendance at the B2BMX event, organized by DemandGen Report. The event is a not to be missed if you’re in Marketing, but it’s increasingly become a must-attend event for those responsible for Sales Enablement as well. The reason is not shocking. Marketing organizations are being more tightly held responsible for revenue generation. As a result, the Sales Enablement function and the Sales Development function are being shifted to Marketing in many cases.

That’s a good thing for several reasons.

One, Marketing is good at measuring return on effort and investment. Two, they have more experience with technology and a budget that is rivaling IT in many cases. And three, it’s Marketing’s responsibility in my opinion, to drive the alignment with Sales. Doesn’t mean Sales isn’t to be held accountable, but Marketing is better positioned to see the entire revenue landscape.

I’ll be hosting a session to help attendees understand the SalesTech stack and how to incorporate and leverage sales technology into their strategy. Although the SalesTech landscape is 1/10th the size of the MarTech landscape, it’s still a seemingly discombobulated mix of point solutions with a lot of value overlap (and some functionality overlap). In many cases, the technology suits a purpose that is disconnected to Marketing’s role (think Contract Management & ESigning). In the majority of cases, the technology begs for Marketing’s involvement and fails without it.

Understanding the SalesTech stack and more precisely, how Marketers can and should be involved in the implementation and success of those tools, and why it’s paramount.

With that in mind, here are the 5 sessions I’ll be attending for sure:
  1. Predictable Pipeline: Sales Enablement Strategies & Tactics To Increase Your Confidence In Hitting Your Number with Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing
  2. Marketing Beyond Marketers: Putting Sales Enablement Before Demand Generation with Tabitha Adams of D-Link
  3. The Metrics That Matter Across Sales & Marketing with Eric Boller of Nextiva, Judy Ash of Big Switch Networks
  4. What Sales Wants from Marketing
  5. How to Build a Winning Sales Stack, or “How Marketers can Influence and leverage the SalesTech Stack” by yours truly, Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools

By my count, there are around 100 sessions organized by 5 tracks; Work-shops, Content2Conversion, Demand Gen, ABM in Action, Sales Impact. If technology is your thing, be sure to stop by and talk with SalesTech exhibitors of some of my favorite solutions like DealSignal, Hushly, Conversica, and D&B Hoovers.

There’s also a great line-up of general sessions, and plenty of time for networking. Combine all that with live music, outside lunches and activities at the beautiful Fairmont Princess in always sunny Scottsdale in February and you’ve got a real winner. It’s not too late to register and book your travel – although there are only 25 seats left so do it now. Also, make sure to download the official app. It’s the centerpiece for whole event! Search for “#B2BMX” in the App Store.

I hope to see you there!

Nancy

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
How to Make Sure Your Team is Sales Ready with Brainshark: Video Review with Smart Selling Tools - YouTube
Brainshark is a mobile-first solution that allows reps to learn anywhere from any device. They’ll always know the latest product messaging, competitive intel, market knowledge, and more. You can also sharpen skills with video-based practice, coaching, and reinforcement.

Visit Brainshark

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can change a sales organization in a significant way. We call it Sales Tech Game Changers.

This week I interview Erroin Martin, VP of Sales for Conversica.

Nancy: What are the top 3 ways your solution changes the game for a sales organization?

Erroin: Conversica helps businesses drive revenue by finding prospects that want to do business. Conversica’s conversational AI platform engages prospects in a two way conversation to identify true interest. When Conversica’s AI Assistants are ordered to reach out to a prospect they can craft their own message, intelligently interpret responses to make a consistent decision on what to do next and keep prospects engaged until they are ready for a salesperson.

  1. Frees up human teams to focus on higher revenue generating tasks — customers have found that their teams a  33% or greater.
  2. Companies like Epson, IBM, Microsoft, and Box are able to scale sales teams faster into different markets by having a Conversica A.I. engage lower priority leads.
  3. Conversica has helped Embraer sell $48million in aircraft orders that would have previously been missed.

Nancy: What are the top 5 things your solution allows salespeople to do better, or faster than they can today?

Erroin: Conversica’s AI assistants automate the initial stages of the sales process by following up on leads via email or SMS text. By engaging every lead through personalized, dynamically-generated conversation, the AI Assistant can accurately determine the level of interest and pass off hot leads to a salesperson. This helps sales teams to:

  1. Know the prospect’s needs before the salesperson engages them, so they can have a meaningful conversation.
  2. Offer a more tailored experience and improve likelihood of closing a deal.
  3. Spend more time engaging qualified leads rather than chasing down leads.
  4. Execute account-based selling by remaining hyper-focused on pursuing top prospects.
  5. Generate a consistent pipeline by making sure every lead has been worked.

Nancy: Describe the first 30 days after a company purchases your solution.

Erroin: Customers that sign up with Conversica have a Customer Success Manager (CSM) and a Technical Account Manager (TAM) assigned to their team. Every customer has a kick-off call where the agenda for the launch and the roles for each team is explained. The TAMs handles integrations and technical account set-up. The CSMs build out KPIs for success and train the users on Conversica. The first month the customer will have up to six meetings with CSM. Customers typically have a Sales Ops/Marketing Ops, internal Champions, and sales leaders/people on calls. Training is typically Train The Trainer.

Nancy: How have companies determined the ROI of your solution?

Erroin: With the Conversica dashboard, companies can see at a glance the value their AI Assistants bring to their business. Our robust reporting tools provide insights and metrics on salesperson performance, engagement rate, leads at risk, and more.

Nancy: What should companies do to ensure success of your solution?

Erroin: Customers should have a strong understanding of their lead flow process, who handles what, and what they perceive to be the breakdowns. Conversica will expose weaknesses and flaws in processes, no matter how tight they are. Marketing and Sales should be aligned with expectations of what A.I. can and cannot do. The A.I. will not run a full sales cycle, it will not replace jobs, and it will not make complex decisions. What Conversica will do is remove tedious tasks, create efficiencies in the customer journey, and be consistent in delivering results.

Nancy: What are some good resources if someone wanted to learn what questions to ask, what others are doing, and purchase considerations?

Erroin: Our reviews speak volumes about our customers’ experience using Conversica. G2 Crowd, Salesforce AppExchange, and other software review sites.

And our resources page — we have eBooks, case studies, videos, data sheets, and more.

Nancy: Who benefits most from your solution?

Erroin: Mid-market to Enterprise Companies that use Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, or Hubspot.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Smart Selling Tools by Nancy Nardin - 1w ago

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Smart Selling Tools by Nancy Nardin - 1w ago

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Sales tech decision makers suffer from information overload and have to wade through a lot of marketing hype. It doesn’t take long for decision fatigue to kick in. That’s why we publish helpful and free resources—to reduce those frustrations and cut through all the noise.

Throughout 2017, we interviewed leaders of 26 top sales solution providers asking the same questions of each of them.

We started with “Why?”

It’s just one three-letter word and yet it serves buyers so powerfully well. Why should I care? Why should I buy your product? Why would someone need your solution?

Their full interviews are available on our blog. But you can see how they each answered the “WHY” question in the first edition of our SalesTech Interview Magazine.

Find out which solution said their “why” was because buyers seek to cut through the noise and madness, and as a result, they’re turning to their peers for answers…peers they trust, who have felt the same frustrations.

Or “why?” because relationships are built by sales people with customers via email, phone calls, and meetings, not through CRM. Sales teams need to access and update the CRM without having to go into Salesforce ever again.

Or “why?” because corporations spend millions on classroom training and sales kick-offs, yet the ROI simply isn’t there – in fact, studies indicate that participants in curriculum- and lecture-based training forget more than 80 percent of the information taught within 90 days.

You don’t need technology, you need to solve problems which are identified with the all important “Why” question.

Download your free copy of the Magazine here and see which solutions answer YOUR “why”.


Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can change a sales organization in a significant way. We call it Sales Tech Game Changers.

This week I interview Brad Layman, VP of Sales for KZO Innovations.

Nancy: What are the top 3 ways your solution changes the game for a sales organization?

Brad: KZO Sales develops your sales team into top performers with coaching, just-in-time learning, video role play, collaboration, content creation, & selling tools all in one place, all tied to your CRM.

  1. Companies that use KZO reach all demographics within their organizations with sales learning content that includes verbal components, visual/audio modules, and collaboration opportunities.They can train and measure on essential sales skills through an on-demand learning and knowledge experience accessible on all devices and with built-in social sharing and access to video practice.
  2. The sales organizations that use KZO make better use of company assets. Sales teams can gain access to your company’s complete library of assets and then use KZO’s easy content creation tools to personalize those assets for each prospect experience. The newly created prospect experience can be sent directly through Salesforce.com and tracked by the salesperson through KZO’s dashboard.
  3. Selling with video is proving to be more effective and has helped our clients close deals faster. KZO lets our clients create custom, professional, and personal videos to send to their prospects directly through Salesforce.com and are finding that by adding video to their sales process, they are increasing their close rates.

Nancy: What are the top 5 things your solution allows salespeople to do better, or faster than they can today?

Brad: KZO gets your sales team ramped quickly and then lets them get right to work in the same platform. Since KZO is tied in directly to the company’s CRM, salespeople can do the following things better and faster than before:

  1. Onboard stronger and use video for role play to get on the phones faster.
  2. Collaborate and knowledge share on best practices, challenges, and learning.
  3. Increase lead conversion by quickly adding a video step to the sales process.
  4. Personalize & humanize the selling process with custom and personal content.
  5. Understand prospects’ needs better through a real-time dashboard of prospect engagement activity.

Nancy: Describe the first 30 days after a company purchases your solution.

Brad: When company’s onboard with KZO, they can choose to begin with video prospecting or sales enablement. Video prospecting requires no more than going into Salesforce.com, clicking on the KZO app and clicking ‘record.’ Once your first video is created, you can start adding video to your sales process. It literally takes minutes.

For companies looking to strengthen the skill sets of their sale organization, we suggest that they spend some time identifying content that can help their sales teams learn and prospect, then with a simple drag and drop action, they can move that content to the KZO library and it will immediately be available in Salesforce.com. Now the sales team can learn while they work and use content creation tools to create prospect experiences from PDFs and links. In 30 days, your sales team will be stronger and showing a more robust pipeline.

Nancy: How have companies determined the ROI of your solution?

Brad: Companies save time using KZO through a reduction in “search” time when it comes to learning content and by accelerating the sales process with a video step. KZO also has proven a 3X better lead engagement when video is added into the sales process.

Nancy: What should companies do to ensure success of your solution?

Brad: First, sales organizations that do best with KZO align Marketing and Learning/HR with their sales goals. When this alignment is made, the sales organization can easily identify content and assets that will help support their sales team.

Next, take time to organize. KZO’s team can help you to take large pieces of content and create them into bite-size modules that are perfect for your on-the-go salespeople. We can also help you tag content so that your team won’t waste a second when searching for a best practice.

Finally, set goals. You want to engage your teams such that they keep coming back to learn, practice, and try new things. We encourage some designed activities and immediate feedback in the early stages to get the team excited about the possibilities. After the initial period, teams begin to collaborate and the platform becomes rich with new content and communication.

Nancy: What are some good resources if someone wanted to learn what questions to ask, what others are doing, and purchase considerations?

Brad: You can find a number of great resources on our site at www.kzosales.com. However, we really enjoy talking to prospects about their needs and requirement. We are happy to put like-minded customers in contact with each other to learn about their successes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Happy New Year!

The start of a new year means a lot of different things to people, for some it’s the time to exercise more, eat healthier, read more, text less, and be happier. For sales teams, it’s both a time of endings as well as beginnings. Closing out the year in sales means getting those last minute deals in and determining which reps will come out on top and make it to club. The turnover to a new year means sales teams get to reflect and celebrate the successes of the last year as well as analyze the misses.

For many companies, if sales leadership and sales operations have been somewhat on schedule, the new year also means the start of the new AOP (annual operating plan). Likely countless weeks have been spent developing the sales operating plan. New targets, new headcount, productivity assumptions, and many more components should have been factored into the plan.

The problem is, once the new year starts 9 out of 10 companies put their Sales AOP away until it is time to plan for the next year, meaning that they are not validating their assumptions, measuring their success against the plan, or adjusting or replanning for the current year as conditions change, or simply put, as “life changes.”

Progressive companies have seen the need and have moved to the continuous planning. Continuous planning accounts for real time updates to the business – what sold, who got hired, who quit etc. which all affect your ability to achieve this year’s targets. The sooner you can adjust your plan to accommodate for deviations, the better your chance of mitigating the risk of missing those targets.

Continuous planning delivers many benefits, but here are the top 3 reasons why sales leaders need to consider a continuous planning approach today:

Real-time Visibility into Your Sales Team’s Performance

Although pipeline and quota achievement rates are some of the best indicators of future success, sales leaders seldom look at how well their team is performing against how they expected them to perform at the beginning of the year, and how their performance will impact the rest of the year. You may not think it was a big deal that your best rep didn’t make his/her quota this month, but what if he/she doesn’t make it up next month? And what are the implications if two reps missed their quotas by a long shot? By comparing your actuals to plan on a monthly or weekly basis, you can see any deviations to your plan including ramp time, hiring time and quota achievement, which are all factors that impact your ability to achieve your goals. Continuous planning allows you to take a step back from your CRM and really see the impact that your team’s current and future performance have on your ability to hit your targets.

Strategy Adjustments

Let’s face it, things rarely ever go according to plan, so when you hit those bumps in the road, you need to know how they affect your ability to make your sales goals, and what you can do about it at any given moment in time. Monitoring and adjusting your plan frequently will allow you to do so, plus it provides you insights so you can course-correct, make adjustments, and stay on track to hit your targets. Just to be clear, adjusting your plan doesn’t mean moving your targets, but rather its meant to uncover ways in which you can modify your plan to hit those targets. For example, if you unexpectedly lose your best Inside Rep, you may have to pause on hiring an Account Executive to back fill the role, or depending on your ramp rates, and actual quota achievement rates it might be more beneficial to hire two inside reps instead. Continuous planning provides you with a way to change direction when wrenches are thrown in your original plan.

Business Growth

Once you’ve gotten used to monitoring and adjusting your plan on a consistent basis, you’ll be able to not only mitigate risks, but also be able to identify opportunities for growth and improvement. The data you’ll uncover by continuous planning will not only help to show you ways to hit your targets for the next month/ quarter/ year, but also provide you trends and more accurate assumptions for the future.

The best sales and sales operations leaders know that their business is fluid and to be successful they need to be able to make course-corrections adjustments at any time. By adopting a continuous planning methodology it allows their tools and plans to be as dynamic as their business.

This week’s post is by guest author Jon Kondo, CEO and Co-founder of OpsPanda. OpsPanda’s Sales Resource and Capacity Planning application helps sales leaders build detailed hiring and capacity plans, analyze sales performance, and set achievable sales quotas to reach their booking targets.

Follow him on Twitter.

And Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Get Grow and Retain Key Accounts with Revegy - YouTube
Revegy gives enterprise sales organizations the tools needed to get, grow and retain deals from your large accounts. Revegy works with any CRM to give you a deeper understanding of the customer’s business and a way to plan and execute your sales strategy.

Visit Revegy

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview