Sales wasn’t the intended destination, but more like destiny for me. That coupled with my passion for the customer, and of course closing the deal, is what motivated me to lead go-to-market teams of all sizes. From early sales roles to starting my own technology services business, to leading GTM teams in Silicon Valley, I am intimately familiar with every aspect of the sales process. But when I saw SetSail, I realized the sales process as we’ve known it wouldn’t be the same again. The shift to virtual selling, the crowded sales tools market, and the explosion of data is reshaping the flow of sales. Over the past few months, my conversations with dozens of other CROs made me think hard about the role of the sales leader and what we should be prepared for.
The world is data-driven. CROs should be as well.
I’ve always loved technology. And over the years I’ve become a firm believer that to survive, you have to keep up with the latest technology trends that will make an impact on your business. As an example, very early in my career when I noticed that many of my customers started using computers, I switched from phone calls to email and nearly tripled my sales. Today, having a keen eye for technology trends is key for anyone on their journey to becoming a successful CRO. Over the years I’ve used a number of forecasting, pipeline review, and analytics tools to give me insights into my business. But, nothing gave me the ability to turn those insights into action. Moving forward we will need to go beyond just simple forecasting and analytics to create a broad view of what leads to closed business and how to motivate the GTM team to higher levels of performance. Data-driven motivation is finally the last mile in turning insights into action consistently and at scale.
Using technology to personalize the sales process
Traditional CRM tools like Salesforce and others are standards in my toolbox but I knew there had to be more. What I wanted was more than just the high-level insights, I wanted to understand my customers’ behavior and map and my team’s behavior to how our customers buy. Products like SetSail among others are a new generation of platforms that are aggregating and analyzing the treasure trove of buying signals buried in siloed business systems and turning them into behavioral change at scale. Now, I can easily pinpoint buying milestones and motivate my team to those outcomes. The whole goal is to understand your customers’ behaviors and needs so you can provide them with the optimal buying experience while helping your team succeed.
The CRO’s ultimate dashboard
For me, personalization is just one of the many aspects that are key in optimizing your sales process. I want to be able to understand every step of the buying process and filter on specific milestones so that I can pinpoint what went wrong or what went right. A dashboard that allows you to go deep, but also provides the high-level data to help identify key buying behaviors and key deal level milestones and how the team is performing is what every CRO needs. There’s no lack of data or insights nowadays, but there has never been a greater need to aggregate that data across systems, mine it for buying behavior, and use those insights to drive rep behavior consistently and at scale. Not just for the CRO, but for every member of the sales team. To truly deliver the optimal experience for your customers, everyone needs to be focused on the right behaviors to execute the vision.
Connecting data to a story
All that technology and data is undoubtedly necessary, but at the end of the day, we have to be able to tell great stories to win. Sales is and will always be a human-first craft. That’s why I’m excited to combine data with storytelling in our keynote event featuring one of Pixar’s most prominent storytellers. This event is for all of us in Sales and I hope you can join us on April 8th.