Struggling to Sell? Bring Sales Intelligence to the Fore

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Sales intelligence software, like a trusted golf caddy, not only provides the support you need but also improves performance. Here's how.

Golf is a tricky game: greens are unpredictable, bunkers are commonplace, and heaven forbid if it’s windy. Holes-in-one are rare and that makes for a lot of walking.

Having someone to carry your bags, work out yardage, and simply rely on (like the professionals) would make all the difference in the world.

Now imagine if you could get something similar in the workplace. Like your trusty golf caddy, sales intelligence technology can carry your weight, work out your calculations and transform your company’s sales revenues. Here’s how.

Related Article: Have a Good Sales Team? Here’s How to Build a Great One!

It Never Leave Your Side

Your caddy is the most reliable and informed person on the golf course and the right technology can perform the same function. Clients and prospects don’t like to be treated as though they’re one of several hundred identical opportunities: they want to feel like your first and only priority. The trouble is, they aren’t your first and only priority, and they are, in fact, one of several opportunities. On some level, both parties know this – the trick is to fake it effectively. This is very much easier said than done.

Technology can make all the difference. Where your average salesperson ‘out in the wild’ is typically stuck relying on their wits and what they can remember – leading to potential disaster if either fails them – a salesperson equipped with sales intelligence software is able to access all of the information they need at a moment’s notice.

If you have an internet connection, any kind of client record—meeting minutes, action points, contact details—can be summoned at a moment’s notice on a mobile application, meaning your team members will never be caught with their pants down at an inconvenient moment.

It Sees Things Before They Happen

This isn’t to say that sales intelligence is telepathic – or indeed that caddies are. But think about what a great caddy actually does. Golf courses are vast entities, and you could trek for hours and still not see the entire green.

Caddies need to know them inside out: the location of that score-wrecking (but imperceptible from a distance) pond; the bit where, if you hit the ball there, you’ll be blocked by a bunch of awkwardly-placed trees; the part of the green where the angry, violent swans live. Sometimes, if they’re familiar enough with the course, it can seem like they’ve got the second sight.

The truth is a lot simpler: over time, they’re able to become proactive rather than reactive and anticipate any potential issues, or chances for revenue increase, before they present themselves.  

Sales intelligence technology has similar potential: it takes care of problems before they become problems, and it can identify potential opportunities for sales that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

For example, if you’re running an IT accessories company, and a certain customer is purchasing a number of keyboards, sales software will identify this customer—and recommend you upsell computer mice at a reasonable discount, thereby preventing loss of possible business to competitors, and encouraging your regular buyers to think of your organization as their one-stop shop.

Related Article: Big Data is Redefining the Supply Chain: Putting Business Intelligence to Work

It Slashes Your Workload in Half

Imagine if Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy had to carry their own bags. Why don’t they? Because they would be directing energy towards things that, while necessary, contribute precisely nothing to their overall success.

If you work as a sales manager, you’re likely quite familiar with this feeling. How much time are your people wasting on essential activity that nonetheless adds zero to your eventual revenue? In some organizations, more time is devoted to these things than the actual business of generating a profit. 

Like your trusty caddy, sales intelligence software will take the strain in those areas where you need help the most. For example, spreadsheets. Sales people hate spreadsheets more than cows hate Burger King. They’re big, they’re messy, and their job is supposed to be about winning people over and getting them to buy things. The trouble, of course, is that it’s the most obvious way to keep a record of one’s customers – and it’s not their job to think of an unobvious way, so they’ll mostly just grumble their way through another Excel document rather than try to change things.

Sales intelligence software can liberate staff from the tedium of the spreadsheet, much like a caddy takes care of a professional golfer’s most tiresome needs. The right tool will be able to mine through reams and reams of data in a second – and identify interesting trends on top of that. If you’re running a swimwear company and it has identified a seasonal surge in Speedos, you’ll know what your customers are interested in buying this summer – and because you know, you’ll be able to offer it at a more competitive rate.

This will give you an unmistakeable edge over your nearest business rivals – and this, ultimately, is what separates a competent caddy from a brilliant one. Because it’s not their job to take care of the golfer’s needs: it’s their job to make the golfer stop thinking about their needs at all, to provide the support and insight they need to leave the opposition trailing behind. For salesmen, modern technology offers the same opportunity – and at a considerably lower cost than a caddy! 

 

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