Technology Won’t Save Your Ailing Sales Process
Companies today have a strong need for lead prioritization. While technology has certainly come a long way when it comes to lead management and prioritization, sales leaders must not rely on it alone. Smart systems can help, but they won’t save you if you have a defective sales process.
Recently I’ve had the honor of being invited to the Andy Paul “Accelerate” podcast, where I was asked how technology can help salespeople get their sales cadence just right.
What’s The Best Sales Cadence?
Sales cadence is the sequence of activities that sales reps do to contact and try to qualify a lead. Now, some companies might get 35,000 inbound leads a month, and certainly they can’t contact them all. Other companies might receive only 20 leads per month, and just give them a lot of attention. So, what to do to make sure you have the best sales cadence for your industry and for your product?
You must always figure out what your priority accounts are, your target audience, and focus on those.
It’s for each company to figure out where they are, and what to do.
Powered by Artificial Intelligence, smart lead response management systems such as Playbooks can help you work out which are the leads most likely to close.
However, there’s a debate here on what technology can do and how much it can help.
I feel like sometimes, a lot of leaders will rely on technology and innovation as a crutch for ailing processes.
“The system will just save me – I’ll just give this to my reps and it will fix everything.”
I think this is a dangerous mindset – we can’t rely on technology alone, without attempting to fix broken processes. It will mean wasted money, and it doesn’t lead to real sales transformation that will grow revenue.
Sales Technology Can’t Help Without Sales Transformation
I often use the following analogy: if I give a weight scale to someone – yeah, it will help them lose weight. That’s what it will do. However, the scale doesn’t help anybody lose weight. It plays a role in it, but really the program around the weight scale, the whole exercise regime, in conjunction with a tool to measure progress, that’s where the power comes in.
I think a lot of times we give a tool and we say, “Oh my goodness, now our cadence is going to be fantastic,” as an example.
But a sales rep can still do whatever they want.
They may not know why they need to change the process – call more times on the same person, or email at the right time. As a result, they simply will do what they have always done. They may still just say, “You know what? I’ve tried to get this guy two or three times, it’s not working.” Then they exit him out of the cadence.
Unless you align all people, systems, and processes to reach a true digital transformation, there is no way you will be successful.
The reps need to know the ‘why’ of what they’re doing, otherwise they will just ignore the technology they have available.
Sales Coaching Is The Answer
Unless you’ve got more coaching to get an optimal sales process, these systems are not saviors. It just doesn’t work like that. Sales representatives – especially millennials – won’t adopt a technology if they don’t understand how it helps them and why they should use it. What’s in it for me – this has to be very clear to them.
XANT conducted research that shows how 8,000 companies structure their sales cadence and how they respond to leads. It showed a huge difference in how sales reps perceive their activity – versus what they are actually doing every day in the field.
It also showed that about 40 percent of leads simply aren’t contacted at all. So, what are sales reps doing with their time?
I suggest you download the Response Audit study, it’s an eye-opening piece.