How To Meet Rising Buyer Expectations & Boost Efficiency

The world of sales is constantly evolving, and as we move further into the digital age, buyer expectations are rising at an remarkable rate. Sales organizations must adapt to these changes to remain competitive and successful.

Salesforce releases a State of Sales report every year. In this blog we will be exploring the the state of sales in the modern era, focusing on the need to meet buyer expectations and the role of efficient sales operations.

Even though CRM systems often come with features that help salespeople automate tasks and work smarter then why are sales reps still spending more than 70% of their time doing manual work? Continue reading to find out!

Engaging Across Digital Channels

Buyers today expect sales organizations to be present across multiple digital channels, including email, social media, and emerging platforms. According to statistics, 57% of buyers prefer engaging with companies through digital channels. Additionally, nearly one-third of deals are now completely virtual.

To cater to this demand, top-performing sales organizations engage with customers across various channels. Online portals provide self-service options, allowing sales teams to allocate more time to strategic accounts, acquiring new customers, and ensuring current customer satisfaction.

Sales Channels
Source: State of Sales 5th Edition

Providing Sophisticated Insights

Informed buyers now conduct extensive research before connecting with a company. This means that scripts and generic pitches is no longer sufficient. Sales teams must act as trusted advisors, offering valuable insights and guidance to help buyers make informed decisions. Top sales organizations equip their reps with the necessary tools, technology, and training to succeed in this evolving landscape.

Building trust with customers is crucial for establishing recurring sales, especially when 81% of sales reps report that buyers conduct research before reaching out.

Sales Reps as Trusted Advisors
Source: State of Sales 5th Edition

Prioritizing Long-Term Relationships

Short-term wins are now taking a back seat to long-term relationship building. Sales teams use a variety of techniques to deepen customer relationships, with value-based communication leading the way. This approach focuses on solving buyer problems rather than just presenting product pitches.

Maintaining Relationships
Source: State of Sales 5th Edition

Active listening and regular communication help customers feel they have an accountable contact to turn to, fostering customer loyalty that leads to recurring sales and predictable revenue—especially critical in uncertain economic times.

The Role of Sales-Ops

Sales Operations aka Sales-Ops, traditionally viewed as behind-the-scenes players, are now taking centre stage in the drive towards efficiency and cost savings. They play a critical role in defining sales strategy, with 65% of sales leaders recognizing their importance.

Sales-Ops professionals specialize in processes and efficiency, allowing sales teams to focus on what they do best—selling. Currently, reps spend only 28% of their week selling, with the rest of the time devoted to tasks like deal management and data entry. Streamlining these tasks is essential to free up more time for customer interaction and deal closure.

Overview Time Spend of Sales Reps

So, where to start?

Only 37% of sales professionals strongly agree that their companies are making the most out of their CRM tools. There is room for improvement in how these systems are used. This is particularly noticeable among inside sales representatives.

Sales reps point to the features that would be most helpful for them, and it’s not surprising that automation and intelligent functions are at the top of their list.

Utilization of CRM System
Source: State of Sales 5th Edition

And then there’s AI..

AI's Improvement of Efficiency and Productivity
Source: State of Sales 5th Edition

AI is on the brink of transforming the landscape of sales organizations. With focus on efficiency and cost savings, the adoption of AI is becoming more urgent than ever before. Surprisingly, only a mere one-third of sales organizations are currently leveraging the power of AI. However, the tides are shifting, and in the next two years, an additional 20% of organizations are gearing up to embrace this game-changing technology.

Top-performing sales organizations are leading the charge when it comes to AI adoption. They have recognized the wide-ranging benefits that AI can bring to their operations. These benefits encompass everything from enhanced lead prioritization to remarkably accurate forecasting. In fact, eight out of ten leaders and sales operations professionals who have integrated AI into their processes report that it has significantly improved the utilization of their sales representatives’ time.

It’s clear: AI is no longer a futuristic concept but a present-day reality that is reshaping the sales landscape. As more organizations realize the immense potential AI holds for driving efficiency, cutting costs, and boosting performance, the tipping point for AI adoption in sales is fast approaching. The question isn’t whether to adopt AI; it’s when and how to do it effectively.

The AI revolution is here, and it’s time for sales organizations to seize the opportunity or risk falling behind in the race for efficiency and excellence. But you don’t have to navigate this transformation alone.

Our team is here to guide you through the implementation of AI strategies tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Let’s make AI work for you, driving efficiency, boosting performance, and ensuring you stay ahead of the competition.

Reach out to us now, and together, we’ll redefine your sales future.

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