Research published on Harvard Business Review (HBR) reveals that only 37% of salespeople are consistently effective and only 1 out of 250 salespeople meets or exceeds his or her quota. The good news: Predictive marketing can elevate the rest of your sales team’s performance to the upper tier levels.
HBR’s research has disturbing findings for sales execs other than the first two mentioned here. Less than 10% of sales meetings end up as an inked deal. The HBR investigation divided salespeople into eight distinctively characteristic groups:
- Experts: The overachieving 9% of salespeople outstrip their peers in almost every measurable aspect.
- Closers: This group accounting for 13% of salespeople can counter objections, but their style is not a good fit for enough customers.
- Consultants: These, comprising 15% of sales reps, are great listeners and problem solvers, but may fail to show relevant case studies.
- Storytellers: Their emphasis on example and case studies produces fewer results. They account for 7% of salespeople.
- Focusers: This knowledgeable 19% of the rep population, the largest group, can detail every product feature but they fail to listen to customer needs and can’t get the customer to relate to the product.
- Narrators: These automaton salespeople, utterly reliant on scripts and marketing materials, lack the creativity to respond to challenging questions. Put about 15% of salespeople in this population.
- Aggressors: Highly focused on price and negotiation, this 7% of sales people can’t do much else.
- Socializers: Great at gaining rapport, they find it hard to close deals because they’ve made friends not clients. Place 15% of reps in this category.
How predictive marketing can up the sales numbers
Predictive marketing, a powerful sales enablement tool, facilitates genuine conversations as it highlights a client’s needs. Check out just some of the main benefits that shore up the weaknesses of most salespeople and contribute to bottom-line success.
- Data: Predictive marketing provides up-to-date, crucial, client-centric data for closing the deal. Before each conversation, reps know the type of technology used, financial results, and other information relevant for success.
- On-point conversations: With key data at their disposal, reps can tailor sales conversations to address client demands. Yes, listening is necessary. But after the listening is done, having the right pitch, armed with fresh, strategic data points, closes the deal.
- Identifying decision-makers: Predictive marketing segments the organization’s buyers, identifying the role they play in making the decision. It gives each buyer what they need to know to comfortably sign off on the purchase.
- Identify key marketing material: Predictive marketing’s algorithms identify key content that can be sent to prospects in the sales-nurturing path. With more knowledge, customers are engaged even before they meet Sales.
- Identify who is likely to convert: With predictive lead scoring, salespeople can spend more of their time reaching out to the people most likely to drive revenue. This helps reps to spend time building relationships, telling stories and negotiating with the people that really matter.
In sum, building a top performing sales team is a challenge. Of the 8 types of sales reps HBR defined, only 3 deliver stellar results. Our silver lining is that these sales styles are not set in stone. There are coaching tools available to managers to up their team’s performance. Predictive marketing provides technology and data to raise rep success by providing information, structure and suggested actions that will close more deals.