Thursday, November 29, 2012

Accenture & CSO Insights: Improve Sales Effectiveness with Tablets in 2013

In a survey of Chief Sales Officers (CSOs), the number one priority for the coming year was to improve sales effectiveness, especially finding ways to improve quota attainment success, improving deal size and driving competitive win rates. This was reported by almost 60% for responses from sales executives at over 200 $1B+ revenue companies worldwide by CSO Insights and Accenture.

And improving sales effectiveness could not come soon enough, as CSOs indicate that between 36% to 47% of sales professionals are still failing to meet quota, goals even though the economy shows signs of improving, and sales cycles continue to lengthen, especially with new customer acquisitions. In the study, CSOs report that 42% of deals now take more than 6 months to close.

CSO indicates that the number one issues to achieving selling effectiveness are that Sales professionals struggle researching prospects prior to calls and fail to sell value, typically having to discount in order to get the business.

To help resolve these issues, Accenture recommended a few key best practices, especially the implementation of sales tools - leveraging the interactivity and tactile nature of Tablets to help sales representatives deliver more provocative customer engagements and help facilitate the Buyer’s decision-making process.

From 2011, the study indicates that Tablet adoption has increased from only 45% of firms providing Tablets to sales teams, to over 90% now actively using or starting to use tablet devices in their sales organizations.

Current investments in Tablet Apps have focused mainly on mobile CRM, or making the existing sales presentations and collateral available via the mobile device. As a result, and without too much surprise, CSOs indicate that Tablets have not improved key sales effectiveness measures, with less than 15% of CSOs indicating any improvement in win rates or increasing revenues, and less than 9% indicating any shortening of sales cycles.

The problem is that current Sales Tablet App investments have not been focused on the more critical and innovative elements needed to truly drive an improvement in selling effectiveness.

The Sales Tablet App that would have a bigger sales effectiveness impact would include functions such as:
  1. Empowering more provocative interactive customer engagements
  2. Delivering compelling insights and knowledge to the customer about their business, challenges, and the competition
  3. Enabling Value Selling, particularly providing the tools and research metrics to quickly and credibly quantifying the “cost of doing nothing” and the value of change for today’s more skeptical and frugal buyer
  4. Intelligently guiding the sales person to the right engagement material based on the buyer persona, stage in the decision process and challenges.

To see one such sales effectiveness App in action, check out Alinean ValueStory™, the first App specifically designed to reshape sales presentations into provocative and interactive customer engagements.

Connecting the Dots on Sales Performance – Accenture and CSO Insights Research:

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