Salesforce published its second edition of the ”State of Sales,” featuring insights from over 3,100 sales professionals. There is great information throughout the report, and a couple of data points caught my attention.
The first was that 60% of professional salespeople report that collaborative selling has increased productivity by more than 25%. And more than 52% say this approach increased their sales pipeline. Why? Because the customer enjoyed a better experience, as everyone at the company was aligned and informed about their goals and objectives.
Also, 73% percent of consumers shared that they are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t provide consistent levels of service.
Great information -- but it’s time for that good old reality check.
Most sales organizations will not meet these new expectations for sales and client success because they are working on the wrong end of the problem. It’s the knowing-and-doing gap.
Gap #1: Collaborative selling requires hiring collaborative salespeople. But here’s the problem: Many CEOs and sales managers still hire lone rangers. These individuals are often great producers because they are self-directed and independent. But they don’t enjoy collaborating or playing with others in the sales sandbox.
Take a look at your hiring processes.
Are you vetting potential candidates for the soft skills, EQ skills, that create collaborative sales cultures?
Skills such as teamwork, interpersonal skills and empathy are competencies that create collaborative selling environments. Most sales organizations still place more emphasis on industry experience and number of years in sales, the hard skills, rather than the soft skills. Do you have a gap in your hiring process?
Gap #2: Consistent service levels. Sales is not a department. And yet, how many of the departments that interface with clients are provided training around delivering exceptional service? Sure, they receive technical training or product knowledge training, but little education is offered around people skills, such as communicating with different personality styles.
Without this education, there is a good chance a member of your team lacks the needed skills to build rapport and trust. Has everyone on your customer-interfacing teams learned the power of empathy in in diffusing an upset customer? The answer is probably, “No, or a few.” What gaps do you have in your training and education processes that impact the quality of service?
I always appreciate data and insights from experts and trusted sources. But…….
Does your sales organization need more data or real change?