Time is the enemy for strategic sales teams.
You make money when you truly understand your customer’s business. And that means understanding your customer’s customer. What is driving their business, what are the trends that they lie awake at night about? When is the right time to call — and who?
But the time it takes to do this for large global accounts, or for a set of accounts across diverse market segments, is quite simply prohibitive and so sales people don’t do it.
I’ve worked with global teams covering accounts like IBM, BP, Toshiba, Cisco — it’s incredibly important that each member of the team understands what is happening to the market and end customers of each local division or business line that they are responsible for managing and that they bring that knowledge and understanding into the account strategy and coordinated campaigns.
Another example is one where we are currently working with a senior sales rep (at a very large software company) who has target accounts across a diverse set of industries — and his effectiveness is directly impacted by how quickly he can come up to speed on his customer’s businesses.
I was with a strategic sales manager at a large telecomm customer of ours on the East Coast last week discussing this very issue. He reinforced to me how important it is that his team can be relevant when they gets on the phone with their prospect or customer. It changes the whole dynamic of the conversation and makes the discussion about the customer’s business challenges and how you can help — not about what product you are hawking.
When you integrate a solution to this problem sales people can tie their productivity gains, and the deeper campaigns they can create, directly to revenue — and it is one of the popular ways our users leverage FirstRain.
My team is showing FirstRain at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston on June 28 and I’ll also be talking about the methodology to put this kind of power into the hands of a sales team on a webinar on Thursday June17 at 11am PDT – join us!