Each member of your sales team works a little bit differently. They have their specific communication preferences, their own schedule for talking with customers and prospects, and a unique perspective on where and when to use technology during the sales process.
If the sales tools your team is using don’t fit these individual needs, then your team will probably find other, more user-friendly workarounds. That sounds fine on paper, but in practice, it can lead to lost data, a lack of transparency, and lost deals. Those tools and platforms you spent so much time (and money) selecting will end up sitting there unused.
Your reps shouldn’t have to fit their work style to match their sales applications—it should be the other way around.
Too often, sales teams find themselves settling for inefficient processes or being hampered by legacy systems. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be this way. By making intentional improvements in the four common “problem areas” listed below, your reps can close more deals, faster.
1. Sales has a transparency problem.
How much valuable sales data is floating around in your reps’ personal files, handwritten notes, or chat messages to their colleagues? While this information might be helping that individual rep do their job, it’s not helping anyone else. Ideally, this data should be captured in the specific tools and platforms designated for that purpose. So, why are reps putting it in spreadsheets or jotting it down instead? Most likely, it’s because the tool or platform they’re supposed to be using isn’t all that great.
For sales data to be available to the organization, the process and platforms for collecting that data need to be valuable to the reps themselves. Look at Gong - they’ve effectively created a single, searchable repository of sales data because reps enjoy using the tool. It helps them do their jobs more effectively, letting them review calls to see where to improve, find feature requests, and tag pre-sales engineers right there in the platform.
And as a result, their sales data goes where it can benefit the rest of the sales team and even the org as a whole.
CRM is no different. Getting the right CRM tool into your reps’ hands is a challenge, but one that can be met by answering one question: What value does CRM data entry provide to the rep? Spoiler alert: the answer doesn’t have to be rhetorical. Which leads us to our next point …
2. Poorly-designed tools hamper adoption.
Adoption plummets when sales tools are inconsistently designed or poorly integrated with other systems. The result: incomplete pipeline data that impacts every part of the business.
In successful organizations, properly implemented sales technologies share three main traits. They are:
- Designed for the end-user, with a consistent user experience
- Fully integrated with the entire sales tech stack
- Consistently adopted across the organization
Of these three, adoption is the most critical. Even poorly-implemented sales tools can yield helpful information if data is collected consistently. The first two are prereqs for adoption, and the reason is simple: tools should reduce confusion.
So ask yourself: Do your reps have a clear sense of the steps in their processes? Do they know where to go next? Clarity in user experience is non-negotiable when your users have other options, like using their own offline spreadsheets (or in the worst-case scenario, working for another company).
3. Key customer information isn’t there when your reps need it.
When the sales team doesn’t understand the customers’ pain points or where the customer is in the buying cycle, every call is a cold call.
During conversations with prospects, sales teams need to know more than their contact information or which tradeshow booths they’ve visited. To do their jobs effectively and quickly demonstrate your product’s value, reps should know the prospective company’s buying stakeholders and understand any deal-risk factors in detail.
When sales reps have all relevant information about a customer or prospect at their fingertips, they spend less time qualifying leads, engaging the wrong contacts, and preparing for sales calls. Instead, they’ll be building relationships with the people who would benefit from your products and who have the power to make a purchase decision.
Getting this comprehensive information about customers and prospects into your sales systems doesn’t just happen. It requires a digital strategy that leverages person-to-person connections and combines them with intelligent relationship management tools to turn these interactions into sales intelligence.
4. Mismatched buyer data collection and sales prospecting tools yield poor insights.
A great CRM alone doesn’t guarantee good results. Full buyer visibility requires a combination of CRM data and the insights of proven sales methodology. With both, your reps can generate actionable data and increase efficiencies across the sales organization.
To broaden your reps’ skillset, implement any best-of-breed methodology (MEDDIC, BANT, Challenger, GAP selling, JOLT effect, Force Management, etc.) and you’ll soon see improved sales results. By adding customized playbooks to your CRM, your reps will have instant access to activity checklists that let them sell — and forecast — with confidence.
But here’s the thing: implementing a methodology doesn’t just mean giving your reps a wall of text fields to fill out; you also want to optimize for insights and ensure complete data collection. That means taking your methodology and making it reportable.
Remember: Research by Gartner shows that only 24% of companies believe their sales technology implementation is optimized.
Make your tools work for your team
Giving salespeople the tools and data they need to understand their buyers doesn’t just increase the likelihood of closing a deal; it also frees up time to close more (and bigger) deals.
Your sales team deserves intuitive, frictionless, and well-designed app experiences. Once you get the right tools in their capable hands, your entire organization will see the benefits.
With Skuid's sales process excellence tool, teams can save time, maximize their sales efforts, and ultimately, close more deals. Learn more