21.06.2016

Love your breathing sales force – they deserve it!

The sales force is more important than ever
We spend a lot of time talking about marketing, as we enter a data-driven era.

At the same time the good old breathing and hardworking sales professional remains under-served with insights to improve sales force effectiveness. He has yet to benefit from the data-driven era. In particular when it comes to the B2B segment – the segment I am most familiar with.

With seemingly unlimited marketing insights and the advocated importance of social media, one wonders whether companies need sales people at all. Guess what, they are more important than ever!

In this HBR article: “The sales force is more important than ever. Regardless of which path customers take, or in which order they take them, they want to deal with people who can help them move toward a purchase decision, be the internal champion at the vendor, and bring it together for that customer. In fact, B2B buyers report that, compared to other sources of information, these interactions are the most influential in their decision making process”.

Time to bridge the marketing-sales gap
The article touches upon ‘improving coordination between sales and marketing’. I see it on a daily basis – in many companies marketing and sales are not properly aligned, often have different incentives and little understanding of each other’s challenges. With many of our (B2B) customers, we see company owners getting worried about increasing marketing costs, not yet yielding sufficient sales. They no longer want to hear about the next Top 3 things to do, they want their sales to monetize the investments made.

Indeed, what often started with the most digital savvy employee being tasked to improve the look and feel of a website, has grown into a sizeable budget spent on a variety of experiments. Leaving company owners with the uncomfortable question whether the investments made will eventually yield sales.

Towards a data-empowered sales force
Let’s put our beloved sales professionals in the spotlight. They deserve it. Because, when it comes to B2B sales, it is a very tough job indeed!

We do need data-empowered sales professionals.

And while helping them out, it is good to remember sales professionals like focus, are pragmatic, love ‘simple things’ and actionable tooling. Well targeted prospect lists of high quality for instance are crucial to conversion. If your company could also need help with that or other data tasks please feel free to contact us.

Brian Bogaerts

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