Tech Sales: Getting the data right
How technology services can grow their sales pipeline through modern selling
July 28, 2020
Perhaps more than any other industry, tech firms know the risks of poor quality data. There are few things more likely to spoil your analytics, disrupt machine learning and – yes – undermine your sales effectiveness.
At an organisational level, spoiled or absent data can kill a sales campaign before it even begins. It can lead to the wrong price being quoted, the wrong person being contacted or the wrong name being used. But as Protik Mukhopadhyay points out, when it comes to getting the right information, the buck stops with you – the human.
Consumer brands have become incredibly adept at using data to understand and predict customer needs. But in a world where Amazon can suggest which napkins might go well with your new cutlery set, B2B tech brands are playing catch-up when it comes to sales personalisation.
Cold calling remains a staple for many teams, despite the activity striking fear into the heart of about 50% of all sales professionals. Of course, if you’re interested in the number of customers who dread it, you can just take that number and double it.
If the first contact is an experience that both sides must endure rather than enjoy, then you had better demonstrate value quickly – and the only way to do that is by knowing exactly what they need.
There’s an excellent reason why the same study found the biggest challenge was getting prospects to respond. While the most important skill was conducting research to identify decision makers.
Because the more you know about your prospects and their needs, the more likely you are able to prove the necessary value that will get a response. As a sales leader, the data you need to demonstrate that value comes in the form of technology like Sales Navigator.
As of right now, 97% of professionals report that sales technology is either important or very important to closing deals. That’s a pretty sizeable percentage, but it is still anecdotal. Luckily, Symantec were prepared to do the grunt work that actually proves the value of good data when it comes to personalising your approach to sales prospects.
The company implemented a social selling programme to replace cold calling for more than 200 products, centring their programme around Sales Navigator, complete with training, analysis, and reinforcement.
With leadership firmly behind the initiative, the company deployed 250 Sales Navigator licenses and integrated LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) as a key performance indicator. SSI, assessed on a scale of 0 to 100, measures performance against the four elements of social selling on LinkedIn: creating a professional brand, finding decision makers, engaging with insights, and connecting and building strong relationships.
Using this method, Symantec reps raised their SSI to an average of 57.8—a full 47% higher than the competition’s average of 39.2. Symantec’s Sales Navigator users are now twice as strong at engaging with insights than the competition, 45% more effective at finding the right prospects on LinkedIn, and 58% more effective at building relationships and connecting with decision makers.
In the words of one of their corporate account managers: “It takes the ‘cold’ out of cold calling. If you know who you’re talking to, where they’re from, what they value—that can tell you a lot about a person. It can tell you about their priorities and interests.”
Of course, better engagement doesn’t necessarily guarantee better sales outcomes. Except we found that tech brands using Sales Navigator were able to generate 18% more pipeline, grow their win-rate by 9% and increase the size of the deals won by 36%. In fact, we found an average 64% of their revenue was influenced by Sales Navigator.1
The reason personalisation works is because a ‘target market’ can only really take you so far. Trying to make a sale without identifying the right information is like throwing a dart at a display full of dartboards. It’s the right idea, but you will have no idea whether you’re hitting the right target.
To learn how to grow your sales pipeline through Sales Navigator, download our short eBook and see how brands like Microsoft are already using the platform to optimise their sales performance.
1From opportunities with activities in LinkedIn Sales Navigator prior to opportunity creation. For Technology Services, 32% sourced opportunities with LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn activities prior to opportunity creation.