The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. Connectivity, data, and processing power have come together to make disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence possible. While we are just scratching the surface on what we can do with AI, we’re seeing more and more companies begin to offer specialized AI applications.

Conversational AI is one type of specialized AI that has gained quite a bit of traction in recent years. What exactly is conversational AI? Some people may know it in the form of Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. While these are more commonly known use cases, conversational AI is also being leveraged by companies to optimize business processes.

A year ago today, we published the industry’s first comprehensive SalesTech landscape infographic featuring over 400+ SalesTech solutions. Fast forward to today and that number has increased by 25% to over 500 discreet sales solutions, crazy right?

Making the right sales technology purchase decisions is now less about selecting specific solutions, and more about finding the right mix of solutions based on your organizations capability gaps.

The Daily Conundrum
If you’re like most sales professionals working in today’s hyper-connected, always-on environment, you struggle on a daily basis to meet your goals. The concept of work-life balance is a dated one as we continue to raise the bar on performance and financial expectations.

This struggle is real, because essentially your salespeople are tasked with 4 jobs, each of which could be a full-time job.

game chang·er
noun
an event, idea, or technology that causes a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.
“a potential game changer that could revitalize the entire US aerospace industry”

There have never been as many game-changing sales technologies as there are today.
These game changers can help you sell more, in less time, at the right price, and with fewer salespeople. What we call the 4 Golden Goals of sales organizations.

In our 2018 Sales Tech Game-Changers series, we ask Executives several questions about how their solution can change a sales organization in a significant way.

There’s so much talk about Salespeople refusing to use sales tools. I’ve heard people reason that salespeople are lazy, that they aren’t tech savvy, that they’re stubborn. Those things may or may not be true for your sellers. Regardless, those aren’t the reasons salespeople don’t adopt tools. It’s really not complicated.

Disconnects occur when reps don’t experience value for THEMSELVES.

If reps aren’t using the tools – it’s usually one of two reasons:
1.) They don’t know how to use it effectively (and so they haven’t experienced the value)
2.) The downside of using the tool outweighs the upside ( in other words – it’s just not “worth” it for them)

As a sales leader, onboarding new hires quickly should be a top priority. Why? When your sales ramp rate is poor, it’s a huge drain on resources that can prevent you from hitting annual targets. It costs your company time and money that it could put toward new hires and increased sales.

So, how do you implement a great sales ramp rate that sets you up for success and lets your sales team soar?

1. Set clear objectives

New hires are usually keen to please. So, let them know exactly what’s expected so they have a goal to chase.

Forecasting is an evidence-based process that weights all the available evidence. The role of the forecast is to show what is probable and realistic and it should confirm that set targets are achievable. It’s often the case that targets are set ahead of time and are not supported by hard evidence e.g. this year’s target is “last year + 10% because we feel good about the business and have some evidence of increased demand.”

The forecast should be built using analytics rather than being a simple extrapolation of what’s in the pipeline. Analytics is used to interpret the opportunities, apply weighting based on historical data, and with this approach a more accurate and considered forecast is produced.

A dozen years ago, if you asked the average sales leader about their sales enablement strategy, the likely response would’ve been, “Huh?”

It’s not as if companies in years past weren’t training and enabling their sales forces; it’s just that the term “enablement” wasn’t yet a common part of the B2B sales lexicon. (Then again, back then most people didn’t know what YouTube was either.)

Flash forward to the present, and the number of companies with dedicated sales enablement functions has more than tripled since 2013, reports CSO Insights.

The Sales Signals We’re Ignoring Could Be Worth Millions

We’ve all heard the line, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It typically leads to discussion on observations and perception, and the idea that if something is not heard, is it even there? 

Now, let’s apply it to sales. “If data about your customers and prospects isn’t entered into your CRM, does it even exist?”

I asked this question recently to a handful of sales executives and the answer was “we have mandated that all info needs to be entered into the CRM, but quite frankly, the reps aren’t doing it.”