Analyzing Sales Dialogue – Where Sales Enablement Is Headed

by Blogs, Sales Enablement, Traq

Sales managers look at many metrics to estimate the forward movement of a potential sale, including:

  • Website and social media engagement
  • Responsiveness to prospecting campaigns
  • The quality and value of the sales pipeline at each sales stage
  • And many others

But while these are flags indicating possible sales prospects, they are not where the real deal occurs. That honor belongs to selling conversations.

This is an area where sales leaders would benefit from precision. They need an understanding of the meat of the conversation, what is present and what is lacking and, most importantly, how that can lead to a win. Or, conversely, how it might lead your sales reps to unwittingly leave revenue on the table.

Sales Enablement is Often Cumbersome & Costly

The promise of sales enablement has been focused on defining, connecting, and measuring the interrelated processes that make these calls tick. Even so, sales leaders often confide that pursuing sales enablement is a massive and costly effort.

Worse, it doesn’t seem to have any endpoint. They can name dozens of component apps and technologies they’ve cobbled together to track and report on various indicators of sales progress with varying success. Even so, their sales enablement is lagging, simply because the patchwork process that makes it possible is so time-consuming.

Unfortunately, I’ve found this matches my own experience.

When the many apps in the sales technology stack work smoothly, the investment can provide:

  • Vast amounts of data on website utilization
  • Content marketing effectiveness
  • Call tracking
  • And pipeline advancement

Indications like the number of opened emails, what content has been downloaded, or how the rep has assigned the opportunity to a specific pipeline stage are examples that describe “what” is happening.

The problem is the more elusive “why” this is happening.

The Road to Great Enablement is Found in Sales Conversations

These are the insights needed to win more sales, and they remain deeply hidden in the selling conversation. Worse, when it comes to understanding and assessing dialogue between the prospect and sales representative, meaningful analytics have been very scarce and difficult to come by.

One reason we’ve been drawn to sales enablement is as an attempt to sidestep the challenge of cloning top producers, the “A” players whose selling approach is consistently superior.

In essence, we’ve tried to apply principles of industrial manufacturing and automation to selling with the notion that if we just simplify and tighten down every step in the sales process, we can achieve consistent, high-quality production from any average “B” player sales rep.

But it rarely happens that way.

Much of the advanced skill of the best performers is detectable, quantifiable, and can be coached in others with leadership effort. Unfortunately, few sales managers have sufficient time available to wrangle this effort. Especially when many managers lack tools to efficiently analyze the selling dialogues that are critical to winning deals. Can Light the Way

This is one of the primary reasons we’re developing using the power of artificial intelligence applied to sales conversations.

This approach is much more efficient, precise and valuable compared to the common practice of conducting random call reviews or relying on sales executives to prepare and share call notes.  Instead of relying on randomness, you can bring precision back into your sales process. And most of all, you can bring precision to your sales conversations.

Major improvements in sales effectiveness can occur quickly when the interactive selling conversations and two-way communications are carefully analyzed for risks and opportunities, or to uncover buying patterns and insights.

By focusing on the heart of the selling effort, the dialogue between qualified prospects and the sales team, sales managers can impact two critical priorities: 1) achieving more wins and 2) building a more effective team.

It’s certain burnout to attempt to sit in on every significant meeting or coach every important call. That just isn’t what sales managers need. What sales managers really need is a more efficient way to dig out relevant information from any sales dialogue to help the team toward a winning approach and steady improvement.

And that’s where can help.

Some applications are:

  1. Analyze all prior conversations to identify overlooked patterns or important information that could tip the scale for a major win.
  2. Review a group of recently closed wins to understand how important areas like qualification, competition or pricing were discussed. How were those conversation points handled successfully? And more importantly, how do you replicate it?
  3. Quantify attributes of the successful calls of top producers. How does their approach match (or differ from) from the prescribed selling process? Where do they shine? What selling sound bites help make the conversation flow more easily? And how can you make your “B” players conversations more like the “A” players?
  4. Confirm the sales team can recognize all forms of risk during a conversation.  Identify a variety of examples from available live calls for a training meeting.  Use this same approach for identifying sales opportunities.
  5. Quantify how effectively a team member captures specific sales intelligence compared to another team member.

Your selling conversations are the heart of your sales, which makes them essential to include in your plan for sales enablement. I’d love to hear what you are doing with selling conversations to help win more deals or improve your team – and how can continue to strengthen your sales process. Please let us know how we can help your team thrive.

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