Technology drastically changed the sales world over the past 15 years. If Tommy Callahan from Tommy Boy or Ricky Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross joined your sales team today, they would quickly discover how tech evolved to influence each and every step of closing a deal—well, it might take Tommy Boy a little longer to sort things out.
The always on, interconnected web caused a complete power shift in the sales world in favor of the buyer. Before Facebook, Twitter or Yelp, sellers dominated sales—but now armed with more knowledge than ever before, buyers drive the market. Through a simple analysis of crowd-sourced, web-based content, prospects are empowered to make a decision based on praise, criticism, half-truths and all-out lies about the product or service before an initial call even takes place. Clearly buyers are using the web to their advantage, but how can sellers catch up to buyers and tap this new information exchange to close deals faster?
Today’s most effective sellers use the free information exchange to their advantage. They focus on the data exchanged through the social web, using that information to analyze buyer behavior and as a result, close more deals faster. The challenge for organizations looking to adopt this strategy is time and data management—keeping traditional data up to date can be difficult, but layering social information on top of that makes everything even more complex. Business now moves with the speed and weight of the social web, so sales professionals need to swiftly identify, understand and act on buyer behavior and data to seize sales opportunities. Knowledge is power—and the data produced by the social revolution empowers sales teams more than ever.
Follow these four steps to organize your sales team around buyer behavior: organize, capture, collaborate and optimize. By using these steps as guidelines, businesses can balance buyer interactions and better arm sales teams with the knowledge they need to always be closing.
1. Organize: Prospect information scattered in different apps doesn’t help anyone close a deal—organization goes hand-in-hand with sales enablement. Orienting sales around buyer behavior begins with providing a one-stop shop for all account, contact and sales opportunity data—and keeping it up to date is critical. This enables sales pros to easily locate, update and act on real-time behavior and eventually allows a salesperson to predict future behavior based on past experiences.
2. Capture: The most effective sales teams capture intelligence on their prospects, customers and markets to form a 360-degree view for each sales opportunity on file—and with the rise of social, for the first time companies can get closer to customers and understand them through social monitoring. During the sales process, it is important to log as much prospect information as possible. A seemingly minute detail from a tweet can be a staple of sales intelligence responsible for closing a deal.
3. Collaborate: Sales is no longer the only company contact point for customers or prospects. Customer service, marketing or operations are often the first touch point and since so many avenues lead inside an organization, sharing interactions with prospects between departments can provide priceless pieces of a puzzle that eventually leads to a sale. Overall collaboration will lead to increased business.
4. Optimize: Optimization comes as a result of sales team data collection. It’s taking the information learned during the sales process and refining messaging or changing strategies based on behaviors gleaned by sales reps. Building in requirements to meet data milestones for each prospect can help reps develop messaging and create a more accurate sales forecast. Having this information also benefits sales managers who need to gauge when an extra touch point is needed to close a deal.
Whether you’re selling brake pads like Tommy or real estate like Ricky, knowing buyer behavior and leveraging it to predict prospect actions is a crucial part of closing more deals faster. For businesses looking to make the shift to leverage buyer behavior analysis, focusing on these steps—organize, capture, collaborate and optimize—will provide a simple, easily digested and shared repository that will serve as the key to closing new business and strengthening existing partnerships.?