It Takes a Technology Village to Make a Sale
You may have never thought of it this way before, but a sale is like an onion. It has layers: There’s the lead, the conversation, the demo, the quote … and the close. Like some of your friend’s relationships on Facebook, a sale is “complicated.” So why is it that many companies continually rely on one technology to help them close more sales?
For example, CRM technology is great – but it only addresses one piece of the puzzle – pre-sales. It’s all about who the customer is, what they want, when you last spoke, and driving the sale. But what happens when the sale is imminent? How can the rep simplify the product configuration, price and quoting process so they can get back to the business of selling? And how can your sales rep know which deal mix will lead to the optimal outcome for both the customer and the company? (Is it a two-year deal? A one-year deal?) And what happens to this “post-sales” data when the process is done? Post-sales data is critical to understanding what products have been sold, to whom, at what margins, through which channels, at which geographies, and at what price points.
CRM alone simply cannot answer those questions or generate the kind of data companies need to predict and execute better selling quarter after quarter. Truth is, they need a sales technology village to make better sales.
Playing out the scenario above, we have a number of customers who started with Salesforce for CRM and then quickly added Xactly for Sales Performance Management and SteelBrick for Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ). By linking these applications together they are able to integrate and see their own customer data from the initial point of contact, through to final sale all in one location. This data can then be analyzed and compared to industry data to enable better, more powerful selling.
And our customers agree. According to Jessica Bailey, VP of Finance, at Bradford Networks, “To accommodate our growth we are in the midst of revamping our comp process, which made it the ideal time to roll out both SteelBrick and Xactly. The ease of use between the two new systems and our existing CRM made it a simple choice.”
So, there you have it. When you add powerful, best-of-breed software technologies together with your CRM foundation, you have the potential for much more efficient, effective selling. So enlist that sales technology village and change that sales label from “it’s complicated” to “engaged.”
CSO Insights – Sales Management Optimization Study
This report shares key trends and best practices for sales compensation and performance management, as well as insights based on company size, industry, and annual revenue.