“All the data you need to improve sales execution can exist in your CRM, but you must use automation and AI.” – Sam Yang in today’s Tip 1513
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Sam Yang. Sam is People.ai’s President of Field Operations, leading the company’s go-to-market efforts and driving company revenue and growth opportunities. Yang has over 20 years of experience in sales, customer success, marketing, services, support, operations, go-to-market (GTM) partnerships, and scaling GTM teams internationally. Here he is:
Sam Yang: Fellow sales leaders, we’ve all heard the concerns around quiet quitting. It’s certainly true with your sales teams. According to Gartner, nearly 90 % of reps are experiencing burnout and 54 % are actively looking for a new job. We know how time intensive and how expensive it is to replace your sales talent, especially good productive talent. So how can you prevent your top reps from leaving?
Start by helping them get more done in less time. One productivity hack I like to share with other sales leaders is automating manual data entry into CRM. It’s time-consuming and sales reps dread having to spend their time doing repetitive, low-value tasks so management can get more visibility into what they’re doing or how much traction they have on opportunities. The good news is there are tools that can automate all this data entry with more accuracy than a rep could ever do themselves while also freeing up 15-20 % of their time to focus on selling.
For example, let’s say a rep completes a Zoom meeting with a new sales prospect. Normally, they’d have to log into CRM, search for the account, create a new opportunity under that account, create a new contact, associate the contact with the opportunity, log on activity, copy and paste all their notes, and on and on and on. That’s a lot of overhead and manual data entry for one call. But what happens if they have back-to-back calls and have to work on a few urgent proposals before their next set of meetings? The rep will prioritize everything customer-related first and eventually get to manual data entry last.
During busy stretches, this means the rep could deprioritize CRM updates for days or maybe plan to do it at the end of the week. However, by that time, CRM updates are more likely to be inaccurate and incomplete. Now, while everyone may agree, this is an ideal, most don’t realize how big of a problem this really is.
For starters, the rep knows that CRM is not accurate, so they almost always create a spreadsheet to manage their own pipeline. The last thing you want are reps spending their time making incomplete updates in CRM to keep management happy while truly operating out of a personal spreadsheet.
Next, because the data in CRM is incomplete or inaccurate, management cannot accurately do a data driven forecast. Forecasting must now rely more on a manager’s gut feel to compensate for gaps in the data.
Lastly, the rest of the company cannot truly know which segments, verticals, or products are gaining traction in the market or facing headwinds. This means marketing or product cannot optimally prioritize investments to help reps close more business. Instead of struggling with these problems, by using automation and AI, many of the most important details and rep activities can be captured directly from a rep’s email inbox, or their calendar, or their Zoom recordings, all in real-time with no manual data entry. And then it can be mapped to the right contact, account, or opportunity record in your CRM, again, in real-time with no manual data entry.
Instead of buying another point solution for reps to more efficiently input data into CRM, this should all be done with automation and AI so that reps can spend their time doing what they were hired to do, sell.
So that begs the question, if reps have more time to sell, how can you help them create more pipeline and revenue?
That’s where engagement and benchmarks come into play. And this is all about making good and accurate data in your CRM more actionable to speed up and improve decision making. Now, I’ll save you from the data science deep dive, but essentially, by applying AI and machine learning models to train the accurate data sets that are now automatically pulled into CRM, insightful patterns will emerge that you can use to surface more pipeline and improve deal execution.
For instance, how many sales calls do reps have with their champions and economic buyers in closed-one opportunities? And by which sales stage should they be having those conversations? Or if reps are spending too much time with a certain account and there’s little overall pipeline, which accounts are displaying high purchase intent and deserve more rep attention? Or if existing opportunities are multi-threaded versus single-threaded, how does that impact win rates and deal sizes?
Benchmarking against KPIs like these will help you pinpoint the behaviors of top sellers so that you can coach other reps to take similar actions, thereby improving overall sales performance and retention rates. In summary, all the data you need to improve sales execution can exist in your CRM, but you must use automation and AI. This will help deliver a more rewarding, less cumbersome sales experience for your sales reps while empowering managers to make better decisions and ultimately increase more pipeline and revenue for your organization.
Scott Ingram: To connect with Sam and People.ai on LinkedIn, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1513. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!