Increasing Sales Productivity in Times of Change and Uncertainty

Deploying digital tools without changing sales processes may adversely affect productivity. To benefit from digital transformation, teams must adopt innovative techniques, such as asynchronous selling, flipped selling, and account-based marketing.

Increasing Sales Productivity in Times of Change and Uncertainty

B2B sales and marketing are relentlessly going digital. Remote work is largely to blame, but the changes are likely permanent.

In response to this trend, go-to-market teams have adopted a range of digital tools, such as Zoom, Gong, Loom, Hopin, and many others. At the same time, many teams still prefer to stick with their tried-and-true motions and processes.

As a result, they fail to fully benefit from the digital transformation and may even experience a drop in productivity. It’s easy to see why.

Compared to face-to-face interactions, online meetings are less likely to convert to impactful outcomes. Therefore, taking client interactions online without changing the underlying sales processes lowers the productivity instead of increasing it.

This outcome is somewhat counterintuitive. At times, we see business leaders in denial: “Our travel budget is down, and our bookings are up. The sales team must be crushing it!”

When there is any doubt, lower productivity can be diagnosed with a straightforward metric: bookings per activity.

Suppose the rate of sales activities, such as calls, emails, and meetings, is growing faster than the rate of new bookings. In that case, we have one or more of the following:

  • Sales cycles are getting longer
  • Conversion rates are getting lower
  • Deal sizes are getting smaller

In other words, bookings may be trending higher, but the overall productivity may still be getting lower, leading to employee burnout, meeting fatigue, and bad buyer experience.

Fortunately, it does not have to be this way.

We previously discussed two techniques that can help innovative sellers adapt to the new reality: asynchronous selling and flipped selling.

With asynchronous selling, some buyer-seller interactions are strategically replaced with asynchronous content sharing, which improves buyer experience, reduces the number of interactions per sales cycle, and increases the closing rate.

With flipped selling, sales content is shared before a meeting, and the meeting time is spent addressing objections and building relationships instead of pitching and demoing.

Deploying asynchronous and flipped selling can lead to double-digit growth in sales productivity. However, the techniques only work if sellers can share deeply personalized, timely, and relevant content, which requires non-trivial targeting and account-based marketing.

In summary, deploying digital tools without transforming go-to-market processes may adversely affect productivity. To fully benefit from digital transformation, teams must adopt innovative techniques, such as asynchronous selling, flipped selling, and account-based marketing.

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