Is Your Company Prepared?

Whether your company is B2B or B2C, we cannot rely on the selling skills of the past. Companies are upgrading their websites, e-Commerce and their CRMs to improve engagement with buyers. Potential buyers are reportedly spending 70% of their time researching solutions before ever speaking to a salesperson. They potentially know more about your features and benefits than your sales teams. The power, in the buyer-seller relationship, has shifted to the buyer. Have you sales team made the shift to embrace this change or do problems exist? Read on for more background on this sales eveolution.

I speak with small business owners (SMBs) daily. They tell me of common frustrations around this new landscape: expectations, the total cost of online software, adoption, and usage. Here are three:

  • Aggravating to most SMB owners is after making a sizeable investment in a CRM, the new software remains sitting “in-the-box.” According to Steven Macdonald with SuperOffice.com. He cites Forrester Research which found 49% of CRM projects fail. And according to CSO Insights, less than 40% have full-scale end-user adoption. See Adoption-rates. Owners buy but it’s not fully used. Frustrating!
  • Confusion of what a CRM system is expected to do and a misconception of total costs. Entry level pricing will never be total costs. A research group, Capterra Research has some interesting CRM data I am sharing. In this lengthy report, of those company surveyed, 40% had switched from their original system suggesting, over time, companies outgrow or become unsatisfied for many reasons. My research suggests high on the list are a) low adoption rates, b) ineffective or no training and c) SMBs are dropping the CRMs leaders like SFDC, Microsoft, and SAP due to “cost creep” and unquantifiable value. Another reason for switching CRM platforms include; upstarts like Hubspot, Infusionsoft, and Zoho offer more value to SMBs by integrating inbound marketing and social selling within the CRM.
  • Sales people who use a traditional selling process with inbound leads will fail every time. Then how do you think this affects usage? Successful sales teams recognize inbound, and social selling requires a change in their selling process to a higher value, educational and advisory relationship rather than an intrusion question-based interaction.

Once a CRM, inbound or social selling tool is mandated the sales people are more often than not stunned. They never get an answer to: “How will this help me sell more? I was used to the old system now I have to learn this?” Does anyone in the company know enough to train or teach their team effectively? Without training and a shift to inbound selling, salespeople struggle to convert a lead to becoming a customer using old traditional sales methodologies. Therefore, who in the company will train and lead your sales team?

There is an easier way. Find a sales trainer and coach who has taught both the traditional selling process and the inbound selling method alike. Consult with or hire a sales trainer and coach who has at least 20 years’ experience in the industry. Someone who has been responsible to small business owners for training, recruiting, hiring, training and leading sales teams in the US, Europe, LATAM, and Asia. Look for someone who is certified and a student of Miller Heiman, Tommy Hopkins, Sandler and certified with inbound selling like Hubspot. Preferably someone who used and implemented ACT, Infusionsoft, and Salesforce.com as well as other platforms to create a successful sales program for his clients. What about you?

Are you using traditional (outbound) sales techniques?

Are you frustrated with your inbound sales program?

Are your salespeople succeeding or failing?

For a free, no obligation Discovery Call, contact me today!