Interview with Qstream           3/9/2016

Let’s Get Real.

In this series, we interview sales tool providers and get real about the problems they’re solving and why you should care (or not).

This week I interview Duncan Lennox, CEO of Qstream.

Nancy: I ask guests to answer the first question using what I call the “You know how…” format. Tell us, what does your solution do?

Duncan: You know how salespeople finally get a buyer’s attention and then fall back on their usual sales pitch that is likely irrelevant to the buyer? Well, the problem is that salespeople don’t necessarily have the knowledge and skills to add value to dynamic customer interactions, nor are they always aware of market changes or competitive landscape dynamics that might be influencing a buying decision.

Most of the information that sales reps receive during kick-offs, sales meetings and training is forgotten within days or weeks. It’s well documented that humans don’t retain 79% of new information. Moreover, content and other material that’s provided to sales reps is usually sitting in an email or a portal somewhere that they don’t have time to access at the moment that they have a buyer’s attention. And most likely, that information is outdated anyway. Add to this that sales managers often lack the time and skill to coach effectively, and the ability to optimize your team’s performance seems out of reach.

Qstream’s data-driven sales capabilities platform solves all that by providing sales reps with brief scenario-based challenges that helps keep relevant data fresh in their minds. In just three minutes a day, sales reps answer challenges on their smartphone, tablet or laptop and are equipped for dynamic value-added business conversations that keep pace with market changes. With Qstream, sales reps can leave the generic sales pitch behind and share insights and solutions that resonate with clients, prospects and even gatekeepers.

Nancy: That sounds like a problem worth solving (and a worthy solution). But let’s get real, sales and marketing organizations have a lot of challenges and they have to make choices about which to solve first. Why shouldn’t they continue with things the way they are if they’re getting by? What are the ramifications of not solving the problems you outlined?

Duncan: It’s true that sales organizations have a lot of challenges and priorities, but above all else (more than automating processes), leadership must ensure they have the right people on the team, capable of achieving quota. Qstream is a data-driven solution that addresses this critical priority by providing sales leadership with a powerfully simple platform clinically proven to unlock the potential of every rep and sales manager – with impact to the bottom line.

From ensuring quality client conversations and more effective and efficient coaching to correlation of sales capability metrics with CRM performance data, Qstream provides a richer, more predictive picture of the team’s readiness and ability to win – before it’s too late. Qstream is built for the way sales teams work, takes only minutes a day, and is non-disruptive to selling time. Reps enjoy the engaging experience, which can be easily accessed using any mobile device via push notifications or from within popular CRM systems.

Client results to date include 20% higher quota attainment, 12% decrease in turnover and 3% improvement in gross margin. So this size of the prize is worth the priority, especially as revenue targets climb, sales reps on average continually fail to meet quota, and managers lack the level of time and skill required to impact team performance.Nancy: What types of questions should sales leaders ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Duncan: The questions sales should ask themselves is, “If I could improve win rates by 20%, how much more revenue would that bring in?” And, “If I could improve sales reps’ message proficiency by 25%, how much more confident would they be?”

By actually managing and measuring sales reps’ proficiency and thereby their ability to have value-added business conversations with customers, they are more effective across the board, whether it’s getting a second meeting, positioning competitively or closing a deal.

Sales enablement professionals should also think about how much time reps spend on training events and materials and at the end of the day, how much of that information is not only retained, but applied on the job.

Nancy: This question is your choice. What do you want to answer that I didn’t ask?

Duncan: A good question to ask would be, “How is Qstream’s approach different from other sales performance technology?”

Qstream addresses the “human side” of your sales acceleration strategy. Unlike solutions that tether client conversations to rote presentations or content, Qstream is the only solution whose effectiveness has been clinically proven in randomized trials to increase sales rep effectiveness and durably change behaviors with impact to the bottom line – just by letting reps answer a number of brief scenario-based sales challenges. The approach ensures that reps possess the core knowledge and sales capabilities that matter most. The solution incorporates social, game and reputation mechanics that deliver 94% average engagement or better.

Qstream’s next-generation analytics engine then continuously synthesizes millions of data points from these responses into real-time fluency “heat maps” and targeted coaching actions. The platform is delivered from the cloud to any mobile device, and is easy to use and deploy at scale in 15 languages out of the box. With all the security and reliability that IT demands, Qstream integrates seamlessly with CRM and other third-party systems to correlate performance data for a richer, more predictive picture of sales readiness.

Nancy: What should people do next?

Duncan: Visit us at Qstream.com to request a demo, follow us @Qstream, like us on Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s also a video you can watch at Qstream in 2 minutes.

Or, listen to the recording of our recent webinar “Transforming Winning Sales Managers into Effective Sales Coaches.”