Virtual selling perspective: Why are we making the toughest job in business more complex?
Today’s sales reps face the Herculean task of staying motivated and effective every day despite playing against a stacked deck, carrying the weight of corporate revenue performance on their shoulders.
Sellers may still be working remotely—and often in isolation—without fast access to a manager or co-worker to help confirm an important spec, talk through a pitch, or give a different perspective on a deal. And they’re taking all of this on when clients’ budgets are tighter, more rigid, and closely scrutinized.
Yet, when the workday is finally over (is it ever really over?) and they begin to wrap things up, they receive dreaded email reminders like “Don’t forget to finish mandatory new process training on ______.” (Feel free to fill in the blank, as many companies seem to continually implement new processes). One more thing to check off the never-ending to-do list.
Ninety percent of digital sellers complain that aspects of their job take longer than they should, according to Beagle Research Group’s “Getting Past the Breaking Point of Yesterday’s CRM.” And 98% wish they had superpowers to do their job. Based on their complaints, I’m guessing sales pros want either super speed or mind-reading.
Most sellers likely have annual goals along the lines of “sell more than you did last year.” But the promises of artificial intelligence (AI) helping them succeed can end up underdelivering. AI scoring can be too static and recommendations too watered down. Instead of helping them sell more, AI becomes just another step in the sales process, another CRM data monster reps are responsible for feeding.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the best CRM search is one you never have to do. But I’d also suggest that the best CRM data is the kind that analyzes itself. And thanks to technology like Oracle's Smart Lists, that kind of seller support has become a reality. Similarly, the best AI is the kind you don’t even notice. (Relax, we’re talking B2B tech here, not “Blade Runner.”)
I’m talking about in-CRM machine learning. AI may not be a superpower, but when deployed correctly, it can provide prescriptive sales insights that help account teams close more deals without adding needless steps to their workflow.
Recently, we’ve been hard at work infusing the entire selling experience with native AI-powered sales intelligence. Leveraging the power of foundational data, we bring together cross-customer experience (CX) data with new CRM information gathered by sales reps. Then we merge it with intelligence from other front- and back-office applications. The result: more personalized, dynamic, and prescriptive sales insights that are unobtrusive and precisely placed on the screen to help sellers—and ultimately customers—have a better overall experience.
Sales reps have one of the toughest jobs in business right now, so let’s give them the support they need … not another CRM field to update.
Ready to get to work? Check out my advice to help businesses inject artificial intelligence effectively into their sales processes in “If you want sellers to sell more, embrace AI” at ClickZ.
The Oracle Sales team was excited to be recognized as a Customers’ Choice in the 2020 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Sales Force Automation! Have an Oracle Sales story to tell? Join the Gartner Peer Insights crowd and share your experience.
Kayleigh Halko is a Principal Product Manager at Oracle.