Upskilling, new forecasting methods and increased focus on DEI: New

By Will Corey
On June 30, 2022
Advertising, business

Melton Littlepage, Chief Marketing Officer Outreach

The epidemic changes the way we work in flexible ways of working from an office-centric culture. While these changes present challenges in the short term, they provide insights into the kinds of practices that innovative sales leaders must take to stay ahead of the competition.

Today, businesses face many challenges. Consumers are changing purchasing habits, the global supply chain is in crisis and the great resignation is leading to a smoky battle for talent. In the B2B buying and selling world, these challenges are integrated against technological innovation, massive demographic change and rapid sales technology integration. Against this background, sales leaders are acknowledging that their world is changing and adopting new strategies to set up their firms for short- and long-term profits.

Recycling sales representatives and sales leaders

The choices and behaviors of business buyers are changing so fast that sales professionals now need new and extensive skills. According to a recent Forrester survey, sales representatives need to have technology and data fluency, the ability to interact with data and insights, the ability to be creative problem solvers and build strong relationships. This is in stark contrast to the classic trope of salespeople focusing on hitting their targets with little or no concern for their clients.

As customer and employee expectations develop, it becomes increasingly difficult for sales representatives, managers and leaders to develop all the skills necessary for their success. As a result, companies plan to invest or invest in in-house sales training for their managers (85%) and sales representatives (89%). According to the same survey, companies are also investing in sales capability training for their managers (73%) and sales representatives (75%). All of this upskilling means that sales representatives are spending time away from securing deals. To ensure that they can meet their goals on the scale and speed of the post-epidemic world, they need access to the right tools and the right data about their potential habits, interests and preferences. This will enable sales representatives to use empathy to engage with their prospects – effectively moving from a salesperson to a trusted advisor position.

Implement accurate and efficient forecasting methods

In an environment where instability is the norm rather than the exception, sales leaders are under pressure to make their predictions accurate. This is a challenge for most of them. According to Forrester, about 60% of sales leaders say they do not have a well-defined or scientific method for forecasting. Thich leads to the wrong plan based on gut feelings rather than evidence. As a result, sales leaders struggle to plan workloads, sales cycles, and revenue – and engage in meaningful conversations with their leadership team and board of directors about the company’s revenue.

This is due to the lack of digital transformation in the sales industry: where marketing, finance and operations have long applied digital tools and automation to manage significant parts of their work, many sales teams still rely on the little black book of communication and when each sales cycle ends. About salesman’s idea. In a post-epidemic world where competition is fiercer than ever, and budgets are more limited, sales leaders need a forecasting platform that collects data and integrates insights in real-time. This allows them to gain accurate visibility on transactions, pipelines, forecasts and one-moment notices.

To make the sales industry more diverse and inclusive

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are becoming an organization-wide priority – and for good reason. According to a recent Deloitte Insight survey, more than half of consumers are loyal to the brand who are committed to eliminating social inequality in their actions; And the same proportion of executives believe that the company’s objectives dictate their corporate social responsibility investment strategy and employee decision-making.

Sales Leaders Agree: 67% of sales leaders believe that diversity in their sales team is important, and hiring and retaining a diverse sales team is key to their organization’s success. Vendors often consider a company to be the first point of contact, firms must commit to DE&I or risk losing revenue and talent. Top performers looking for a new role are more likely to apply for companies whose purpose is aligned with them. For employers, this can serve as a good way to retain employees and avoid hiring in a market that is strongly oblique to employees. Simply put, companies can’t afford to wait until they lose deals and talent to prioritize DE&I within their sales organization.

However, the core of any DE&I policy needs to be at the core of practical action. This is why Outreach recently introduced a new policy to support its employees who prefer to go through the gender reassignment process, both emotionally and financially; Why it is committed that its staff base in each office location will reflect the diversity of the local population; And that’s why it decided to open its new office in Atlanta to increase access to a powerful, diverse talent pool.

Key Takeaways

Sales have a mix of science and art and always will. In the hybrid world of buying and selling, vendors need to have advanced skills at the top level in order to stay ahead of the competition. Sales leaders who are embracing new technologies and adapting old ways to a new sales landscape are in the best position to win new clients and avoid lagging behind.

To stay ahead, sales leaders must double the training of sales representatives and managers; Make sure you have the right tools, data sets and insights; And implement DE&I policies to retain employees, attract new talent, and win new deals.


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