sales-roundup-state-of-sales.jpgIt’s your sales weekly roundup for November 13-19. This week Salesforce released their second annual State of Sales report — we’ve included the highlights, but encourage you to check out the entire report. Also: the performance impact of social selling training, developing a great digital strategy and takeaways from social selling pioneer Tim Hughes.

Second Annual State of Sales Report

Salesforce Research surveyed over 3,100 global sales professionals to identify patterns for overall sales success in a new era of selling. High-performing sales teams represent 20% of the overall survey population, while moderate and underperformers represent 71% and 9%, respectively.

Key findings:

  • Customer experience/success is ranked as the top type of KPI used to measure success.

  • High performers are 2.9x more likely than underperformers to strongly agree their company is available to customers anytime.

  • Triple-digit growth is expected in areas such as predictive intelligence (118%), lead-to-cash process automation (115%), and artificial intelligence (139%) in the next three years.

Quality Matters: The Performance Impact Of Social Selling Training

Tamara Schenk, Research Director at CSO Insights, uses data from CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study to make the case for sustainable and effective social selling implementation.

Schenk writes: “Treating social selling just as an add-on to your digital sales fitness program without any integration in the current workflow won’t deliver positive results; it will only cause frustration.”

She also goes through the elements that make social selling training effective: alignment, integration, focus and speed.

What you need to know:

  • For two years in a row, social selling training again ranked with the highest need for major redesign (30.4%) and improvement (43.1%) — in comparison, product training has the lowest need for major redesign (7.4%).

  • Effective social selling training services can improve win rates (for forecast deals) and quota attainment by double digits: win rates by 6.9 percentage points, which is an improvement of 14.9%, and quota attainment by 6.1 percentage points, which is an improvement of 10.9%.

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  • Ineffective social selling training services can lead to performance results way below average: win rates decline by 7.8% and quota attainment by 7.4%.

How to Develop a Great Digital Strategy

Jeanne Ross, Ina Sebastian and Cynthia Beath — research scientists at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin — interviewed more than 70 senior executives at 27 top companies. Their research highlights the importance of leading change with a well-thought out digital strategy that “provides direction, enabling executives to lead digital initiatives, gauge their progress, and then redirect those efforts as needed.”

Takeaways:

  • A customer engagement strategy targets superior, personalized experiences that engender customer loyalty.

  • A digitized solutions strategy targets information such as enriched products and services that deliver new value for customers.

  • The most important requirement for a great digital strategy is to choose one kind of strategy or the other, not both.

An Interview with Tim Hughes: Social Selling Expert, Pioneer and Innovator

Kim Babcock of Sales Reboot Camp, Trapit’s content marketing arm, interviewed social selling expert Tim Hughes. Hughes is recognized by some as one of the most influential social selling influencers in the world. He’s the author of Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers (2016).

Highlights from the conversation:

  • Social selling starts with listening. Follow your top accounts, their competitors and your industry. Then build influence by sharing content that is relevant to their needs.

  • “Social selling is not LinkedIn – that is a challenge in our industry.” Social selling needs to include platforms like Twitter, where many buyers go to learn and ask questions. These buyers are open to engaging with others who add value.

  • Learning the “Art of Talking to Strangers”: Be authentic and share useful information that is not all about you and your brand. When you go to a networking event, you never want to be the person who just talks about themselves.

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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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