You should know how often your reps are communicating with buyers
Buyer engagement is critical during the buyer’s journey in order to have the outcome you are looking for. The buyers journey is a framework that buyers go through before selecting vendors and can be broken into three main sections – discovery, consideration and decision.
As companies get larger, the buyer turns into a buying team and that becomes ever-more complex with the size of the company, size of the deal and the number of areas within the company where your solution brings value. Now, the buying team has to move through the buyer’s journey. And you if you are a company with multiple sales people that support large portfolios of solutions, how do you know who’s engaged with whom?
Throughout all the complexity of the buying team, the steps through the buyer’s journey and the complexity of the seller organization, a sales leader should know whether their reps are engaging the buyers or even if they have the right buyers engaged (will get to the latter on another blog post). But for now, let’s focus on a few ways a sales leader can easily see who is communicating with the client
One seller to many buyers (buying team).
If you have one seller assigned to an account(s) and they are solely responsible for the entire engagement without anyone else from your company being involved, then you fit into this category. They may build a relationship with a buyer, influencer, sponsor or friend at first and as time progresses the relationships expand. This is great, but what if the communications slow down with a particular person on the buying team? What if too much time has passed since they last understood the procurement process? At a glance, you should be able to see the communication lines between the sales rep and the buying team. You should be able to determine who the sellers are engaged with and how often. You should be able to visualize what material the buyer is engaging with and the last time there was communication between them. Not only that, but what about using analytics to help prioritize these interactions for your reps? Let’s continue.
Multiple sellers to many buyers (buying team).
If you are a large organization, with large sales teams and/or a large portfolio supported by multiple people, the same thing happens as a above. Relationships get formed they expand and before you know it the lines of communication between companies looks like spaghetti. Who from the sales team is talking to the buying team? Is the right subject matter expert engaged and with whom are they talking? Wait, why is that individual in software development talking to my client? Did you know about that? Lots of questions can get answered when you can easily glance at the visuals of the communication lines between the sales team and buying team. This becomes a critical view, no pun intended, of the situation of the opportunity and can help determine the health, probability and I will venture to say the reality of the opportunity and its progression.
Critical qualification step of seller to buyer(s) before probability of sale increases.
Here, we look at critical steps required in the sales process by the selling organization that must take place in order to move the deal forward. In other words, my software architect must meet with the CTO or head of IT in order to ensure successful integration before the deal can be put into the forecast. Can you tell if the step has occurred on a first visual glance of the opportunity? Is your rep delayed in updating the notes in CRM, or did that step not take place this week? This gives the visibility to the sales leaders on the activity of the reps with the extended selling team and the engagement they are having with the buying team.
Put a little Accent Technologies in your CRM and you can easily achieve any of these answers to the questions by simply looking at visuals on the opportunity page. Accent captures data from all sorts of places and puts it into its analytics engine and then gives you in context visualization of the communications happening in your opportunity without any more data input by the reps. That’s right, they don’t actually have to log all those calls, emails, answers, we can do it for you automatically.
As a rep, you get to see who on the sales team is communicating with the buying team and what they are discussing so you can more effectively engage with the buying team. As a leader, you get visibility into whether the right conversations are occurring. You can also realize at a glance if there is a communication breakdown, buyer response slowdown or if you have the right subject matter expert already engaged.
Tie this back to my blog on coaching and you have 1/5th of the capability of Accent Technologies with CRM