Today, B2B customers expect a highly personalized buying experience. That means it’s up to sales teams to transform their approach to customer service.
To gauge how well today’s sales teams are engaging with prospects and customers to drive revenue, Bigtincan – in partnership with Researchscape – recently commissioned a survey of more than 600 sales executives that evaluated the adoption, usage, and impact of sales enablement solutions.
The results of the survey show the necessity for organizations today to have a sales enablement solution in place – one that utilizes intelligent technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to help enhance and personalize the prospect experience – to close deals and, ultimately, build revenue success.
In fact, the survey also revealed sales enablement is on the rise, with the majority (57 percent) of sales professionals using some sort of platform solution today – making AI a key factor when it comes to losing or winning big deals.
Here are some other key takeaways from the survey.
Why Your Sales Reps Are Losing the Deal: Lack of Automation
Sales teams today need to move quickly to remain a step ahead of the competition. This means adopting automation to assist with labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks.
The lack of automation drives the biggest loss of sales for non-sales enablement users, with 30 percent of non-sales enablement users citing slow response times as the biggest driver of lost sales, and another 27 percent attributing it to excessive manual tasks. In short, sales professionals who are not yet using sales enablement are risking loss of deals and revenue.
In fact, more than a quarter (28 percent) of non-sales enablement users reported a loss of 100 or more sales deals in 2017. In addition to revenue impact, the survey also found that, for respondents not using sales enablement solutions, the average sales cycle to close a deal often took more than a month for non-users, with three out of 10 respondents noting their sales cycle took four months or more. These challenges affect the organization’s bottom line, with a quarter of non-users forgoing one million dollars or more in revenue last year.
You Can Win More if You Leverage Artificial Intelligence
AI and machine learning technology are critical to today’s sales cycle. They create a single source of truth for marketing collateral, sales presentations, and company messaging to ensure sales teams are armed with the most up-to-date and accurate marketing assets to best engage with prospects.
The survey revealed sales enablement users are bigger believers in the power of AI, with 30 percent of sales enablement users believing it already has a positive impact, compared to 22 percent of non-users. This has led to a more optimistic outlook about the impact this advanced technology can have on sales practices – with four out of 10 users believing AI will have a large or transformative impact on the industry, compared to just 27 percent of non-users.
Additionally, more than half (53 percent) of sales enablement users noted they have already adopted automated reporting, in contrast to only 40 percent of non-sales enablement users. Of the respondents, nearly a third of sales enablement users noted they had automated lead scoring in place and integration with marketing, while this applied to less than a quarter of non-users.
Overall, the survey demonstrated how critical technology tools are in not only driving efficiency, but in fostering meaningful engagement touchpoints with prospects and customers to drive deal closure. With proper conditioning, and by arming the intelligent sales force with the right tools – like sales enablement platforms leveraging automation and AI – organizations looking to keep up in the competitive market can deliver content and information that helps teams learn faster, sell smarter, and be more productive every day.
Patrick Welch is president and CMO of Bigtincan.