Remote Selling has become an important focus for every sales organization. Digital sales technologies, by default, are what enables remote selling. In this interview series, we ask executives at leading salestech companies to describe how their customers are leveraging technology, what metrics are now possible, and more.
Q: What are your customers doing to adapt to - or leverage - the trend towards distributed sales teams and remote selling?
Damien: InsideView has always been about helping salespeople better understand and engage with their prospects and customers. That’s more important than ever in today’s virtual selling world, where sales reps can no longer rely on personal charm and the occasional golf game.
Whether they need to understand their prospect’s industry, family tree, current business events and initiatives, who to contact, how to reach them, even how to get a referral, we deliver the information they need to have engaging conversations that build trust. Doesn’t matter if the conversation is virtual, if it’s engaging and relevant. And we put the information at their fingertips within CRM, on their phone, or wherever they browse.
Q: What metrics should customers of Sales Intelligence solutions use to measure the impact or progress of their activities?
Damien: Sales intelligence and buyer intent data help customers shorten sales cycles, increase win rates, and save time by streamlining research and enabling them to focus on prospects who are actively shopping for what they sell. Sales intelligence and buyer intent data also help account managers spot cross-sell opportunities and prevent churn. So those are the metrics we advise customers to measure.
There’s been an increased focus on having good data since the pandemic hit. It was a wake-up call to get good at digital sales and marketing.
Q: What steps can Sales leaders take to best facilitate their prospects’ decision-making given that interactions are likely remote?
Damien: Make sure your sellers have easy, secure access to all the systems they need to work efficiently, such as your CRM, video conferencing, a sales engagement platform, and so forth. And make sure your customer and prospect data is current and complete. When your sellers are well equipped with all the tools and data they need, they’ll be better able to focus on solving their prospects’ problems and facilitating their buying journey.
We have customers who were easily spending 20% of their time, or more, researching and gathering data to fill in gaps or correct the data in their CRM before they could begin prospecting. That situation was exacerbated by the upheaval of the pandemic. It’s such a waste of time, when there are sales intelligence and data management solutions, such as what InsideView offers, available to do this for you automatically.
Q: What should sales leaders do differently when helping their team assess lead quality?
Damien: Sellers tend to get excited about any lead that shows interest in what they offer. But it’s important to identify whether those leads map to accounts you want to sell to. It’s also important to quickly identify if they are actually in-market to buy now. Are they showing intent to buy? Do they have a current initiative you can help with? Do they have the budget for a solution like yours?
If you haven’t done these things, I encourage you to do so:
- Identify the characteristics of your ideal customer profile (ICP).
- Map your current customers and prospects against the universe of potential customers that fit your ICP and then fill your whitespace. (We can help here with our market planning solution, InsideView Apex.)
- Adopt an account-based approach to sales and marketing, focusing relentlessly on those accounts you want to have as customers.
- Map leads against that account list and if they don’t match, don’t expend a lot of effort on them.
Use intent data and sales triggers from a sales intelligence solution like InsideView Insights to know if your lead’s account is actively searching for a solution like yours. If they fit your ICP and they are in-market, bingo! Those are the leads you want to jump on right away.
Q: What is the impact on organizations that adopt sales intelligence and buyer intent solutions?
Damien: As one of my colleagues likes to say, “You don’t need sales intelligence to sell. You just need sales intelligence to win.” 82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are unprepared.* With sales intelligence and intent data, you can show up prepared at the same time your buyer is looking for a solution like yours. Then they don’t feel like they’re being sold to; they feel like you’re helping them solve a problem. That gives you a distinct edge over the 82% of sellers who simply show up and say, “So tell me about your business.”
Q: What steps should organizations take if they plan to implement Sales Enablement?
- Make sure your CRM data is clean and up-to-date. Sales intelligence and intent data solutions provide insights about your accounts and contacts, but if your account and contact data is inaccurate, you’ll end up with great insights mapping to the wrong companies.
- Make time for user training. At InsideView, we have regular live training sessions you can join at any time, and we’re happy to set up custom training sessions, as well. It’s better for you and for us if your sellers know how to use the solution and get the most out of it. If you leave out this step, you’ll be frustrated and won’t see the expected return on investment.
VP Enterprise Sales,
Damien Swendsen has been leading sales, account management, client success, and business development teams for software, consulting, and data companies for over 20 years. At InsideView, Damien manages our Enterprise Sales, Account Management, and Customer Success teams.
Damien came to InsideView from Oracle. Previously, Damien led sales and account management at companies including CDC Software (Pivotal Software), Onyx Software, and Ketchum Integration.
Damien holds a BA in English from Santa Clara University and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology & Education from Santa Clara University.