The team at Microsoft has put together a fantastic white paper on the challenges and successes of sales organizations, their productivity, and ability to adapt and adopt to technology. We often meet with companies that tout impressive sales results from word-of-mouth and cold calling. I don't ever doubt that either of these strategies work – of course they do.
Sales strategies for many companies haven't changed in over a decade. That's unfortunate, because what is changing is the buyer's journey and how consumers and businesses alike are researching their next purchase decision. Even when a business receives a great referral from a partner or client, that prospect is then researching your company and your authority online. The question is How well is your company represented where they're looking?
Strong sellers don’t merely execute their day-to-day tasks well… they rely on collective skills in ways that weren’t possible just a few short years ago. Harvard Business Review.
Microsoft's Whitepaper, Always Be Closing: The ABCs of Sales in the Modern Era, is a fantastic resource for walking your organization through the changes, as well as advice from fantastic resources like my friend Jason Miller from LinkedIn and a dozen other experts on steering your sales in the direction of the wind rather than fighting it.
Here are 10 key statistics from the whitepaper that provide compelling evidence, across resources, that you need to adopt technology if you hope to accelerate and increase the effectiveness of your sales.
- According to Pace Productivity, Sales Representatives only spend 22% of their week actually selling. A Sirius Decisions study revealed that65% of companies’ sales reps spend too many hours on non-selling activities, including digging up resources and tailoring presentation materials.
- According to SBI, buyers are 57% of the way through the buying cycle before they contact sales. For complex purchases, this number jumps to 70%.
- According to an IBM preference study,a cold call is only 3% effective.
- Using LinkedIn Inmail, recipients are likely to respond to those outreaches 67% of the time
- According to Corporate Visions, 74% of buyers choose the company that was FIRST to add value
- 79% of sales people achieving quota used social selling techniques.Only 15% of those who didn’t use social selling achieved quota, according to SBI.
- Social selling was the #1 way for sales reps to generate their own leads, according to SBI.
- According to Microsoft, relevant data insights on prospects can cut the time spent on pre-call research by over 70%.
- The Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study found that 91% of world-class organizations collaborate across all departments to close large deals, while only 53% of all organization collaborated on large deals.
- Companies using enterprise social networks saw business productivity rise by as much as 30%, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
Adoption is absolutely the key. Great sales organizations are seeking out the tools and services that enable their sales representatives to sell faster and bigger engagements. Sales organizations that are struggling are implementing solutions that are slowing the process and productivity of their teams.
Progressive companies are changing business processes to adapt to a new style of work influenced by mobile devices, collaboration tools and social technologies.…businesses are changing processes to embrace the new business buyer… Avanade.
Be on the lookout for an upcoming infographic, whitepaper, and sales training series we'll be offering on social selling. This is a huge gap in the industry that we decided to fill. We pulled together branding experts, social media and content strategists, and sales leaders to provide a proven methodology for leveraging social selling. In the meantime, be sure to download this whitepaper and check out what Microsoft Dynamics has to offer.