In 2016, McKinsey surveyed 1000 sales organizations around the world and found that “53 percent of those that are ‘high performing’ rate themselves as effective users of analytics.”
These companies clearly understand what artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics can help their sales execution, where it creates the most value, and act on that wisely.
What Is Sales Execution?
Sales execution refers to actions that your reps should take to guide a lead through a sales funnel and ultimately close the deal. It establishes expectations, resources, tools, and key steps to achieve sales targets. Once created, sales execution can not only fuel your revenue growth but also help mitigate risks and improve sales efficiency.
Unfortunately, many other businesses still struggle with implementing sales execution with AI. Some even doubt the benefits of data-driven sales execution strategies in boosting revenue growth and business efficiency.
If you fall into this category, then this article will help you out. We’ll walk you through how you can improve sales execution and how you can use AI to optimize it for the highest outcomes.
Common Sales Execution Challenges Your Team Faces
As said above, sales execution brings a lot of benefits to a business. That said, it’s not easy to implement due to the following challenges:
- Data silos: When sales and marketing teams use different platforms to do their jobs, data silos happen, which can lead to inconsistent communication and reduced productivity. Without proper setup, integrations, automation, and know-how, salespeople may have to spend a lot of time updating their CRM and switching between systems to get data, without much payoff.
- Lack of a defined sales playbook: When sales reps don’t have a guideline to take action, they must either figure things out on their own or by shadowing other reps. Consequently, they may deliver wrong messages to prospects, miss out on opportunities, or fail to close deals. Your sales team needs ready-made resources to know what they should do and shouldn’t.
- Not having enough insights into prospects: The more reps understand prospects, the easier it is for them to create the right message and prepare a practical proposal, leading to a higher chance of winning the deal. You need an AI-powered sales intelligence solution that provides real-time, actionable insights to support your sales reps as they work through their sales pipelines.
Ways to Improve Sales Execution
Here are a few tips to help you implement sales execution the right way:
- Create a revenue-focused sales funnel that enables you to optimize revenue at every stage of your sales process.
- Use a Salesforce, Gmail, and Outlook integration solution to centralize data across channels into one place. This way, your sales team can access data anywhere and any time without having to switch back and forth between systems.
- Adopt a deal guidance tool that sends signals to your sales reps whenever a prospect becomes silent, or an opportunity arises (more on this later).
- Provide regular, proper coaching and training programs to enhance your sales reps’ skills and expertise.
- Take advantage of automation to reduce tedious tasks and free up your sales reps’ time so they can focus on activities that generate revenue.
How Is AI Transforming Sales Execution?
According to Gartner, traditional sales process methodologies have proved to be limited. With the outbreak of Covid-19, leading to changes in buyers’ behaviors, businesses have to adopt data-driven approaches to guide reps to win deals.
Think about data and insights an AI-powered sales tool can provide. A software-as-a-service (SaaS) company noticed a decrease in signing up for their free trials and demos in quarter 4 due to the holiday slowdown. Knowing this, they can push sales reps to increase outreach and engagement with key accounts and prospects during the first quarters of the year.
Another area of sales execution that AI can help is sales visibility. The most successful sales leaders always have a more accurate sales forecast as they have a deeper level of visibility into critical deals and factors that could impact their revenue. And how do they get those insights? It’s by making use of AI-powered pipeline management solutions.
Data-Driven Sales Execution: A Closer Look
Revenue Grid is a powerful tool to help improve your sales team’s execution and create a repeatable and scalable sales process. We make it easy for your reps to follow best practices and playbooks, scale your coaching efforts, and nudge reps to take the next best steps toward success:
- Team analytics: Receiving updated insights into your sales reps’ daily tasks, changes in their pipelines, and performance. You can easily identify the best salespeople and allocate them to key accounts. You can also provide support by highlighting opportunities a rep needs to follow up and then create a visual dashboard of how they respond to your signals.
- Pipeline visibility: Identifying decision-makers and influencers your reps should focus on most. They can visually see reasons behind opportunity scores, which commitments are accurate, and what’s overpromised. They can understand if they lack strong relationships with a certain prospect and what they should do to move the needle.
- Revenue signals: Understanding the proper health of your sales pipelines and opportunities, which might be at-risk or ready for negotiation, and where to focus coaching. With real-time signals, your reps can jump into a deal and know exactly what they need to do — no more guesswork and confusion.