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Increasing Sales Effectiveness with an Insight Sales Discovery Process

Posted by Robert Beckerman
Robert Beckerman
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increasing-sales-effectiveness-with-insight-sellingAll sales managers would like to increase their sales effectiveness and productivity. The usual processes of pipeline management, activity review and coaching do not deliver the results needed in a realiable fashion. Insight Selling is a data-driven approach that is worth consideration. Insight Selling provides a more substantial understanding of where roadbocks exist and how to quickly remove them.

The Real Issues in Managing

Sales Effectiveness

The real issue with improving sales performance is that we don't have a sales effectiveness management process that supports our sales people. Currently, we focus on activity and outcomes because that is what is visible to us in our CRM data. We can easily see opportunities, calls, meetings and quotes with the sales rep's subjective evaluation of closure potential and so we use that data for review and coaching.

That leads us to push on activity - Generate more calls, more meetings, more quotes so that sales will be positively impacted.  When we do try to impact sales effectivenss, we revert to coaching, sales visits and skills based training to support improvement.  This is a very indirect process that has not yielded quick or meaningful results.


Capture Insight Sales Discovery Data

The essential ingredient in a successful sale is the gathering of key customer insights. This is the fuel that allows us to align benefit and value and to differentiate our solutions. However, this feedback is typically captured in a text notes field in CRM, on paper or kept in the sales rep's head.  If we capture this data in a usable format, we would have the ability to know exactly where we are in the sales process and how well we are doing. It would also give us some specific and standard metrics to understand, manage and improve our sales effectiveness.

Develop Your Insight Sales Panel™

The key to increasing sales effectiveness starts with the development your Insight Sale Panel™ for your salespeople. The Insight Sale Panel™ specifically defines the data to uncover in their ongoing customer or prospect contact and discovery. Each question should be detailed so that it can be captured as data and not in text notes. 

Create Your Insight Sales Index™ 

The next step is to develop the most common answers to each question in your Insight Sale Panel™. In most cases you will be able to predict 95% of responses that you will hear.

Give each answer a score. The higher the score, the more likely the customer is to purchasing your product. If there are multiple answers for a question, pick the maximum score for that question and then add all of these together. When normalized, this will represents a 100% Insight Sales Index™.  You can now use each customer’s responses to calculate their Insight Sales Index™.  By the way, this is a much more consistent and reliable predictor of opportunity conversion than the sales rep's educated guess or stage probability to close.

Manage Sales Effectiveness with your Insight Data

Use the Insight Sales Index™ to understand how to help your sales people increase their performance. You will see in an instant, and in real time, where there are gaps and how to specifically help them in gathering key information, provide value, respond to issues and differentiate you from the competition.

It is important that we have a process to improve sales performance and more specifically sales effectiveness. The development of an Insight Sales Panel™ and the Insight Sales Index™ for your company will provide the data necessary to manage your salespeople with a new understanding on where their discovery and value creation needs support.

Over time you will be able to chart your progress and improvement in your Insight Sales index™ and will see the previously hidden relationship between increasing sales performance and a higher Insight Sales Index™. 

I am available to review this process with you and determine applicability to your specific organizaitonal needs.