By Rajesh Sabhlok, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Vymo
Sales is multi-dimensional and experts have always debated on how much of it is art, with dependency on the skills of a salesperson; and/or science, backed by processes, which, when properly executed, would almost always guarantee the desired outcomes.
As the economic landscape evolves and the regulatory environment shifts: business models, customer engagement strategies and go-to-market strategies are evolving hand-in-hand to keep pace. It is only organic that the role of the salesperson evolves in line with these changes.
Let’s explore the changing role of a salesperson in the banking and finance industry.
Data dump, no. Insightful data, yes.
As sales teams work remotely and interact virtually, tools and technology have become key enablers of success for sales teams, and this is where the art of sales needs to be backed by science. CRMs will play a vital role in optimising the outcome of sales efforts by using scientific data models that could help predict the actions that sales representatives should take on an identified set of customers to ensure higher conversion.
According to a Teradata report on “State of Artificial Intelligence for Enterprises”, 80% of CRM vendors are in the process of implementing some form of AI in their organization. Conventional CRMs are capable of informing the sales managers and leaders about numbers, leads, funnels, the performance of various sales team members, goals achieved or percentages yet to be achieved, etc. But the system is not designed to provide visibility into the reasons that cause performance variations among team members despite all of them having access to the same technology and resources.
But now, with Machine Learning and AI-driven approaches, CRM technologies can address these challenges. It is not only possible to record data, but also identify critical behaviors that underpin success – the thumbprint of success and share these critical best practices in a contextual manner to help institutionalise the learnings and thereby improve the overall productivity of the broader sales teams.
According to the 2021 Gartner Market Guide for Sales Engagement Applications, “Sales engagement applications accelerate how sales teams execute multichannel, multitouch engagement at scale and facilitate CRM/SFA adoption. They simplify seller workflows for engaging prospects and customers by coordinating the use of engagement channels (e.g., email, voice, SMS, social media) through a single console. Sellers rely on the technology for guidance into which accounts or contacts to engage, when to engage them and what messaging to use. These solutions result in more efficient and productive sellers.”
Science + Art + Sales Engagement = Future Sales
The next decade will belong to companies that invest in sales engagement platforms to help their sellers become more effective, efficient, and productive as indicated by Gartner in their Market Guide. This is about marrying the “Science” of sales [What should a salesperson do and when?] with the “Art” of Selling, by using powerful, digital sales engagement platforms that understand, curate, drive and institutionalise best-practice behaviours [How should a salesperson act on what he is supposed to do?]. This coalition creates a framework for building high-performance and successful sales teams.
Companies do not have a choice around whether or not to invest in a sales engagement platform. It is only a question of when.