Getting your sales force right
The way companies locate prospects, sell products and services, and relate to their customers is rapidly changing. The transformation is due in large part to technologies such as digitization, big data, and advanced analytics. Yet while most businesses have embraced these technologies, too few have updated their sales approaches to match.
Businesses have a major opportunity to optimize their sales forces and supporting functions to meet this new reality. In this issue of Customer Strategy Foresight, we highlight three articles that can help set companies on the path toward doing just that.
The first article discusses what the authors call the "next-generation sales force." Armed with data to produce insights and adapt to changes in real time, this new, analytical approach to sales force planning is crucial for competing in the marketplace.
Next, we share how companies can bolster sales enablement to maximize growth. Sales enablement refers to the collection of functions that generate analytics and customer insights, develop sales strategies and plans, build capabilities and ensure efficient sales operations. It is a critical piece of the sales puzzle — but is often overlooked.
Finally, we turn to the service side of business. A convergence of trends — notably greater social connectivity — has made what were once personal customer service interactions a highly public matter. Service teams must ensure these interactions are an extension of their company’s brand — or risk damage to their reputations.
None of these transitions will be easy. Each must be accompanied by strong leadership and careful change management. But the time has come for companies to adapt — or risk leaving significant value behind.