In a recent interview on Andy Paul’s Accelerate! podcast, ClearSlide SVP of Sales and Services Jeff Schmidt said he commonly sees sellers in one place and buyers in another. How can reps keep a better pulse on buyer interest? And how can leaders get better insight to forecast more accurately? Schmidt says the key to solving many of the biggest challenges modern sales teams face is leveraging engagement data.
- Make your meetings as good as your prospecting
Reps are accustomed to sending out hundreds or thousands of prospecting emails per week, but when it comes time to actually have a meeting, they lose confidence. The key to approaching meetings with confidence is 1) knowing what the buyer is interested in, 2) having the right content at your fingertips, and 3) being able to conduct your agenda in a way that moves the sales process forward. By using engagement data, you can see how prospects are engaging with your content on a slide-by-slide level — so when it comes time to have a dialogue with them, you focus on their interests and keep the sales process moving.
- Align the sales process with the buyer’s journey
One of the biggest external challenges reps and leaders face is aligning the buying and selling processes effectively — knowing where the customer is, and what they need next. Early on in the sales process, buyers are often much further in their process than reps think. Then, reps sprint to catch up, and blow right past the buyer — bringing up pricing and pushing to close before the transaction is anywhere near ready. Engagement data can help reps stay better aligned with buyers, identify key decision makers, and keep deals on track.
- Move from ‘hopecasting’ to forecasting
Research by Accenture has found that 75% of forecasted deals never close. Misalignment between the buying and selling processes and poor insight into rep activity mean leaders don’t have a good sense of where deals stand and the forecasting process has really degenerated into “hope-casting.” Rep-reported CRM data often lacks the detail leaders need for effective forecasting and coaching. Is the rep engaging effectively with buyers? Are they using the best content? Is engagement progressing in frequency, quality, and seniority? What are the next steps to move the process forward — and are reps executing on them? Engagement data provides leaders with rich qualitative and quantitative insights that help to answer these questions.
Listen to the full interview to hear more about how engagement data can power your sales process, keep you more closely aligned to buyers, and help deals stay on track.