Guest Blog: How to Invest in Your Sales Organization
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
There is no roadmap or surefire formula for instant success or growth. However, there are proven ways to reach growth milestones that can catapult your sales to success. There are three sales investment ideas you may want to investigate. But before you jump in, you may want to consider how the buying process has changed in recent years.
The Millennial Buyer
To understand what to invest in, you need to first understand that the buying process and buyer have changed.
Whatever product or service you're trying to sell, potential customers are everywhere, right? However, technology has changed the way customers engage with advertising and information. Sales teams need to adjust their sales process and customer experience accordingly.
According to Team Stage, "The number of millennials in the workforce is 56 million. This generation represents 35% of the total U.S. labor force. Currently, they are the largest working generation." So how has the influx of millennials changed the buying process?
Well, according to Jungle Scout, "91 percent of millennials prefer to shop online, with only 9 percent choosing to shop in-store only." This means that the majority of the workforce will start their customer search online.
A TrustRadius, study found that “59% of all B2B buyers are millennials, and close to 30% of them are lead buyers for their organization.” If you want to engage these B2B millennial buyers, you need to also understand how their behavior and preferences are reshaping the buying process.
The Buying Process Has Changed
Because of the way millennials were brought up and came into their professional lives, the buying process has indeed changed.
Not that long ago, the customer journey was simpler. There were fewer informational and advertising platforms available. When a prospect saw something they liked on a billboard, magazine ad, or T.V. commercial, they would contact a salesperson. Or they would head into a physical store to ask questions and make their decision. Now the customer goes straight to their phone to look up product or service information, quotes, competitor pricing, and reviews and testimonials.
Gartner states that the typical group for a complex B2B solution “involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group.” More decision-makers, and thus more gatekeepers, are now involved in the process armed with their own research.
Have you adjusted your sales process to accommodate millennial customers? Or invested in the tools to change this process?
The following are three investments you may want to consider to be successful, especially given all of the recent changes to the buying process.
1. Investing in Tools
Great CEOs understand the need to adapt and change with customers' new buying habits. They are willing to invest in the technology that helps their sales team bring more value.
Technological advancements help promote relationships with customers and improve the processes for finding qualified prospects and turning them into customers. Technology also enhances the sales communications process and supports the effective presentation of products and services. For example, how many times have you been able to send a video demonstration vs. driving an hour to present it in person?
According to Tubular Labs, "96% of consumers surveyed found videos helpful for making online purchase decisions." That same study also found that respondents consider brands that produce video content to be more trustworthy.
2. Investing in your Sales Leader
CEOs who have invested in their sales leader find their companies to be more successful than CEOs who haven't. According to Biz Library, investing in training leaders can have incredible results, with some companies reporting higher sales, lower turnover, shortened sales cycles, and higher customer satisfaction.
Good leadership drives engagement and motivates employees, which improves performance and increases organizational productivity. Harvard Business Review also suggests there is a "symbiotic learning relationship between an employee and an organization." In other words, high-growth leaders drive organizational growth, but they require their organizations' interest, investment, and support.
3. Investing in Outside Resources
Innovative CEOs know they aren't masters at everything. They can't be when they are busy running their entire company. So they invest in outside resources to help manage some of the most challenging parts of their company.
According to Statista, "in 2020, the global consulting market was estimated to be worth approximately 132 billion U.S. dollars, after experiencing continuous growth between 2015 and 2019." So not only is that market growing, but CEOs are seeking more and more consultants.
These outside resources provide expert perspectives in areas you may not know well. They can help your company attain tremendous success. This is done by removing biases, taking extra work off your plate, providing fresh thinking, and more. Successful CEOs know when something is out of their skillset and they should invest in someone else to help.
Investing in your sales organization can lead to more success for yourself and your team. You can do it three ways: investing in sales tools, the sales leader, and outside resources. Investing in one or all three may lead to that big boost you've been looking for.
Author, Mike Braun, is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors, a national sales improvement firm dedicated to helping companies drive sales performance through implementation and reinforcement of systems, processes, tools and effective management and trusted partner of The Resultants. Mike is dedicated to improving sales force effectiveness by building sales leadership and brings a unique set of experience and perspectives on the topic of Sales Growth with his 30+ years as a salesperson and sales leader.