When you describe AI and how it can help optimize sales to someone, it can sound misleadingly simple: collect data, generate insights, apply them, do it again. But one thing we’ve learned in our work at Accenture is that it’s only easy if you have the right processes, tools and resources in place. Automating and optimizing new markets for sales is tricky for several reasons: first, companies are often drowning in data and knowing what is important and what isn’t is difficult; second, insights aren’t real unless they’re actionable – what is the next best step a salesperson should take to apply a given insight to a customer’s needs?

Too often, when these elements are lacking, the customer experience falls short, and one thing we’ve learned is that the customer experience is paramount for success.

But the seller experience is also essential and looking after that helps ensure the accompanying customer experience is the best it can be. The goal is to let the tech do its work in the background, away from customer focus, and use its insights to boost sales storytelling. When sellers are telling relevant, compelling stories, it creates a better buyer experience.

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Learn how focusing on future-ready sales helps one of our largest clients seize new opportunities

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Why the seller experience is important

Without an amazing seller experience, your salespeople will fall short in engaging with your customers – they’re not going to convey the passion behind your product that will get potential buyers excited. And unhappy or unsatisfied sellers can translate to unhappy or unsatisfied customers. In addition, a bad seller experience can lower revenue because sellers don’t have the information they need to be as successful at closing deals. And if your sellers aren’t successful, they may get disheartened and leave the company, leading to increased costs for hiring and training new employees, and ultimately lower revenue.

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Learn how Accenture’s Mia, AI for smarter selling, helps you have better sales conversations and customer relationships.

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Three ways to ensure a superior seller experience. 

How do you set your salespeople up for success in engaging with customers and guarantee a superior, frictionless customer experience? There are three key ways to do so:

1. Sellers benefit from a low- or no-touch experience with customers – This is a mantra at Cisco, a client for whom we helped develop an entirely new GTM strategy targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). At Cisco, which traditionally has focused on large company customers, a given sales manager might have around ten main clients to cater to. Obviously, there are millions upon millions of small businesses throughout the world, so they needed to help salespeople reach that larger number, and in a low- or no-touch way. Here, technology helps simplify the selling experience, identifying the customers who are best for a low- or no-touch approach versus those you should be contacted more directly.

2. Data must be actionable – To help achieve a low- or no-touch, seamless seller experience, salespeople must be provided with actionable insights. With so many customers to reach, salespeople must be highly selective and targeted in their outreach to maximize efficiency. We helped Cisco determine how to prioritize outreach based on specific, actionable insights by asking questions like: What will be the most likely solution the customer will need from us next? In some territories, for example, we determined that security solutions should be in huge demand. So we gathered data on which customers had purchased other solutions – like routers or switches – but not security, knowing these potential buyers would be receptive to a specific security sales pitch. We priced solutions that sellers can go to these buyers with, to create very specific demand generation activities to capture this market.

3. Create a feedback loop for sellers – Once sellers gather feedback from a customer based on the specific sales pitch delivered, it’s essential for them to literally feed that information back into the AI brain so it can get smarter. The AI then helps evolve the story and allows sellers to upgrade their storytelling in ever more nuanced ways to reach potential buyers.

Ultimately, fine-tuning AI in these ways frees up sellers to focus on the most lucrative potential deals, and at scale. This in turn helps ensure a superior seller AND buyer experience.

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Shannon Copeland

Managing Director – Accenture Operations, Digital Inside Sales Innovation Lead

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