Time to Step Up Your Sales Game: 6 Ways Predictive Sales Can Help

By November 30, 2016
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Have you ever had a conversation about technology with a sales rep that’s stubborn to change? Maybe your conversation with him sounded something like this—“Let’s get one thing clear…I am a really good sales person! I don’t need any predictive mumbo-jumbo, data science, or super secret insights to close more deals…just give me my phone and a desk!”

Salespeople are often cavalier, strong minded, stubborn, traditional, and even anti-establishment sometimes. We don’t want help! Sales reps are often the lone wolves of the organization—they think that the last thing they need is a technology gizmo to help them be more effective or efficient.

If you are a sales rep and these thoughts have ever crossed your mind, let me stop you right there, and say one thing…you, my friend, are wrong! Dead wrong!  In this post, I will explain why you and your sales team need a predictive solution ASAP.

I’ve worked in sales for over 20 years. In my time, there have been many strategies, tools, and processes for sales, but there has never been that one thing that makes a spark big enough to really create a major lift or impact. Sales strategies, new CRM plugins, even most prospecting tools just don’t get it done.

Predictive sales technologies, however, are the real deal. If you can find the right tool, you will see a stronger pipeline, faster conversions, less effort, and more reward in your day-to-day sales processes.

How? Let me explain. As a sales pro, we care about a few common things. I think these five pretty much sum those things up. In this section, I’ll go into how predictive helps you step your game up in each of the following areas.

Sales people desire to:

  1. Be as efficient as possible
  2. Be as effective as possible
  3. Work with accurate data
  4. Align with their SDRs
  5. Focus on the Right Accounts

1. Be as Efficient as Possible

As a sales rep, we often think we know “where to fish” for the best accounts. But databases are huge, our time is valuable, and prospects only respond to thoughtful, relevant outreach these days. You can’t just cast a wide net anymore. You have to be more efficient with your time.

Predictive helps you prioritize your time based on the accounts that are most similar to your best customers, or your most recent group of closed deals. It also tells you why they’re similar based on deep data, so you can have a better conversation right off the bat. This is huge for speeding up relationship building and time-to-close.

2. Be as Effective as Possible

As you continue to work these best-fit accounts, it helps to know key info the company and key decision makers.

Sales reps get bogged down searching for relevant information when going after a new account. News about the org, news about the contact, the technology the team is using, recent hires, funding, etc—all of this is useful info, but all of this takes a while to gather. Using predictive insights, you can get that information right into your CRM, as opposed to looking at 30 different sources prior to each call. Predictive insights can also bubble up similar companies you are already working with, so you have a better idea of what messaging will resonate.

3. Work with Accurate Data

In sales, accurate data means the difference between a smooth outreach process and wasting hours finding the basic details that should already be in your CRM. Phone numbers, titles, and email addresses are key elements to any effective sales outreach. Because predictive technology hinges on accurate and comprehensive data, you should be able to enrich your data easily with a relationship with a quality predictive vendor. Out of date contact information can destroy sales velocity. With basic integrations, these data fields can be updated easily.

4. Align with Your SDRs

As an Account Executive, it is crucial that the SDRs helping me work accounts are focusing on the right accounts. With a predictive technology, I know we are working with the same predictive score to prioritize our time and efforts. Because we are on the same page on that front, I can shift the conversation to strategic outreach to these accounts based on regional event, marketing campaigns, product launches, etc.

5. Focus on the Right Accounts

If you’re looking to do an Account-Based Marketing and/or Account-Based Sales strategy, predictive plays an essential part in identifying the account you’re going after. Using a predictive marketing technology enables you to have a data-driven approach to your account selection. By using advanced machine learning and AI, predictive marketing provides you with the ability to crunch millions of data signals in order to select target accounts based on more than just best-guesses.

A predictive technology has access to tens of thousands of data points about millions of viable companies you may be able to sell into. Not only does predictive track some of the demographic and firmographic data at the most basic level, but it also looks at pieces of data like hiring trends, funding news, marketing maturity, and more that I mentioned before. That insight enables you to have a much clearer picture of what accounts you should target and why.

Using data and predictive technology can make you a better, more successful salesperson—faster.  Even the best sales reps can benefit from it, and save you a lot of time during the process. If you found this helpful, be sure to follow me @thegreggeorge for more sales tech content.

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