Every business strives for a high-performing sales team. But over the last two decades, sales have gotten progressively more difficult. One of the major contributors to this increasing difficulty is the internet. Salespeople before the year 2000 served as gatekeepers to product knowledge, customer reviews, and the ability to purchase. No longer is this true. With the internet, and with increasingly aggressive direct-to-consumer sales strategies, companies are changing the way their organizations sell.
The biggest differentiator for high-performing sales teams, and high-performing teams across the enterprise, is their use of technology. Below, we have summarized the top articles from the ReFocus AI blog to help your organization become a technology-driven, high-performing sales team.
Savvy sales professionals are leaning on new digital technologies and software to gain a competitive edge. Over the last 20-years, there has been a seismic shift in the roles of sales, and how they interact with the target customer. Compared to the early 2000s, it now takes 66% longer to connect with prospects, with the average sales cycle taking 50% more time to win. To win back a competitive edge, digital transformation centering on sales is becoming more prominent.
Market changes and customer behavior are here to stay and forward-thinking companies provide an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. There are three major areas within sales that digital transformation is paying major dividends that are core to a business’s success, and even getting one of them right is a differentiating factor. However, the sales professionals that do all three well will significantly outperform their competition.
The top three reasons insurance executives don't trust their data and what organizations can do to fix it
Picture this scenario - a CEO is trying to decide whether to invest millions of dollars in a new product line. Before committing to the new product, she asks her executive team to draft a proposal for the Board of Directors on how much market share the company could gain, marketing dollars to achieve penetration, customer acquisition cost, and potential liability from the new product. Two weeks later, the executive team presents their reports to the CEO with a caveat - while they believe that the new product will be profitable, and only presents a minimal risk, they are basing their conclusion on data that is unreliable.
Making critical business decisions is hard enough. It is even more challenging when the organization does not trust its data.
The CEO now has an especially tough decision - move forward with unreliable data, or miss an important opportunity to grow the company? While this seems like a hypothetical scenario, it is very much real. In a 2017 survey of 1,300 CEOs by global consulting group KPMG, only “35 percent said they have a high level of trust in the way their organization uses data and analytics.” Over 60% of CEOs polled reported having some reservations or active mistrust in their data and analytics. Making critical business decisions is hard enough. It is even more challenging when the organization does not trust its data.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was born from a wish to simulate human intelligence. While we are still years away from completely simulating the human mind, there are specific tasks involving learning and problem solving that machines do really well, sometimes even better than humans.
In the last decade, AI has become almost ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives. Every time you search for something on Google, an AI runs in the background to give you the most relevant searches based on your location, browsing history, language, etc. in fractions of a second. The ads being shown to you on the internet, the movies and songs recommended to you on streaming services - all use AI. You cannot even imagine something as mundane as commuting from place A to place B without the use of some form of AI. Even as I am writing this, the autofill tries to make my work easier by using AI in the background.
High Performance in the 21st Century
To become truly performing, modern sales teams need to use everything at their disposal. This creates a competitive advantage that is hard for competitors to overcome. It is no longer possible to start a sales career and not use technology. Therefore, companies should spend time, effort, and capital equipping themselves or risk becoming obsolete.
Technology plays and will continue to play an outstanding role in sales. Leveraging technology helps teams move faster and change faster to stay ahead of market trends. Complementing this is the ability of companies to use their own data. When competent salespeople pair with assistive technology, from the CRM, Agency management System, or AI-powered Sales Enablement wrapper, the bottom line revenue is the biggest winner.