Augmenting the human – how salespeople can use technology to help themselves
On a recent podcast, I interviewed Alexander Low about the use of technology in sales. He has a great attitude, which I share, that technology is there to assist salespeople in having more conversations.
Some organisations may invest heavily on their ‘tech stack’ while others may not. So, I asked him what advice he could give to individuals wanting to get themselves up to speed. What is available that they could personally tap into and make a difference within their own offering?
Here are some of his thoughts:
Sales Navigator is available as a single license on its own. I think I’m paying 600 quid a year for it. Now that might be a lot of money for some just starting out. I totally, totally respect that but, if you can afford it by yourself, go and buy it. Because Sales Navigator gives you deeper, richer insights into what is happening in LinkedIn.
RevGenius is a Slack group. A community of salespeople around the world. It has grown from zero to, I think, now 8,000 people worldwide. They recognize that there isn’t this kind of massive watercooler, if you will, where people can talk about the daily challenges they are facing with the constant changes we are seeing in the market place. People come to a community and share and help each other.
I think that’s a big, or should be a big signal to sales leaders, rev ops, sales enablement, and all those functions. It is this type of coaching that they, the teams, need help with. And of course, this, again, comes down to experience. You can’t replace experience. It’s free too, to join.
Go and find these communities and just ask for help and just go start iterating yourself. Follow the likes of Justin Michael, go and follow the people that are out there talking about this, sign up to Gong, Outreach, Hubspot, Salesloft.
All their blog posts talk around where all selling is going. And the key thing – this is not one size fits all. So, take a bit from there, a bit from there a bit from there and kind of build it into what works for you. If you’re able to invest in some of this tech by yourself, do it and improve it, go find your communities like RevGenius or Sales Enablement Pro, which have sprung up out of nowhere.
Also, look at some of the tech you’ve already got within your organization, go and learn more about it. As I said, our mutual friend Justin talks about technology quite a lot (he has also been a guest on the podcast). Go and increase your TQ – technology quotient. Increase your understanding of actually what this technology could do for you. Your CRM, for example.
I want to understand everything that Salesforce could possibly do for me or Dynamics or Sugar or whatever the CRM system is. From a reporting perspective, from a data perspective, go to your marketing teams and say ‘give me all the website data that we’ve had for the last three months in terms of website visits, all of it’. Don’t say why you want it, other than you want to look at it through your own lens. Maybe there are companies on your target list that are visiting your website.
One salesperson went to Marketing and he asked marketing for the unsubscribes. Why the hell do you want the unsubscribes? Well, he called every single one of the unsubscribes and asked ‘Why did you answer unsubscribe?’. He turned some of these calls into conversations.
It’s about stating to think differently. About asking what else might I do? You have already got access to data in some shape or form somewhere if you just ask. Then just look at it from a different lens, a different kind of viewpoint because marketing, for example, will look at it from one perspective.
Finance will look at it from another perspective. Again, back to basics, the old ‘white space analysis’ Go to finance and ask for the last 12 months of billing, everything. If you sell multiple products, look at who is a full service client then look at your target opportunities. Start to work backwards into the white space looking at which of your products they are buying, or not, compared to a similar company in the same industry as them. Logic would tell us that if they could buy all of our products as the same company. We’ve got a story to tell because we can see the white space in terms of the revenue.
You can do this on a spreadsheet, but this is where the tech is going. For this analysis in the future. AI will start to tell you ‘Hey, you haven’t contacted this customer in three months’ or ‘Hey, these people have done this so you should contact them’. Actually, it can do it now but if you haven’t got that capability just go and dig, go be curious.
– Invest in tech for you to use yourself.
– Find a community and log on. Listen, ask questions and hear what they’ve got to say. Look for people that you relate to.
– Ask ‘What tech have we already got?’ Go and ask somebody. Understand it.
– Do something!
I’m trying to underline, if you like, that you can just keep uploading programs and apps and things but it’s not going to actually make a difference unless you do something with it. Take some ownership. It’s fundamentally your destiny at the end of the day. You want to be in control of your own revenue, right?
Be curious. Open your mind. Think differently.
That’s what it comes back to. As it’s still a human driving this stuff and using it to make a decision. We should take confidence in that because we can make it make us better. It is about ‘augmenting the human’.
Fred Copestake is founder of Brindis, a sales training consultancy.
Over the last 22 years he has travelled round the world 14 times visiting 36 countries to work with over 10,000 salespeople.
His book ‘Selling Through Partnering Skills’ looks at the evolving world of sales and sets out what salespeople need to do to refine their approach. It explores how to take things to the next level through understanding partnering intelligence and using the innovative VALUE Framework.
Brindis augments training with Boxxstep