Earlier this month, the Zilliant team was out in full force in San Francisco at the world’s largest customer conference – Dreamforce. Now, we’re all back to the grindstone, helping B2B companies grow profits and sales with data-driven insights, and I’m personally fired up about one thing: Einstein!
Seeing a world-class organization like Salesforce embrace artificial intelligence (AI) is a huge validation into what we’ve been doing at Zilliant for more than 15 years – helping sellers drive more effectiveness in their work by using data to tell them the sales opportunities that are actionable right now. Unlike business-as-usual, which requires sales people to dig through reports and look at rearview, backward-looking analytics, predictive models have the power to point reps to opportunities that are most likely to result in a win.
That’s why I’m fired up about Einstein, Benioff is bringing awareness to a critical commercial issue: In order to survive, going forward, businesses (sales) must get smarter.
My favorite line of the conference was, “intelligence is the electricity of our generation.” Fantastic! It reminds me of something Steve Jobs, the master of simplifying complex ideas, would have said. Intelligence will be just as important to the world as electricity was when it was invented. And, just like that inflection point in history, there will be winners and losers. It’s Darwinism at its finest, you will get smarter and survive, or you’ll stay at status quo and get eaten alive.
Intelligence to Treat Every Customer like a Strategic One
At Zilliant, using intelligence to grow your business in a smarter way means something very specific. Think about it this way. I recently had a great conversation with the president of one of our medical consumable distribution companies. His sales team comprises about 200-300 reps, each of which has 60-100 accounts to sell, and 30,000-40,000 products to sell to those customers. Just to paint a picture of how busy these reps are, each makes about 30-50 sales calls per week. Doesn’t leave a lot of time to prepare for those meetings.
I asked the president of this company, “What makes your best reps the very best?” He replied, “My best reps have great relationships with their customers, they are viewed as a value-added partner, they plan and are prepare for each meeting, and have a clear objective for each meeting.”
Next, I said, “Now, imagine if all your sellers sold as well as the very best reps.” Every sales call was just as productive, and each customer meeting was as focused as the meetings with your very best customers.
This is where the magic of data-driven decision-making comes into play. At Zilliant, our solutions give your sellers the specific sales and pricing insights to execute each and every customer meeting like the meetings with your very best customers. Our solutions give sellers the guidance to help them maximize and optimize the value of every customer relationship. Enabling B2B sellers with this intelligence is why AI is so critical to businesses today, it’s time to get smarter and survive!