A colleague in sales sent me a blog post by Mike Troutman the other day called, “Hey Marketers, Don’t Forget Your Biggest Customer.” In it, Troutman says that sales teams feel forgotten by marketers—but, as the marketing communications person here at FirstRain, I know how much time we in marketing spend trying to push content out specifically for the benefit of sales. And I know from talking to others in the industry that this disconnect is extremely common—and the implications of it are staggering to behold: 70% of marketing material is never used by the sales team, although 84% of marketers have uploaded collateral to their CRM. And 51% of sales teams say the biggest time waste in their day is trying to find collateral.
Setting my personal situation aside (I’ll deal with those sales folks later …), while reading Troutman discuss how salespeople are trying to find material they can use to drive more revenue, I couldn’t help but notice how similar that is to the challenge sales people experience in trying to find information they can use to find more opportunities, spot risk and really understand a customer’s business. Much like the salespeople in the article looking for usable collateral, many sales reps these days waste an incredible amount of time searching for customer insights that are really actionable.
In the content arena, Troutman notes that usually marketers just upload content to their company’s CRM, send an email alerting the sales team that something new is available, and that is that. That method assumes that “each salesperson has been trained and is competent in search and retrieval of collateral,” and the organizational structure of how the material is stored isn’t necessarily conducive to all users’ style.
The same is true with trying to find customer insights—but even more so. They’re out there, but throwing the salesperson into Google to find information that is relevant to them assumes that he or she is “competent in search and retrieval” of information. Even if he is particularly adept at search, the Web is just too big to see everything he needs to, and there’s too much noise for them to find the needle in a haystack they need to understand what drives their customer. To be able to drive more revenue, they need a solution that delivers relevant, timely customer insights that are personalized to the accounts they care about most—without them having to work to find it.
That’s exactly the problem that personal business analytics solve. The areas of interest are personalized to what they need to see and understand in order to drive more revenue. Customer insights from across the entire Web and social media are packaged up and delivered directly to the rep to the places they already are, whether that’s the company CRM, their email, or on their mobile device—whatever works best for them.
Personal business analytics deliver the sales teams “what they use and what is effective” and “reduce the time it takes to locate content”—the key things Troutman says marketers need to do to help their sales reps be more efficient and productive.