The Sales VP’s Holy Grail (Blog Post 1 of 3): Focus on Accuracy
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Accuracy. Timeliness. Responsiveness. Not usually words that we associate with fast – moving, profitable and productive sales people. Yet these are the three keys to a competitive advantage that most Sales VP’s believe is their Holy Grail.

While most sales pros will tell you that they are fanatics for follow-up, a large portion of Sales VP’s may beg to differ.

In a 2015 study by Experian Data Quality, CIOs stated they could increase their organizations’ profit by an average of 15% if their data was of the highest quality. Data is a valuable business asset that can be used to drive revenue – only if it is collected, stored and mined effectively.

This is why 83% of respondents in commercial companies think inaccurate and incomplete customer or prospect data costs their organization money. It certainly does.

So what does your team do NOW to ensure customer data is complete? What are the non-negotiables that surround your CRM interaction, and how successful are you at getting compliance?

The next three blogs in our series will cover three concepts vital to getting the most out of your CRM:

Accuracy. Your CRM is only as valuable as the data entered therein.

Timeliness. Good data, updated in a disciplined and consistent way, prompts the right follow up step, at the right time.

Responsiveness. Your customers want answers and support – and for your product to work for them.

It is critical to get your sales people’s head around these three concepts. Without it, your company does not that have the right information to close a sale – resulting in lost opportunities, frustrated sales people and money in your competitor’s pockets.

Let’s Start with Accuracy

According to Salesforce:
Accurate data is the cornerstone to an effective sales force.
 Industry analysts point the finger at bad data as one of the top three reasons why CRM projects fail. Because bad data leads to misleading, incomplete, and confusing information… [1]

Sales people can exaggerate the size, timing, or profit margin of a pending deal, but when their CRM entries are accurate, you can realistically compete for customers.

Competition for customers is no longer solved by picking up the phone or meeting face to face. According to the Harvard Business Review, our brave new world is very complicated for your sales teams:

Every industry, no matter how traditional — agriculture, automotive, aviation, energy — is being upended by the addition of sensors, internet connectivity, and software. Success in this environment will depend on more than just creating better digital-enabled products; it will depend on building ecosystem-level strategies that encompass the many moving pieces that come together to create the new value proposition. [Source: Harvard Business Review]

So how do your sales teams create the new value proposition and connect to your customers? By giving them exactly what they want.

Gartner recently conducted a study on competing in today’s digital environment and how companies are preparing:

The connected economy continues its path of creative destruction, so much so that it is changing the nature of competition itself. Nearly all companies surveyed by Gartner (89%) believe that customer experience will be their primary basis for competition by 2016. Growing your business will depend on your ability to deliver convenience and delight consumers in today’s connected economy expect. The rules of competition have changed; the battlefield has shifted. It’s time to prepare. [Source: Gartner]

In order to BE competitive, your sales organization must have reliable, recent information about what the competition charges, how they go to market… even what level of competency the average rep at the competitor might be. Your sales teams also need up-to-the-minute information about your customer to deliver the right experience to them – and this data needs to be accurate.

The speed to market is similar to the speed of data. Are you and your team showing up FIRST? With an exciting offer? With timely recommendations and useful insights? When sales people get in front of more of the right people, and they record data that has literally come from the horses’ (buyers’, or buying committee’s) mouth, then the conversation takes on a momentum that frees both sides to stay focused on how to work together, instead of updating, researching, reiterating or revisiting details. Everyone – from marketing and sales to your customer and CEO – are on the same page.

To improve the level of data accuracy for sales, you need to:

  • Determine what data is important to your organization
  • Decide how that data is to be populated in your CRM
  • Document the processes when training new sales teams for the best adoption rates
  • Deploy the right technology to enable data accuracy

Getting to data accuracy isn’t only necessary to your bottom line – it is critical to competing in our digital business environment. Without it, your customers will respond to those competitors who can deliver the product and experiences they need- before you can.

At Rollio, we believe that sales success begins with accuracy – including a simplified way of capturing clients, contacts, and activities, both from the office and on the road. With that rich source of data supporting your CRM, collaboration, nurturing, and pipeline management align to maximize productivity and sales. Learn more about gaining insights from your CRM that drive sales revenues here


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