A recent study by DOMO of sales leaders showed some interesting problems in sales. There were a few findings that especially piqued my interest. It looks like there are some high tech problems that need low-tech solutions for sales professionals to be successful.
Here’s what they found.
Only 2% of sales leaders rate their relationship with their sales data an A- or better. Data is critical for more than 96% of sales leaders. 65% of sales leaders say it’s too difficult to get meaningful insights from their data. 60% have to wait for someone else to gain access to their data. 65% say it takes too long to receive insights from their data. 51% of sales leaders are concerned their data isn’t accurate.
Why it’s a problem.
Imagine you have a dissatisfied customer. You don’t know it because you’re getting data that’s’ too old. Let’s not even consider the accuracy of it at this point. By the time you see the lost sales in your reports, it’s too late to do anything to prevent the loss. That’s what makes the late data such a problem.
A great sales professional doesn’t run from problems. A great sales professional looks at problem solving skills as a sales differentiator. In business today, most people would agree that it’s only a matter of time before a problem occurs. What matters is how you fix the problem. And yes, it’s better to anticipate the problem so you can avoid it, but if it does occur the fixing matters a lot—especially to the customer who has the problem.
How you solve the problem.
It’s a good idea to have a regularly scheduled meeting with your information technology department. Your job is to discuss the information you need to run your business. Sales reports are dynamic, too. Some reports that you used to need might no longer be needed. The IT department can take the time that they had to support outdated reports and put it to producing new and more relevant reports.
A low-tech solution is an option. You have to cultivate other eyes and ears for you at your customer. Do you even have contacts other than your buyer? I hope so. It’s a good strategy to create three levels of contacts. That way you aren’t vulnerable to the emotions of one person. Your eyes and ears at your customer should be the person or people who can tell you if a competitor is making headway in your account. Is there a product trial that’s being discussed? Is a product performing poorly? This is all low-tech information that a product user can tell you. Now is the time to introduce yourself to these people if you lack these contacts.
High tech tools should make selling easier, not get in the way of your sales. Speak up if you’re not getting the data you need. Be especially vocal if what you’re getting is making your selling harder, not easier to do.
Best wishes for your sales success.