You’ve heard it all before and you’ve seen the stagnant stats that haven’t improved for years. In fact, Salesforce’s State of Sales 2018 Report recently revealed these findings:
- 66% of reps time is spent on non-sales activity.
- Finding the right person to contact is among the top 5 activities reps say they spend too much time on.
- 50% of sales reps feel that they spend too much time trying to find the right person to contact.
So what’s being done about it?
In efforts to make reps more efficient, you may have recently invested in sales enablement technologies ranging from content & playbook orchestration to calling and scripting technologies with plenty of niche solutions in between. Some are pretty nifty tools – but if the data your team is working with is dirty, those expensive solutions, and more importantly sales effectiveness, is compromised. Think of it like using a brand new, highly advanced mop with muddy water. No matter how fast or hard you work, the end result just can’t meet expectations. Ask your sales team what they would prefer … another tool or better data?
At LeadGenius we’ve seen progressive managers of inside sales teams and heads of sales operations collaborate with us before and after investing in sales enablement technology. They are keenly aware that getting the most out of your salestech solutions – and securing budget for others – demands close attention to data quality. Soon after the data sourcing and hygiene issue are fixed, ROI on tools, training, and teams begins to rise. Sure, it could be attributed to one of those shiny new sales enablement tools (wink, wink).
When you subscribe to sales enablement technology, you subscribe to a team responsible for maintaining the solution and releasing new features. Likewise, when you partner with a data hygiene partner, you subscribe to a team responsible for continuously cleaning and sourcing new, highly actionable data. You agree on SLAs for delivery of fresh, relevant, and accurate data, in the same way, you agree on SLAs for service and support of your sales technologies. With a data partner providing a steady stream of actionable data to your sales team, you’ll find them:
Doing more of this:
Having conversations via phone, Searching for relevant records, exhibiting hand-raising email and social channels. signals.
And doing less of this:
Appending records with job title, job function, job level,
Buyer persona data, accurate phone numbers, and emails.
Contacting people with outdated or the wrong data.
Think about all the time and effort invested in a sales rep who has just finished onboarding and is considered “fully ramped.” When you add up all the recruiting costs, salary, benefits, systems, training, travel, etc. anything you can do to optimize selling time becomes a top priority. The notion of providing them with a login to a traditional bulk data subscription is only slightly better than giving them the yellow pages. Sure, they can search through the data themselves, reconcile against what may already be in the CRM and polish up any missing data, but even if that was the best use of their time, accuracy needs to factored. Questions need to be answered like: Is there a QA process in place for the data they are entering into the CRM? What is the customer experience like if the data is incorrect? How will it affect the ROI of marketing campaigns — and investments made in sales enablement technologies?
Unless transactional in nature, most B2B sales will continue to be defined by long complex sales cycles, requiring large investments in human capital. Instead of searching for and scrubbing data, reps need to act quickly on ever-changing data faster than the competition so they can shape conversations in their favor earlier. They can do this far more efficiently with custom-curated, human-validated data provided just in time by a consultative data orchestration partner.
Trained and accomplished reps seek environments where they can work efficiently with accurate data towards achievable revenue goals. They also like to work in clean office environments which is why you’ve outsourced your janitorial services to experts instead of having janitors on the payroll. Sure, you could have sales reps chip in and clean the office … but is that really the best use of their time?