*As seen on Forbes.com
Rising interest rates. Looming global recession. Supply chain issues. And it is not forecasted to go away any time soon. Recent research has found that 62% of CEOS see general price inflation as a persistent or long-term issue.
Companies and their sellers are faced with less budget, more pressure.
Sales leaders still prioritize revenue growth. But the focus is on predictable and sustainable revenue, over risky strategies. 70% of sales leaders agree that their organization is currently taking fewer risks. The more conservative path looks like the reasonable direction to take in a market that is in a constant state of flux.
Top of mind, at a close second, is sales productivity. It’s no surprise when you consider the numbers. Only 46.5% of sellers reached quota in 2022. The predicted numbers for 2023 are an even tougher pill to swallow, with only 28% of sellers expected to meet or exceed quota.
What happens when sellers can’t reach their targets? They look for the door. Unrealistic sales targets are one of the top reasons for seller attrition. The turnover rate in 2022 was 1.5% higher than previous years. And 54% of sellers were actively looking for a new job.
Building and maintaining a high performing team isn’t an easy task. The cost of talent has skyrocketed, and the time it takes to hire is lengthier than ever.
Other reasons sellers are leaving? Inadequate tech tools and too much admin work. Sellers report only spending 28% of their week on productive selling tasks. The rest is mostly admin work, like data entry. There are tech solutions that automate many admin tasks. Sellers can spend more time selling, less time in spreadsheets.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Taking an innovative approach, is more critical than ever. Technology introduces much needed efficiency, improves collaboration, delivers predictable insights, and enhances agility. Many sales and ops teams are using tools, like spreadsheets, to manage complex tasks, like sales planning. The result? The complex becomes even more complex, time-consuming, and negatively affects productivity.
Technology Benefits the Entire Sales Organization
Only 28% of sales leaders are happy with the implementation of their go-to-market strategy.
What is the root of this unhappiness? Less than 25% believe they are receiving accurate sales forecasts. Nor do they feel confident in how they support successful initiatives, and their ability to quickly pivot if something isn’t working.
That’s why adopting innovations, like Augmented Intelligence (AI), is essential. AI is more accurate and efficient in delivering insights. Insights that sales leaders need to focus sales teams on hitting their targets. Take sales forecasting, for example. 84% of sales leaders report a moderate to major improvement in sales forecasting accuracy with the help of AI.
Watch this to get more insight into the best use cases for AI.
Embracing innovation benefits the sales team too. There is a positive impact on seller performance. The number of sellers hitting their numbers goes up, while attrition goes down.
Improved Use of Time
Innovative technology can prioritize which clients and prospects offer the most potential. With tech-enabled territory management, there is an expected 2-7% lift in sales. Technology can provide real-time insight into key performance metrics. Most often, you can access these insights simply in a dashboard. Not only does this provide daily motivation, but it is also a fast line of sight into the numbers. No need to search around multiple apps or spreadsheets.
Deeper Client Engagement
Admin and data-entry is taking away valuable time from developing client relationships. Technology can automate many of those cumbersome tasks. Tasks like connecting, transforming, and analyzing data.
Collaboration Across the Organization
When teams work in silos it’s reflected in the quality of customer care and in how fast deals close. Yet, teams often work from different tools, data, and priorities. Technology can align the organization by offering a transparent, real-time view into data, insights, targets, and performance.
Increased Skill, Increased Productivity
Innovative technology increases skill-building opportunities in at least two ways. First, sales leaders have more time to spend coaching sellers. With a robust solution, they will also be able to see at-a-glance how sellers are performing, and who needs extra guidance.
Do More with Less
While adopting state-of-the-art technology is proving critical – adding on more tools isn’t the answer. Sales reps use on average 10 tools to close 1 deal. It’s not only a time suck, it impacts the quality of data and insights you can gather from the tools. Quality over the quantity is the clear message here. That’s why 94% of sales organizations plan to consolidate their tech stack in the next 12 months.
Technology, when used tactfully, will introduce streamlined processes, coaching, collaboration, and agility. The elements you need for sustainable growth and a happy and productive sales team. Only 1/3 of sales organizations currently use an innovative tool like AI. However, high performing organizations are 1.9 times more likely to use AI than underperformers. What side of the stat do you want to be?
Innovation Fuels Your Predictable, Streamlined Revenue Engine
Cut down your tech stack, empower your sellers to do more, and set up your organization to be agile. Here are 4 ways an innovative all-in-on solution puts you on a path to predictable and sustainable revenue growth:
- Easily connect, transform, analyze, and automate data.
- Prioritize go-to-market resources to maximize revenue potential.
- Enable teams and improve performance with AI-driven insights at their fingertips.
- Remove friction from the sales compensation process.
Now that we’ve covered the why, it’s time to dig into the how you can put an innovative approach into action. Get your copy of Martin Fleming’s e-book Helping Leaders Drive Growth: Five Rules for Success.