Oh, year-end analysis. How I love thee and hate thee. Let me count the ways…

This is the time of year when executives become hyper-sensitive to numbers and are asking a flurry of questions.

What revenue will we close the year with?
What was our ROI on that new tech investment?
What did we do this past year that was most effective at moving the needle?

Your prospects want to succeed as much as you do. And they want to boost their companies — and hopefully their own careers — in the process. So, if your offer will help them succeed, why wouldn’t they call you back immediately and sign now? If something’s good for you, surely you should want it!

Your prospect has a tough job. She must convince her organization and relevant stakeholders (the proverbial average of 5.5 internal stakeholders) that change is a good thing. She must build a business case and balance the cost, risk, and effort associated with that change. She must own the results post-purchase. And she must accomplish all of this while doing her day job.

The Sales analytics category has exploded in recent years, both in number and diversity.  A recent industry round-up listed 50+ providers, and the list continues to grow.  Metrics are the bedrock of any sales function (in fact, one could argue that no enterprise function is tracked, measured and analyzed more than sales!)

When your customer is ready to sign, you want to close the deal ASAP—not be slowed by a paper-based signing process. And yet that’s exactly what happens in many organizations. According to an IDC report, Bridging the Document Disconnect in Sales, although most business today is digital, 56 percent of executives still rely on paper to sign contracts and close deals.

We can immediately begin to understand and categorize how companies of different sizes, industries, sales-cycles, and sales models make use of SalesTech and how they develop their sales stack over time. 

If you want to know how your company compares to similar companies in its use of SalesTech, we ask that you go and take this survey today and to share it with others. You’ll receive a copy of the final report at no charge. You’ll also receive a participation gift (valued at $199) immediately upon completing the survey.

Sales enablement is a hot topic at the moment, and a key priority for many sales organizations. Yet, as an industry, we’re failing badly at it. According to the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, 32.7% of surveyed organizations had a sales enablement function in 2016 (up from 25.5% in 2015), but only 5.2% of surveyed companies said that sales enablement was meeting all expectations.

One reason for this failure is confusion about what exactly sales enablement should be enabling. The obvious answer to the question is that enablement should enable more winning. But what, exactly, does that entail?

When you set objectives and integrate them into your incentive plan, you change sales behavior. This is a known fact. But compensation is more than standard practice, it’s a business strategy—one that’s integral to keeping your team rowing towards a shared set of company goals.

This isn’t anything revelatory. People follow the money. But strategic and dynamic placement of these incentives is vital as compensation plans are the most concrete way to communicate what’s expected from your sales team—or any team.

Across all types of businesses, sales executives are making a difficult transition from driving an effective sales process to being effective within the customer’s buying process. SMAC, (social, mobile, analytics, cloud) has altered the traditional B2B sales engagement, empowering buyers with more information, more insights and more options than ever before. The result is B2B buyers now expect an immediate, seamless, 24/7 customer experience tailored specifically to their needs.

Recently, I did an hour and a half long demonstration of our CRM software, PipelineDeals. By all standards, software demonstrations should be short and to the point. The longer you talk through your platform, your message gets diluted, bugs inevitably crop up, and eyes (or ears) glaze over. They should most certainly NOT be an hour and a half long – that’s three times as long as my target time for most demos.

The demo drug on because the prospect kept pushing back; he was from the old-school and thought CRM software was too much work. Too much data entry, it’s a pain in the butt, and his salespeople didn’t need it! He didn’t know anyone that thought much of that new-fangled software, but his employees kept bugging him about it.