GUEST: Seth Marrs, Research Director at Forrester
The perpetual quandary: Taking a look at your sales team, you realize that if everyone could sell like your top earners, you’d be way ahead of your target by now. What if there was a way to take the artistry of your best reps and boil it down to a science that your whole team could follow?
That’s exactly what our latest guest, Seth Marrs, Research Director at Forrester, is an expert in. He joins the show to share how you can join the art and science of sales by more effectively leveraging data and technology in your sales org.
Staying on the Cutting Edge of Sales Tech
The Discovery of a Research Director
The majority of Seth’s time is spent researching and talking with tech vendors and thought leaders to understand all of the opportunities to stay on the cutting edge of the revenue world.
Where are the biggest gains to be made? Leveraging technology to improve sales outcomes.
Sounds easy, right?
While it might seem evident that current sales tech would improve sales outcomes, this isn't necessarily the case.
Sales tech was historically designed around efficiencies in pipeline management and activity aggregation. Its primary aim has not been to help sellers improve outcomes daily.
“When you start pushing technology into sales, you have a clash between the art and science of sales."
Seth Marrs, Research Director at Forrester
As a result, many sales reps see the blending of tech and sales as a way to tell them how to work, but if implemented carefully, the combination is a way to elevate the rep.
Embracing the Value of Technology & Driving Adoption
Bring the Whole Team in on the Deal
If a sales rep makes an opportunity visible within your tech stack, this enables marketing to provide insight into what's happening digitally through intent data.
While it's not exactly new news, the significance of buyers spending more time researching on their own cannot be overlooked — it's more important than ever for the sales rep to make a significant impact.
The upside of all that time spent researching is that by having all those transactions go digital, they're a lot more visible than they were before. If sellers have access to that info, they can make more informed decisions.
Build a Solid Foundation to Leverage Data Properly
To achieve a system where data helps a seller derive insight requires a structured account hierarchy that allows data to be collected cleanly. Shockingly, many organizations focus only on the front-end stuff but don't have the data structure that will enable them to leverage the insights they're aggregating.
Wait, some companies have to be doing this properly, right?
Yes, there are some, and it's mainly on the marketing side of things where they're using CDPs to aggregate info. The problem is that you need your ERP software to connect for this data to be useful to sales teams.
Managing the master data and aggregating the two together enables you to generate insights beyond the cadence level. It can tell you what the next best step is for that particular contact in that specific deal.
Evolve with the Tech
Most reps are understandably hesitant because most tools they've been given are about monitoring or automating — but it's at the intersection of revenue ops, revenue intelligence and sales engagement tech that things get intriguing.
As you add more data to cadences, they can become smart. It's no longer about mindlessly running the next step. The system will now make contextual recommendations regarding the next best action.
What if your rainmakers do things differently? Log it.
The best part is tech doesn't have an ego. It will continue aggregating best practices no matter the source to help sales orgs continually refine.
The hardest part is that many sales orgs aren't ready for it. It's common to see them spend money on sales engagement tech and run very basic cadences.
Seth's Parting Advice
Buy tech from the perspective of the problem you are trying to solve. Understand your process first and your unique problems, then start shopping. Many companies will buy the new and greatest technology only to find it doesn't fit their organizational needs.
Now that you know what it takes to transform your sales org with data and technology, are you ready to dive into how to rehumanize your customer experience or learn the secrets to personalizing at scale? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.