Sales organizations are struggling in the new digital world. Approaches that worked for decades are no longer effective. Ironically, the same digital technologies that have upended traditional sales can help forward-thinking companies effectively reinvent their sales management approaches.
But digital alone is not the answer. Many companies have seen their digital investments fail to deliver expected results. To survive today, sales organizations need to throw out their old playbooks. Successful sales strategies today need to differentiate by providing personalized end-to-end customer experiences. This requires re-tooling the sales and entire front-office operating models. It also requires focusing digital capabilities. Companies that do this can become agile sellers and thrive.
Today’s nonstop customer journey is dynamic, accessible and continuous. Customers now control the information flow. They determine which omni-channel marketing and sales touchpoints they want to use. They are often halfway through the sales process before even interacting with a sales rep. As a result, the opportunities for sales organizations to up-sell, cross-sell and build relationships have significantly decreased, hurting revenue growth.
Many companies have, as a result, added digital sales enablement tools. But those investments have largely failed to deliver the expected results. Accenture’s research in conjunction with CSO Insights shows:
94 percent of sales executives believe that timely and accurate metrics are critical or very important to effective sales strategies.
Yet, despite investing in sales analytics, 56 percent are still not satisfied with their ability to provide valuable management insights.
48 percent of executives believe they need to maximize their sales reps’ selling time.
Instead, reps’ selling time is only 33 percent (down 8 points since 2011).
Sales organizations need to create a differentiated customer experience at every interaction. Leaders doing this:
Rethink operating models: Executives focus on creating the personal experiences that matter most to customers. They have built an operating model that crushes the silos between marketing, service and sales.
Engage the ecosystem: Leaders look beyond their own walls and tap broader dynamic sales networks. By embracing agile selling—working with intermediaries, channel partners and customers—they extend their reach, reputation, and portfolio of customer-focused solutions.
Use insights: Digital capabilities provide more data than ever before. Agile sellers harness analytics to inform their sales strategies and deliver timely, connected, and targeted insights across the sales cycle and value chain.
Pick their spots: Leaders prioritize digital investments to align with the highest value aspects of their organization’s selling/buying processes. They emphasize personalized approaches and ecosystem relationships that power the most profitable growth.