“An exceptional company is the one that gets all the little details right. And the people out on the front line, they know when things are not going right, and they know when things need to be improved. And if you listen to them, you can soon improve all of those things which turns an average company into an exceptional company.” – Richard Branson
In taking your company to the next level, communication is king.
This rule applies to all business areas. One of your top priorities is to listen to the employees on the front line. Digital transformation has a major impact on your sales team and reps who engage with prospects and paying customers every day. These are the workers likeliest to learn about your clients’ pain points directly from them. If your sales pipeline is to benefit from engaging with the fast-moving digital economy and with digital transformation tools, your sales team needs to be directly involved and invested in that process.
Synergy between sales and marketing is especially important. The marketing team is tasked with bringing in the leads that the sales team closes. Below, we’ll cover five fundamental questions you can ask your sales team to help marketing contribute to building your sales pipeline. Before we get to that, though, let’s talk about a key technology that both teams will have in common when working at a modern company determined to keep current with the fast-paced digital economy.
Sales and the High Definition Customer Experience (HD-CX)
Sugar set a major development in motion upon creating the time-aware customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Time-aware functionality was — and is — all about making the full history, the context, of any given customer’s interactions with a company available when needed. This makes it simpler for individual agents to know what a customer needs, for marketers to be able to target the most promising prospects and for sales and customer service agents to be able to answer concerns quickly and accurately. SugarCRM’s time-aware platform set a new standard for CRM when it made its debut.
What now follows from that innovation is the high definition customer experience or HD-CX standard.
Customer experience (CX) is the next evolution of customer relationship management and customer service. Where the latter two disciplines focus separately on the customer’s feelings about a brand and on concrete services for the customer, CX fuses those endeavors into a single integrated push to provide customers with extraordinary and memorable experiences of a brand in every way.
Companies that have pioneered the rise of CX, often through the use of time-aware SugarCRM, have collectively raised the average consumer expectation of what CX should be. Now the race is on to be able to hit that high bar consistently — and this is where HD-CX comes in.
Where time-aware CRM provided the history and context of the customer’s journey, the HD-CX standard capitalizes on that information by providing predictability; that is, the ability to foresee, with a high degree of accuracy, what a customer or prospect’s needs will be and the best way to move forward on them. It pulls together powerful AI, agile data enrichment and no-touch information management, going beyond your company’s database to acquire prospect and customer information and bringing powerful predictive analytics to bear.
The predictability framework of HD-CX makes it possible for all your teams to collaborate in providing a seamless, flawless customer experience. Even with tools this advanced available to you, however, much still depends on how those teams communicate with and support each other.
Five Ways Your Marketing Team Can Effectively Support Sales
Reaching out to your front-line sales workers is one of the most basic steps a business can take to reach the highest possible level of success. Before fully implementing digital tools on the level of an HD-CX compliant solution from Sugar, it’s an excellent idea to sit down and interview your sales team to find out ways that other teams — especially marketing — can help to build a fast-moving and successful sales pipeline.
A couple of things to keep in mind for this interview process:
- Be a good listener. Do your research to be an informed interlocutor who understands what each interviewee is talking about. Cover the most important topics. Be grateful to the interviewee for taking time out of their day to help both you and the company, and make sure they know the ultimate objective is to bring in higher-quality leads.
- Start with the top sales reps. The most successful people currently selling your brand can be a great source of productive lessons.
- Interview professionally. Ask permission to record the interview ahead of time and clarify that the recording is for internal reference purposes only. Decide about whether you want to send questions ahead of time or prefer to have them answer on the spot.
Putting these fundamentals into play, here are five core areas you can (and should) consult with your sales team about.
1. Get to Know Their Ideal Lead or Customer
Get your top sales rep to describe, in their words, the type of prospect that’s best for business. You can use this information to build targeting criteria in marketing campaigns, while the predictive muscle of HD-CX allows you to forecast which prospects are likeliest to develop these ideal characteristics.
2. Understand Their Sales Process from First-Touch to Close
Time-aware CRM already gives you a basic picture of a prospect throughout the buyer’s journey. But experiencing this process through your sales reps’ eyes will give you a fresh vantage point on it, a sense of what’s ideal or average, and knowledge of the stages at which other stakeholders get involved in the purchasing process. This allows you to tailor messages to support your sales reps at key stages and to understand intimately, or predictively when messaging needs to adjust.
3. Learn the Three Best Use Cases to Close a Deal
For any product or service, it’s important to understand which use cases convert into revenue most frequently, or at the largest scale. This makes it possible to target keywords related to those use cases and to focus ads and online copy on those pain points.
4. Identify Three Features and Benefits That Close Customers
Particular features or benefits may consistently attract prospects and convert them into new customers. Knowing which these are can improve messaging, put you on alert for prospects in the market for those particular features and provide feedback to product and engineering teams.
5. Learn How Top Reps Overcome Objections and Close
One of the most important skills for a sales rep is to be able to overcome last-minute objections from a prospective customer who is almost sold but still hesitant. The best approach for getting a customer to take the plunge can be a powerful marketing insight, usable in retargeting campaigns, autoresponder messages and exit pop-ups, or as predictive insights for prospects with similar profiles that allow for early messaging to be reworded, preempting certain common objections.
Other Questions to Consider
These major areas of inquiry are just the beginning. There are other important questions to think and talk about with your top sales reps. Take the time to find out which common objections they face overall from prospects, what things they’d most like to see improved on incoming leads, and any interesting things they have learned from recent customers or prospects are all questions worth pursuing.
The big picture takeaway is that your marketing and sales teams stand to get far more out of sophisticated digital solutions designed to Sugar’s HD-CX standard when they communicate and work together instead of separately. From marketing copy to outreach tools, campaign targeting to predictive analytics, leveraging information from your company’s top sales performers can pay real dividends. Be sure to reach out to your teams and integrate their knowledge, and contact SugarCRM for more information about HD-CX technology.