Reinventing Opportunity to Close (Part 2): First, Let’s Free Up Sales Reps to Do What They Do Best

David Karel

David Karel

Reinventing Opportunity to Close (Part 2): First, Let’s Free Up Sales Reps to Do What They Do Best

New guided selling solutions automate activities and help reps focus on the right deals.

[Editor’s note: This post is the second in our “Reinventing Opportunity to Close” series for sales leaders.]

Rep is short for representative, not repetitive. Yet, we established in our previous post that sales reps spend as much as two thirds of their day tending to tedious administrative tasks instead of doing what they’re trained to do: sell. 

Today’s sales reps don’t have the time to log all their activity and the data they do manage to capture is usually scant and often subjective. This is really the crux of the opportunity to close (OTC) problem because sketchy data impacts every member of the sales team. And, it perpetuates the Groundhog Day cycle — that feeling of being trapped in an endless time loop. 

Without accurate data from reps, managers can’t focus their 1:1 time or forecast properly, execs can’t plan, and reps don’t know which deals to prioritize. But, all that’s about to change — courtesy of our “new computer overlords.”

AI is the Answer

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the biggest thing to happen in sales since CRMs came on the scene in the late 1990s. And according to Gartner, 30 percent of all companies will employ AI-driven solutions to augment at least one of their primary sales processes by 2020.
This technological revolution is just what every member of the sales team needs to break the Groundhog Day cycle once and for all — and to finally own the opportunity to close:

  • New guided selling solutions will automate lower value rep activities so they can better prioritize their time and close deals faster
  • Predictive analytics tools will help managers make better decisions so they can use their 1:1 coaching sessions more effectively
  • Algorithm-driven insights will help execs forecast with new confidence and precision

Let’s Improve the OTC Process for Everyone — Starting with Reps

With today’s new AI-based tools there’s absolutely no reason for reps to be tethered to their desks anymore. After all, reps belong in front of customers, not computers.

Algorithm-driven guided selling and sales acceleration tools do three key things to empower reps to sell more, faster:

  • Efficiently automate data collection. The best solutions automatically harvest rep activity and prospect engagement and combine it with live CRM data. That means less cycles spent on tedious administrative tasks and more time selling.
  • Help reps focus on the right opportunities. Virtual digital sales assistants (VSDAs), also known as bots, deliver nudges and prescriptive insights to prompt reps to act when, for example, a deal’s at risk of slipping.
  • Feature innovative user interfaces built to delight. Sales apps that incorporate next gen approaches to design not only liberate beleaguered reps from the burden of high-touch, repetitive manual processes, but they provide an intuitive and familiar user experience that has all the flexibility and ease of a consumer-based app. That means reps can be up and running with new technology much more quickly — and it’s technology they’ll use because they genuinely like it.

AI is a true game changer that promises to revolutionize the OTC process for everyone, not just reps. In the next post, we’ll explore how the same predictive solutions that are transforming sales execution for reps will help managers coach better and execs forecast more accurately.

Webinar: From Chaos to Confidence: Reinventing the Opportunity-to-Close Process