It is the middle of 2021. Half of the year is in the rear-view mirror, and COVID is still looming. Your numbers are not where you want them to be, sales productivity is decreasing, your sales team is asking for help, and your revenue engine is slowing down. You are not alone if this is your current situation. It sounds like a good time to have a conversation…
Today’s buyer has more information available online to them than ever before which has greatly impacted the role of Direct Sales during the buyer’s journey. According to research from Gartner, B2B buyer interactions with Direct Sales reps now accounts for only 17% of their time. However, doing your own research is time-consuming, and it can be challenging to find the right information to make a buying decision. This means interactions with Direct Sales still matter. By turning those “interactions” into meaningful “Conversations,” Sellers can better understand the buyer’s needs and help them get the right information to make a purchasing decision. But to be productive, Sellers need access to timely information, customer insights, and effective communications tools.
Download our Conversational Commerce Guide to identify conversational solutions to challenges faced by your customers, business, and front-line sellers.
Obstacles to Having Meaningful Conversations
1. Being Busy vs. Being Productive
Being busy is a constant for Sales Teams. There is always something calling for their time. However, this does not always translate into being productive. Conversations are more productive when Sellers are meeting with qualified buyers. However, according to a recent study by Drift, SBI, and Heinz Marketing,
“Only 47% of sellers very frequently meet with qualified buyers, 34% meet just as frequently with buyers who are specifically unqualified. This not only makes sales feel like their time is being wasted, but it also slows down the entire revenue engine for a business.”
With multiple digital and self-service channels to service, sorting out qualified vs. unqualified buyers is often left up to the seller. And as you see from the survey results above, the lack of good data on how to prioritize leads is resulting in very busy but less productive sellers. However, with good data and valuable customer insights, sellers can flip from being busy to being more productive.
2. Poor data
Good data available to both sellers and buyers during the buyer journey facilitates better conversations. Poor data does just the opposite and results in conversations being reduced to interactions. Both sellers and buyers become frustrated because the information available is not helpful or customized for their needs. By removing these obstacles caused by poor data so more productive conversations can occur, your team can better service buyers and get the revenue engine going again.
3. Lack of automation and self-service processes
Let’s face it—many tasks during the buying journey are manual, repetitive, and time-consuming. Answering basic questions, filling out multiple forms, following up to schedule meetings, etc., can take away focus on more meaningful tasks such as actually selling. Automating these manual and repetitive processes can help free up time for both sellers and buyers to have more meaningful conversations. Some examples of automation that can lead to greater sales productivity include AI-enabled chatbots to answer common questions, intelligent forms to qualify leads and tools to automate the scheduling of meetings.
Drive Revenue Growth With Conversational Sales
As buyers have become more digitally savvy and sellers have adapted to new ways of reaching, selling, and servicing clients, so have the tools used to connect buyers and sellers. Conversational Sales Solutions have become a key piece of the puzzle to driving revenue growth. Removing the obstacles which negatively impact the buyer journey allows for greater engagement and opportunities for Sellers to sell and guide buyers into making better and more informed decisions.
If you have not done so already, I recommend you download the Conversational Commerce Guide to uncover potential solutions to challenges faced by your customers, business, and Front-line sellers. Also, be sure to review the latest 2021 State of Conversational Sales Report by Drift, Sales Benchmark Index, and Heinz Marketing.
Not sure where to start?
Assess your company using SBI’s Revenue Growth Maturity Model. In less than 10 minutes, SBI’s RGMM can help your team identify key risks to their revenue growth across 8 areas.
Below are some additional articles on how conversations with customers are changing. Be sure to check them out as you evolve your digital selling strategy:
- 75% of Customers Message Businesses to Make a Purchase—Including Yours
- 4 Ways Inside Sales Can Enhance Customer Experience
- AI in Marketing: How and Why Your Peers Are Leveraging It