What does your sales acceleration strategy look like? Right now, many organisations face a double-edged sword as they hunt for ways to shorten the sales cycle.
On one hand, sales acceleration is built on the proliferation of digital tools and technology. This has taken traditional prospecting from scattershot approaches to targeted, data-driven tactics that streamline sales reps’ tasks and help them move faster throughout the sales process. And there are more digital tools than ever, not to mention growing digital habits among both employees and prospects.
But, on the other hand, it’s these very technologies and habits that have created new challenges. Ongoing remote work – not to mention a greater number of people stuck at home – have contributed to serious digital fatigue, making it harder for sales teams to get cut-through and keep the process ticking along.
Put simply, you probably have access to more sales acceleration tools and opportunities than ever – analytics, automation, digitally savvy teams and prospects. But with so much on-screen competition for attention, how can your team close deals and meet targets faster?
Here’s how to accelerate the sales cycle in a world where at least some degree of virtual selling and remote work is likely here to stay.
It’s common for sales acceleration strategies to aim for removing manual tasks through digitisation. But, broadly speaking, process automation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually part of a full-scale transformation project, the kind that takes significant time and resources.
Busy sales teams need something faster. They need tools that will help them connect with prospects and personalise their interactions without losing precious time.
This is where AI-enabled automation can really help. For example, Shootsta’s Elevate automates much of the video creation process, using templates and AI to automatically turn a bit of self-shot footage into polished, personalised messages with professional-looking cutaways, branding and lower-thirds.
These sorts of quick wins matter, since sales reps increasingly need to do more with less. In the current environment, customers are flooded with sales messages. One of our clients, a Fortune 500 business, felt the brunt of this in early 2021 when their response rate for cold outreach emails was 15% and their response rate for cold calls to leads was just 10%.
Just 90 days later, having employed personalised video messages to cut through digital fatigue, their response rate was 70% and conversion rate 24%, with a 90% video click-to-play rate.
Personalising messages and finding ways to stand out are crucial, but it’s not scalable if sales reps don’t have tools that remove a bulk of the busy work.
Personalisation at scale
Automation is excellent for reduction of workload, removal of repetitive low-value tasks and development of real-time insight. But sales acceleration is about closing deals faster, not simply working faster.
And, done poorly, automation can backfire. Since customers are flooded with sales messages so often, they’re unlikely to respond if an automated approach results in impersonal, irrelevant or poorly targeted messaging – it might even look like spam.
Particularly in the B2B environment, personal relationships are vital. Prospects still value face-to-face interactions when possible and, when they aren’t possible, sales reps need to find ways to maintain a human touch. Whether it’s to do with sales or service, the familiar face of a knowledgeable team member who knows the ins and outs of a prospect’s business is a significant reason why prospects become – and remain – customers.
In the absence of face-to-face meetings, and with growing pressure on time and resources, high-performing sales teams are using the productivity power of automation to amplify their human side, rather than replace it.
Those high-performers are finding a sharper sales acceleration edge through hyper-personalised platforms like Elevate, which offers:
- a wide variety of video templates, dramatically simplifying video production
- simple screen recordings to provide a product demonstration or service explanation in a pre-branded video package offering consistency of brand and messaging
- personalised landing pages to support next steps for the prospect
- personalised sales video templates that can be filmed on a smartphone app, assisted by an on-screen autocue and AI-driven editing and branding, ready in minutes to be emailed to prospects or customers, or posted on social.
Insights and improvements at every step
Successful sales acceleration strategies rely on increasingly sophisticated insights and analytics. To move faster and more efficiently, sales reps need to be armed with insights at every step of the sales process.
In fact, a McKinsey global study of 2,500 B2B businesses revealed that high performers gain a 2% to 5% uplift in sales when they employ data-driven decision making. The same report revealed that outperforming businesses are 62% more effective in using digital tools, and 72% of the fastest-growing sales businesses use analytics to hone their sales planning.
The data offered by an automated platform must be relevant and immediately useful. A sound sales acceleration strategy will look to leverage the virtual environment by maximising these quantifiable insights during each and every interaction. That data is then folded back into the sales process to create an environment of constant learning and improvement.
When choosing sales acceleration tools, it’s important to ensure they can feed into this approach and offer actionable insights. For instance, the right video selling tool will provide insights into how prospects are interacting with messages.
So, how will you be accelerating sales for your team?
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