Many of you have likely heard the analysis by Corporate Executive Board that B2B customers have completed nearly 60% of their purchasing decisions before ever speaking with a supplier.
This has forced marketers and their organisations to change how they participate in the digital buying process.
Unless organisations understand what this digital buying process is, along with the buying patterns and behaviours of prospects, they run the risk of being excluded from prospects’ considerations.
‘Selling is a competitive sport’
Such is the claim in a recent TechCrunch article.
I agree with them.
Like sport, sales is so competitive that professionals are constantly trying to push themselves to excel. In the case of sales, it’s to reach new customers and perform at peak levels.
To accomplish this, sales, much like sports, has even evolved beyond what happens in the office and on the phones.
“Moneyball” shares the true story of how Oakland A’s Manager Billy Beane used statistical analysis to find undervalued players.
His approach allowed the A’s team to win a record number of games on a budget much smaller than most other teams in the league.
At InsideSales.com, we do the same.
InsideSales.com helps sales teams maximize their potential by helping sales athletes perform at higher levels.
We do that by:
- Monitoring activity
- Measuring performance
- Motivating achievement
- Managing workstyle
- Modifying behavior
Much like Oakland used data to gain a competitive advantage, we believe data can offer the same benefits for sales.
Combining data with predictive analytics
Data alone isn’t enough to help sales teams succeed.
Back in 2013, ScienceDaily reported that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years. The rate of data creation is rapidly accelerating.
While we aren’t short on data and information, we are missing the hidden insights within the data.
This is where the power of predictive analytics shines.
After 10 years of collecting sales data and using predictive technology, InsideSales.com has found consistent patterns that have helped us determine the best practices sales professionals can use to reach more people and see greater results.
7 sales best practices
1. Respond immediately
InsideSales.com’s work to determine the optimal time for responding to inbound leads has been reported in the Harvard Business Review.
Recent research has shown that when sales reps respond within 5 minutes of an inquiry versus 30 minutes, they get a 21x uplift in qualifications.
As of now, the average response time for U.S. companies is about 38 hours. In the UK, it’s a little faster at 24 hours.
That’s still well short of where it needs to be.
2. Be persistent
Just as it’s important to respond quickly, it’s also important to call often.
According to a recent InsideSales.com response study, the average sales rep at a U.S. company gives up on leads after an average of 1.5 call attempts. In the UK, it’s slightly better at 2.39 attempts.
However, both of those numbers are well short of the ideal 6 to 9 attempts.
The research shows that when a salesperson calls within the ideal range, they experience a 3x initial lift in contact rates.
3. Establish a local presence
When you receive a call from an unknown 1-800 or 0-800 number, do you hurry to answer it? Probably not, because you figure you don’t know the person calling and it’s just another telemarketer.
Sales teams need to be where their customers are. They should be using local numbers to contact their customers.
InsideSales.com customers that adopt this approach typically experience a 57% uplift in connections.
4. Create a cadence
Most companies have no cadence strategy.
They haven’t made any attempt to create a consistent outreach strategy to best follow up with and contact potential buyers.
Our customer data shows that companies that adopt a 10-day outreach strategy typically see a 26% increase in appointments set.
5. Motivate your staff
When organisations want to increase the performance of their staff, they often turn to spiffs as an added incentive.
However, studies show that spiffs aren’t enough. In fact, if used too often, they start to become expected and lose their motivational power.
Instead, by incorporating real-time points and leaderboards, sales teams can achieve a 38% increase in sales activities.
6. Hire smart with data
Would you trust your hiring decisions to a coin toss?
That’s pretty much what most organisations are doing. The data show that recruiters hire successful talent only 60% of the time.
Organisations should be using data to help predict which candidates are most likely to be top performers.
With data-driven decisions, InsideSales.com customers have experienced a 2.5x lift in hiring accuracy.
7. Analyze your pipeline
How do you know which deals are coming down your pipeline? Are you going to hit your targets?
Research conducted by InsideSales.com reveals that sales reps often delay committing to winnable deals.
Sales reps tend to only commit to deals they feel confident about, but that leaves a lot of winnable deals uncommitted, especially early in a quarter.
By applying data science to your sales pipeline, you can make your sales forecasts more accurate and actionable.
Teams that adopt this approach typically see a 3x lift in forecast accuracy.
The path to revenue acceleration
In order to outperform the competition, sales teams should begin adopting each of these best practices.
InsideSales.com customers who have implemented these practices are reaching more prospects, setting more appointments and closing more deals.
This normally translates into a 15% to 30% revenue uplift.
Let this infographic be your guide. Download it now and use it as a reference later.
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