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Empowering Your Sales Force

Accenture research shows that companies need to re-invent their sales approach with the needs of the individual sales rep at the heart.

Empowering Your Sales Force

Digital is completely reshaping customer engagement. It’s also redefining sales organizations as they strive to fuel the growth engine by delivering an engaging experience, whenever and wherever the customer needs it, fulfilling the omni-channel promise.

Download the full report, “Empowering Your Sales Force: It’s Not Just Automation. It’s Personal.” [PDF]

Download the "Empowering Your Sales Force: It's Not Just Automation, It's Personal" Infographic [PDF]

In most organizations today there is no shortage of tools available to assist sales representatives (sales reps) in their day-to-day performance and a large majority has deployed tools across the entire sales process. However, key metrics from the Global CSO Insights: 2015 Sales Performance Optimization Study show that the number of sales reps making the quota is falling and confidence in achieving targets is low, at 60. Therefore, despite companies' broad investment in sales tools and automation, all indications are that the return on investment from these tools is falling short.

81% use tools to identify new sales leads

81%

use tools to
identify new
sales leads

80% use tools to generate proposals

80%

use tools to
generate
proposals

83% use tools for configuration, price, quote (CPQ)

83%

use tools for
configuration, price, quote
(CPQ)

77% use tools to capture signature to close deal

77%

use tools to
capture
signature
to close deal

BlockTitle

To gain deeper insights on this conundrum, Accenture conducted research with sales reps globally to examine their usage and perception of sales tools. Our research identified a significant gap in sales priorities between CSOs and the sales teams on the ground.


Top Sales Objectives


This fundamental disconnect in objectives impacts many aspects of sales operations, from goal setting and coaching to day-to-day sales activities, use of sales tools and actionable information bundling.



Challenges with sales tools


Our research further identified that, while sales force tools have evolved, bringing more features to reps, many of them see sales tools as a barrier rather than a performance enhancer, and the majority are not fully leveraging their sales tools' capabilities.

Getting Personal

Enhancing selling performance and quota attainment are strongly related to adoption and usage of sales tools in the sales process. However, it is no longer a question of sales reps being afraid of, or unfamiliar with, technology as was the case a decade ago.

Sales reps have embraced technology in their everyday lives and the use of smartphones is truly universal. Whether they are using their car navigation system, shopping online, tracking their personal fitness, posting to social media, or playing a game on their favorite app, sales reps are accustomed to intuitive and ubiquitous access with little or no need for training.

The challenge facing sales organizations is how to transform their sales force performance by making the enabling tools simple, effective, personalized and relevant to specific selling moments and the needs of the individual rep. A new approach is required to enable engaged customer conversations and enhance sales force performance, and ultimately to magnify the sales talent resident within each individual.

Download the full report, “Empowering Your Sales Force: It’s Not JUST Automation. It’s Personal.” [PDF]

Download the "Empowering Your Sales Force: It's Not JUST Automation, It's Personal" Infographic [PDF]

Sales Tools and Service Design

When designed through the eyes of the sales rep, sales tools can match the way salespeople sell and engage in the customer dialogue—they are no longer just providing features that are largely reporting and tracking focused.

Accenture believes there are three key dimensions to transforming organizations’ approach to tools to put salespeople first and increase adoption:

Human-centered design to digitize the selling experience

Rather than taking a traditional management-focused or technology-centered approach to tool development, design is tailored to the services provided by the salesperson and the needs of reps as they engage with customers.

Identifying and prioritizing data

With volumes of data available, organizations need a method of identifying and making available the data that is most useful in the context of a particular selling engagement including highly personalized product information, customer data, and recommendations.

Building personalized guided selling platforms

Supporting personalized guided selling requires a migration toward digital platforms that are adaptable to different devices, able to be deployed quickly and flexible to accommodate individual profiles. Agile and scalable platforms enable salespeople to personalize their own tools, engage with customers and influence conversations.

The Payoff

Improving sales force
performance continues to
have a strong value
proposition—delivering
5-10 percent in
sales/revenue lift.

Salespeople are motivated and excited to have enabling tools that can enhance their performance, but are looking for a pull-based tools strategy to help them in specific guided selling situations, rather than a push-based strategy. As they shift focus away from sales transactions to building long-term, loyal customer relationships, reps want tools that facilitate and influence the personalized interactions they have with their customers.

By rethinking the organization’s approach from the needs of the individual sales rep, tools become engaging, which can increase rep productivity and success, which, in turn, helps to drive greater and more efficient revenue generation for the business.

For information on our methodology for this report, please download the PDF and refer to page 6.

Connect With Us

For a deeper discussion on Accenture’s digital sales research and how to help empower your sales force, contact:


José Gonçalves
Managing Director and Global Digital
Sales Lead, Accenture Interactive


Naveen Jain
Managing Director,
Accenture Interactive


Christine Connor
Managing Director,
Accenture Interactive

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