Bob Dylan told us "the times they are a-changin." It inspired a generation. It frightened a previous generation.
It's happening again. In every business function — and especially in sales — the times they are a-changin'. And sales isn't first. It's one of the last.
The change? Data.
If you think I'm exaggerating to put data on the same pedestal as the turbulent ‘60s, stay with me for a minute.
Marketing Already Made the Leap
Let's look at marketing first. Everybody's favorite cliché about marketing is, "I know half my advertising is wasted, but I don't know which half." Internet ads changed this. So it's no surprise to hear digital ad spending has grabbed 25% of total U.S. ad spending* and spending on performance-based internet ads is double the spending on impression-based ads. Riding this shift during the 00s, the data-driven marketer was born.
You can't apply for or get promoted to CMO nowadays without a focus on measuring performance. The CEO wants to be sure you'll know when to double down on what works and cut your losses on what doesn't.
This shift shocked a generation of senior marketers raised on keeping the creative staff happy and hoping for the best. Yes, traditional advertising is still hanging on, but every marketing leader I know believes in the megatrend to data-driven advertising.
A New Day for Sales
- What's the most compelling message?
- How do you get the message to the right person?
- How often should you reach out to prospects?
- How do you solicit a response?
- How do you convert a response into a conversation?
- How can you build a relationship … and a champion?
- How do you recognize deals worth killing yourself to win versus losers destined to suck up your time and disappoint?
- Do you have the drive to put in the effort?
These questions aren't new. But we used to talk about them in annual sales kick offs … or the bar late at night … or maybe in long rep/manager 1:1s.
What's new is we can now measure this stuff. What's even newer is we can measure it without infuriating reps with time-sucking manual reporting.
Sales leaders can finally know what reps are doing, when customers are engaged, what's working, and which deals will actually close. And just as with internet ads, they can know as things are happening to make instant adjustments. "What can we do next quarter to save the year?" becomes "What can we do tomorrow to save the quarter?"
I'll leave you with one question: if you believe in data-driven advertising, how can you not believe in data-driven selling?
We're not the only ones who can bring sales leaders into this new era. But I think we're the best … fastest … and easiest. Maybe I'm biased, but if you've read this far, I'm guessing you've already been thinking about this. Give us a shout so we can show you our approach. It won't take long. Then you can decide whether the times are a-changin' for you too.