Sales Call Planning: Isn’t there an easy button? (Part 2)

January 17, 2017

In last Thursday’s post, we discussed how pre-call research can eat up a sales person’s time that might be otherwise spent in front of customers. 

The more efficient we can make each and every sales rep, the better. If we, as sales managers, can empower them with the right information, each individual’s inherent and developed skillset can take over. They can stop rifling and sifting through reports and get back to what they do best – selling.

In my current role in business development, I am mostly focused on how to gain new business. In the past several months, as I plan for next year, I have looked into several solutions trying to find tools to make my team more efficient; pointing them in the direction of the appropriate companies, providing company-level insights about why our products are needed, quickly finding the appropriate contacts within a target company, creating talking points to quickly relate to the person they are speaking with, putting an easy-to-follow process in place so they can easily guide prospects through how they might utilize the solutions.

What I’ve learned is that many companies have tackled different parts of this with their own version of artificial intelligence (AI.) There are data providers that serve up relevant content based on contact and company. There are countless tools under the moniker of “sales enablement” that promise to make our lives easier. Unfortunately, I never found my easy button for prospecting new business.

However, the story is quite different for the industrial B2B companies that we serve at Zilliant. Essentially, we can increase the efficiency of sales reps and therefore the revenue they are able to generate from their existing customer base. We use historic data (with a lot of science and AI behind the scenes) to simply and seamlessly deliver the three most important decisions that a sales rep faces each and every day: Which customers to call on, what products to sell and what prices to quote.

For example, in a simple email format, or integrated into your current CRM, ERP or homegrown system, sales reps can immediately see the answers to the questions they spend so much time researching, such as:

  • Has purchase volume dipped on any products?
  • Am I currently losing business with this customer?
  • What additional products might this customer be interested in?
  • Where are my opportunities for upsell?
  • What should I offer that I have not before?
  • What should price should I quote with respect to purchase volume, product hierarchy, regional dynamics, competitive intrusions, and more?

With these answers at hand, sales reps don’t have to waste countless hours before they actually speak with their customers. They are empowered to be more efficient, and effective, at doing what they do best – selling!

Read more in this case study: The Reality of an Intelligent Sales Technology

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