Transforming Sales: Why Sales Organizations Need to Embrace Technology That Allows Them to Capitalize on the Explosion of Data

In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can transform sales in a significant way.

This week I interview Doug Erickson, VP of Sales, Americas at Zilliant.

NANCY: WHAT ARE THE TOP AREAS OF FOCUS IN THE NEXT 12-24 MONTHS FOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT TO TRANSFORM THEIR SALES ORGANIZATIONS?

DOUG: Sales organizations need to embrace technology that allows them to capitalize on the explosion of data generated by digital commerce and the IoT. As a new tech savvy generation enters the workforce, new tools should recommend the next best sales and pricing action based on the available data and support self-service eCommerce channels wherever possible.

NANCY: HOW SHOULD COMPANIES DECIDE WHICH APPROACHES TO SALES TRANSFORMATION ARE RIGHT FOR THEM?

DOUG: Companies should look for partners that have a demonstrated track record of delivering value and have architected their solutions to respond at the speed of digital commerce. They should also consider the flexibility of the solutions to adapt and respond quickly to changing requirements. Finally, they should select a partner that provides a high level of post-implementation success services to ensure adoption and measure the benefits delivered.

NANCY: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR ENSURING THAT TECHNOLOGIES CONTRIBUTE TO SALES TRANSFORMATION IN A MEASURABLE AND IMPACTFUL WAY?

DOUG: Your partner should provide a comprehensive customer success management program that works with your team to define an agreed success plan and meets regularly to monitor results. The plan should include specific metrics such as adoption, margin or sales metrics, product mix and sales team satisfaction. Finally, it is critical for senior leadership to champion sales transformation and remain visibly engaged in driving the desired changes.

NANCY: HOW IS YOUR SOLUTION TRANSFORMING YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SALES ORGANIZATIONS?

DOUG: Recently, Zilliant’s team worked with a food service distributor whose customers expected them to provide a self-service online shopping experience. The solution needed to be intuitive and ensure that their online customers could easily browse and buy from a catalog of more than 20,000 products. The distributor embedded our guided selling solution into their eCommerce channel, seamlessly delivering recommendations to their online customers.

At the same time, they wanted to expand into new markets and provide new sales tools that armed their 500-plus direct sellers with science-based guidance. They were able to implement our guided selling solutions in under four months. Our products provide their sales teams with next-best-action recommendations that prioritize which customers to talk to, suggest products that grow average basket size and identify customers who are showing early warning signs of churn in their purchase behavior.

View the video on their experience.

NANCY: WHAT ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES IF SOMEONE WANTED TO LEARN WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK, WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING, OR OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO SALES TRANSFORMATION?

DOUG: Here’s a link to an IDC MarketScape Report on Price Optimization.

Here are a few resources on our site: