Sales Beacon | Do You Need More Sales Support?
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Do You Need More Sales Support?

Sales leaders and their teams need to be alert to spot trends and prepare for change.

The dynamics of B2B sales interactions are rapidly changing and evolving. Now, more so than ever, sales leaders and their teams need to be alert to spot trends and prepare for change.

Do you have lengthy sales cycles?

A three-month research project conducted by Aberdeen Group named “lengthening of sales cycles” as the foremost concern of sales leaders – with a 41% margin over all other pressures!

The survey asked 322 end-user organizations about their sales-effectiveness best practices. It also revealed, on average, the sales cycle for best-in-class organizations was 16% shorter than those of under-performing companies. What, exactly, is impacting sales cycles? Sales reps spending time on activities other than selling. The 2015 report, Docurated State of Sales Productivity, found sales reps spend only  39% of their time selling.

Sales organizations operate in a fast-paced environment. To stay ahead of competitors and maximize opportunities shorter, streamlined sales cycles are necessary. A shorter sales cycle means more revenue, motivated sales reps, less friction in the sales process and overall increased productivity.

  1. Do you have empowered salespeople?

The new kind of informed-and-knowledgeable buyer demands customized support and undivided attention at all stages of engagement. Nancy Bleeke, a noted Sales Enablement expert and the President and Chief Sales Officer at Sales Pro Insider, said one of the biggest challenges for sellers was ”staying relevant to meet buyers where they are at in THEIR buying process to give them what they need during the sales process so they can make a decision efficiently.” To meet this end, it is important to equip and empower sales teams with the means to support their buyers’ needs at all stages of engagement.

The Sales Acceleration Technology Market Size Study conducted by InsideSales stated that the expenditure on Sales Beacon technology by North American companies was US$12.8 billion. It is expected to increase to US$30 billion by 2017. Another report, by Forbes Insights, indicated that top-performing companies invest in technology to drive sales at a higher rate than underperforming companies. The report was based on a survey conducted by Forbes Insights in association with BrainShark, of 216 top executives from sales organizations with headquarters in the US. It also suggested that high investments have paid off – inside sales teams that spend slightly more on sales technology took 69 days to close a deal as opposed to 144 days by the outside sales team that invested less.

  1. Are you wasting time on non-selling activities?

Salespeople spend 60% of their time in creating or finding content and on administrative tasks.

Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing Inc. and recipient of Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencer award for three consecutive years, identified focus on improving sales productivity and active selling time as the two key trends, as well as challenges. The fact that sales reps spend more time on other activities than on selling has an impact not just on sales numbers but also on customer interactions. Not having enough customer face-time or customer support at every stage of engagement impacts how quickly deals close.

According to the results of a survey, conducted by CEB of more than 1,000 B2B sellers, 70.2% of sellers classified their job as “moderately to highly complex.” What makes their jobs so complex and, more importantly, what can be done to resolve it? Docurated’s report hints to the answer. Salespeople spend 60% of their time in creating or finding content and on administrative tasks such as arranging meetings and creating notes.

Sales Beacon has had the privilege of managing team initiatives for some of the world’s largest virtual and remote sales forces. Contact Sales Beacon to find out more about how to improve sales productivity.