Attention sales leaders and sales enablement – you’re seeing the challenges from your sellers (struggling to ‘self-source’ their own sales pipeline), but best-in-class sales teams are already looking to the future:
- Social Selling still has a < 20% seller adoption rate, and there have been huge sales team changes since the company invested in Social Selling pre-Covid.
- AI Selling is breaching around the corner as the next soft skill for sales.
Here are the three topics this week:
- Social Selling 2.0 revolution, AI Selling evolution.
- AE CoPilots / Wingman free tools are necessary and inevitable.
- Knowledge Transfer – focus on a ‘teach-back method.’
Social Selling 2.0 revolution, AI Selling evolution.
Your sales enablement team is about to be pushed off their status quo. While they’re perhaps focusing the section on the basics, the table stakes, the best-in-class teams are gearing up for the future. Regardless of how uncomfortable it may feel, the digital buying process is getting increasingly pronounced, and the acceleration of generative AI tools will become “CoPilots” for sellers.
Social Selling – I was fortunate enough to pioneer Social Selling in 2012. There is a 1st generation of active Social Selling sprinkled within your organization. Over the years, your sales team has changed. New teammates have emerged. In a recent benchmark analysis of 100 SaaS sales organizations, only 18% of sellers have been actively sharing content in the last 30 days. Ironically, this is EXACTLY the same percentage our audits found in 2016.
In our study in 2016, there were companies with a +75% adoption rate (they became inbound lead magnets) and companies with < 5% (which struggled to replicate heroic sales efforts from a few sellers). 20% adoption = welcome to Pareto’s Law. If brand reputation and ambassadorship matter to you, then the definition of Pareto’s Law has to be debunked in your sales organization.
AI Selling: The title wave from Challenger Sale, Social Selling, MEDDICC qualification, and AI Selling will be equal to or bigger. Like Social, the very same sellers that needed Social Selling to “meet the buyers where they’re researching – online” will have mountains of digital breadcrumbs to collect from AI research tools (on the very same buyer). Now the seller won’t have to be the data mining squirrel.
Data intelligence at your fingertips will be just the tip of the iceberg:
- Social profile generation
- Content collection, development, and distribution
- Task mastery (run $5/hour tasks on tracking Signals/sales intelligence)
- Account selection, prioritization, and segmentation based on pattern recognition
- Key account planning
- Develop engagement storyboards, cadences/sequences, messages
- Distribute those messages and respond
AE CoPilots / Wingman free tools are needed, necessary, and inevitable.
AE’s are NOT tool-heavy people. They aren’t strapped with sales engagement tools (as an example) to aid in their prospecting efforts. Marketing & Demand Generation has all these widgets and gadgets.
If Demand Generation flies around in an F35 Raptor jet, then AE’s are in crop dusting planes, focused on their territory.
But the modern crop duster will have GPS tracking. And the future crop duster will have AI/ML tools that will pinpoint the crops at most risk.
This is the future for AE’s. Your AE’s aren’t going to be interested in hardcore tools, but they would like simple free CoPilots / Wingmen that they can tap into.
In the upcoming months, we will publish a list of these tools and assemble them into teachable soundbites – eventually into an AI Selling certification.
Get yourselves ready – the sales world will seek a new skill set.
Knowledge Transfer – focus on a ‘teach-back method’.
First pioneered in the medical industry, doctors and nurses used this practical learning process to master life-saving skills, and nurses leveraged the process to teach their patients.
Why does it work so well?
If you can teach me a skill or concept, you inherently understand it. It’s now part of your sales motion or daily lexicon.
How does it work?
Step 1 – You review a process or concept. Record or document it in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
Step 2 – The seller practices the process or concept before you.
Step 3 – You become the student, and they become the teacher. They must teach you to execute the process or concept to appear as “paint by number.”
When do you apply?
At your 1-on-1’s. Stop spending your entire one-on-one on opportunity review or pipeline coverage review. That’s babysitting. Spend 10 minutes of each meeting transferring knowledge on one (1) process or concept. Every moment you successfully have transferred is an outcome you have bought your team in the future. For example – you want your sellers to ensure they develop > 5 relationships in every prospect account. If you practice the ‘teach-back method” with your team next year, you will have higher deal conversion due to multi-threaded accounts. You WON’T be spending your team harping on being ‘single-threaded’ in every sales meeting.
FREE RESOURCE – Self-Generated Quota Gap & Activity Tracker.
Are your AE’s struggling to meet sales quota?
They could have a QUOTA GAP.
Do they know what percentage of their sales quota THEY NEED TO SELF-SOURCE? (not driven inbound from marketing or the channel)
For many companies, this is shocking. This could be 50%, 75%, or even 90% of every AE’s sales quota.
Ensure your sales team clearly understands where they need to focus their efforts.
Self-Generated Quota Gap & Activity Tracker
Do your Account Executives (AE’s) need more leads than Marketing can provide?
Do your Account Executives have a sales quota that’s larger than your current Inbound Marketing lead flow?
Each AE needs to understand their “Self-Generated Quota Gap” – the percentage of quota THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR not covered from inbound sources. They have to create this sales pipeline themselves.