Imagine a time when you can work totally on the go with your mobile device – phone or tablet – to create business, follow-up with customers, train your team, assess your pipeline, and work a smooth system. Not only will those in sales be able to manage their territories this way but also sales leaders will have incredible access to data and insights – even being able to reinforce learning .
The things we once predicted futuristically are coming to fruition thanks to new tools and strategies to help convert data into insights, improve sales rep on-boarding and give a new twist to getting and staying connected to those you’re collaborating with in business.
After attending last week’s roundtable put on by IBM Midmarket, I really have been thinking about the following shifts (which I’m sure you do, too if you are a busy sales leader or are someone climbing the corporate ladder at your company)
Throughput instead of “just get it done”
Efficiency instead of volume
Collaboration instead of silos
Results instead of actions
There are new tools and ideas coming out now that will change forever how we think about business process, marketing and sales. Some of what I saw last week definitely challenges the status quo like nothing I’ve seen before – especially
IBM Verse – A new way to look at prioritizing and executing on what you have to do utilizing mobile, cloud, social and analytics technologies together. With a very open mind, think about the possibilities to get better quality work done sooner – which means more sales opportunities and better ones.
IBM Watson Analytics
Right now, you can sign up for the beta (https://apps.admin.ibmcloud.com/manage/trial/watsonanalytics.html?cm_mmc=wacom--C24803SW ) to take some of Watson’s superpower computing and help you solve a sales issue with a freemium trial (there are data limits, and you must download a.csv format) Again, though – think of the possibilities. The companies I work with have massive spreadsheets that are all independent, they have CRM with little adoption, and data silos throughout their sales and marketing organizations. Finance has more data, and it is extremely difficult to bring disparate data together into insight. Watson is changing that.
While on this quest for better efficiencies and value for business building, I met up with Chanin Ballance, CEO of MobilePaks – a relatively new player in the sales enablement space. They have two offerings that help sellers – an onboarding “just in time” mobile tool called Knowledge Boost, which is an interactive workbook and on-demand training aid for post-workshop or post-new rep training. With their tool your reps can get bursts of insight – repeated and reinforced in time spaces that support real learning and comprehension. They also have a Guided Selling tool which is much like a Sales Playbook and can live in your CRM – offering you insight about a topic just as you need it. This is quite revolutionary and it will change how we learn at work.
This platform uses video, audio, and predictive analytics to discover patterns your sales reps are saying in demos and in answering questions and in sharing value propositions. Next these are scored to show which reps will be more successful. This is something I’ve dreamed about and is now actually happening. See more about Accelerate and even get a live demo.
So there really are ways now to predict performance, grow smarter sales opportunities and build better sales teams – what is your company waiting for?
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.