Selling is definitely an art. However, there are certain areas of a sales organization that actually run better when you add an element of science to the mix.
Coaching and Sales Management
First, consider coaching and sales management. Although these areas of the sales organization are not often associated with science, I’ve seen many sales teams leverage C9’s predictive-sales applications to make coaching much easier. That’s because C9 offers a single view of sales opportunities, which allows managers to evaluate salespeople easily and accurately. In C9, you can see clearly whether or not reps
- Have a high sales velocity,
- Are more conservative about their number,
- Have “happy ears” and waste time on bad sales opportunities,
- Finish every quarter with a bang or a whimper,
- Sandbag their number early and then coast for the quarter.
For example, I can click on a rep to see the exact deals related to their forecast, including their notes about opportunities. If I want to look further, I can drill into it inside Salesforce to see exactly what’s going on, in real time. C9 also makes an OppScoreTM available to managers so they can see the negative and positive elements associated with the deal. You can combine these coaching cues with your sales management instincts to help you work with the rep to save or even accelerate deals to close.
In many sales organizations, forecasting is almost a completely manual process run on spreadsheets. That means that the sales leader has to chase down individual reps for information, manually merge all the data, and painstakingly validate it. When you factor in the reality that many times reps report data inconsistently in different places or change the names of opportunities, you wind up with an unwieldy mess. Again, this is an area where a shift in behavior is not likely to have a positive impact. Spreadsheets are simply cumbersome by design. And while no one likes to think they created a spreadsheet that has errors, longstanding research has indicated that 88% of all spreadsheets feature faulty calculations. Manually entering data into Excel fields cuts you off from real-time information. Automating your process with C9 Forecast gives you confidence that you’re getting accurate, up-to-date results in an efficient fashion. If you think about the last 20 years of business, the workplace has truly transformed. If you’re a sales leader, it’s your job to make sure you’re keeping up with the times and not relying on obsolete processes and tools. Introduce elements of science into your sales organization and you’ll build a solid foundation for sales success.