eCommerce! Self-service! The Amazon Effect!
These trends grab the big headlines, and they are all important, but we must not forget about the significance of the sales rep. Sellers in the field remain critical to a winning B2B customer experience.
“Things have changed, but they’ve also stayed the same. What I mean by that is that people still buy people, they don’t buy product. As we transform businesses into this new digital world, we also have to keep focus on the customer experience and making sure that our people are always at the forefront.”
So says Kerry Hudson, vice president of North America sales at Conga, on the latest episode of B2B Reimagined. Kerry has a unique perspective into how the sales role is evolving, as she leads a commercial sales team that offers sales and revenue operations products to its customers. She not only provides sales solutions to the market, but she also lives and breathes them each day as the leader of a large team of sellers.
“We consider ourselves ‘customer zero’,” she says.
We wanted to discuss sales solutions today because the job has only gotten more difficult for field sellers and their managers due to those aforementioned macro trends, as well as the so-called “great resignation” that is affecting businesses everywhere.
Veteran sales reps have had to shift their mentality to best support customers in an omnichannel environment. Meanwhile, many reps – young and older – are leaving their jobs at a higher rate than we’ve seen in decades. This puts a huge strain on sales managers, who are scrambling to backfill positions and ensure newly hired people are equipped to both hit their numbers and foster strong customer relationships. What often happens, if the processes and tools are not in place, is the people suffer – meaning the employee and customer experience wanes.
“(It’s important to) focus on your people, both new and tenured employees, and help them ramp so you really can create that polished customer experience,” said Hudson. “And making sure you have continuity all the way through your processes, so if you do have attrition, that you’re able to ensure that you still have that positive experience.”
Meeting those customer needs starts with gaining a clear understanding of your pricing strategy. It’s why the partnership between Zilliant and Conga is a fruitful one for joint customers. Zilliant-optimized prices are dynamically delivered into Conga CPQ, ensuring reps have market-aligned, consistent prices on hand at the time of quote, regardless of the complexity of any given deal.
“The partnership is a great marriage between the back office and front office,” said Hudson. “By bringing these together, we’re removing friction in the sale and creating a seamless market experience.