What are successful sales organisations doing to set themselves apart?

Sales can be a fairly Darwinian arena at the best of times. Our recently released 2015 State of Sales Report points more than ever to the fact that it’s about the survival of the smartest. Those who are able to adapt to a new environment will sell more than those who continue to sell in the old way. Working the patch, meeting a quota and chasing commission will quickly become obsolete.

On that basis, these are the key-take outs for me for sales organisations looking for fast tips to succeed in today’s new world of sales. And, I am sure you will find other rich insights specific to your business. 

1. Focus on Analytics

Analytics immediately jumped out of the report for me. Investment in analytics is about to soar as organisations understand the incredible power of Big Data insights. What’s most interesting is that the highest performers are using analytics to better understand the customer lifecycle. As the report says, the smartest sales leaders are seeking to “grow a base of loyal, connected customers - rather than ‘one and done deals’ - as the key to sustained success.”

Technology is providing salespeople with the ability to examine and analyse sales performance in real time… during relevant conversations. Salespeople can access up-to-the-minute data about buying trends and deal development and adapt dynamically on what they learn. Could there be a more powerful way to build relationships and close deals than to have your facts in your hand when you need them? This is why our report shows:

Investment in analytics tools is expected to see as much as 82 per cent growth in their use in the next 12-18 months.

2. High performers are Mobile 

Competition today is about being mobile. High performers are 4.9 times more likely to be “mobile masters” than those that are underperforming.  Among those succeeding, we can expect to see a 125 percent surge in the use of mobile apps. Increasingly, if you can’t compete as effectively on the road as you can at your desk, you will fail. Only that way can you expect to be fully responsive to your customers’ needs.The potential to be highly effective when on the road, in the air or even in the bush has changed dramatically in the last decade, assisted by intuitive, cloud-based apps that put knowledge and data into hands everywhere.  This is why our research found that in APAC:

Investment in mobile sales tools use was expected to grow by a staggering 149 per cent in the next 12-18 months.

3. Collaboration is Key 

Teams that sell together, win together. We are seeing depth of customer knowledge as essential to how well you can compete. Completely understanding the customer and the customer’s problem with as much context as possible is what separates the best salespeople from the also-rans. Collaboration is critical. High performing teams are up to three times more likely to view Sales as 100 per cent the responsibility of the entire organisation. This places huge importance on organisation-wide collaboration. Those that commit to their customers have huge demands for customer knowledge.

Working as a team is hard when everyone is busy, spread all over town or even the region and only available at different times. But if everyone can access the same, accurate data on the customer at any time and can quickly share new learnings, then they can be far more effective in working together to close the deal. Across the world, our research found that:

Fully 61 per cent of the highest performing teams had a "single view of the customer".

These numbers encourage me.  It fills me with excitement that the job of sales in the future will be about delivering much more value to the customer, not just managing a series of transactions. The State of Sales 2015 is a fascinating report that is worth downloading to see where you sit and what you can do to ensure you survive in the new era.

Download the full State of Sales 2015 Report Here: