Technology—used both by businesses and consumers—continues to propel a transformation of the relationship between sellers and buyers. The sales model is evolving as sellers gain efficiencies and access to more granular insights across the buyer’s journey, and buyers take more control of the sales process by tapping the abundance of digital knowledge and offers available at their fingertips.
Board members have a responsibility to ensure that the sales model is constantly being optimized for more efficient revenue gains. In most cases, the necessary sales enablement tools systems are already in place but need to be adjusted or improved.
The board’s goal should be to help the company’s sales professionals become more efficient and effective by prioritizing the most promising opportunities and efficiently nurturing prospects through the sales cycle and into long-term relationships.
How are sales models evolving?
To improve their sales effectiveness, organizations should:
1. Make the shift from outbound to inbound sales
- Focus on discoverability, SEO and targeting to attract prospects.
- Use marketing automation to nurture buyers through the sales funnel, instead of cold calling or hard-sell tactics.
- Build brand authority to enhance awareness.
2. Be prepared to serve customers through longer sales cycles
- Present more information for buyers, who are doing more research and analysis on their own.
- Be present with relevant content early in the buyer’s journey.
3. Use data-driven sales models to support targeted, cost-effective sales strategies
- Prioritize the most promising leads to focus sales efforts.
- Use AI predictive modeling to identify firmographic, demographic or behavioral signals of buyer readiness and determine the next best action.
- Analyze outcomes of actions to continually refine sales practices for greater success.
4. Be open to ongoing influence from advanced technologies and new ideas
- Develop processes for identifying customer service calls that are lead/upsell opportunities.
- Use AI to assess language used on sales calls and learn from the most successful salespeople’s conversations.
- Exploit customers’ ability to replace solutions quickly and easily with SaaS, cloud and mobile services.