Unlock the Secrets to a Winning Strategy for Sales Teams

December 4, 2019

Heinz Report on Relationship Selling

Editor's Note: A version of this guest post previously appeared on the Dynamics 365 blog and was contributed by Elisabeth Michaud, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Dyanamics 365 Sales. 

In a time of relentless business change, how are successful sales teams delivering predictable, scalable results? We surveyed over 200 B2B sales leaders and medium to large enterprise level companies to find out.

"The Power of Relationship Selling" report, which was released earlier this year, is a must-read for sales leaders. The research, conducted by Heinz Marketing and Microsoft, provides a snapshot of the challenges facing sales teams and the techniques and technologies integral to driving consistently high sales results.

Data-driven insights and engagement: a winning formula

The survey revealed three clear, critical focus areas helping high-achieving teams hit sales goals. We learned that these teams are combining the art of relationship-building with account intelligence to:

  • Establish a way to engage with prospects at scale across multiple accounts, using data-driven engagement tactics to personalize each approach
  • Focus on building strong relationships with the right people, and pinpoint the individuals with the most influence and buying power
  • Leverage data-driven findings and recommendations to inform the next steps, rather than conform to outdated models

Simply put, the survey shows that combining insights and account intelligence correlates to increased sales productivity and the likelihood of achieving predictable results. Today success is about quality over quantity and abandoning boilerplate emails to nurture genuine one-on-one relationships.

Key themes for sales success

The report dives into more than two dozen topics (too many to summarize here) with some fascinating highlights:

Data is the heart of the sales process. The most effective capabilities and tools sales leaders in our survey identified were those that help manage and synchronize lead, account, and opportunity data as well as the ability to collaborate with team members and gain insight into prospect engagement with emails and sales content. The message is clear—in high-performing sales departments, there’s no room for siloed, disparate data, people, and sales tools.

Sellers need an accurate “big picture.” The key to developing an action plan and strategy is the ability to orchestrate data from multiple sources, helping to see patterns and insights often siloed across people and databases. According to the report, more than 23 percent of successful teams rely on tools that help them understand how prospects engage with sellers and sales content, and nearly 20 percent use that data to help determine the next best steps to take in the sales process.

The right tools unlock engagement at scale. Nothing is more effective for engaging prospects at scale than providing access to the right tools, such as CRM software, according to more than a third of respondents. Teams also rely on a defined sales process or playbook to advance leads through the funnel. On that note, you can watch a brief video (starting at 4:54) of how we’ve integrated playbooks into workflows in Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Sales and marketing alignment is essential. The survey indicates 64 percent of respondents’ sales and marketing teams are closely aligned, with 76 percent saying having the two departments in synch is critical to achieving revenue goals. The survey data shows having a mechanism to provide feedback between the departments is key, as is sharing reports and insights and having a coordinated sales process.

Read the report for the full picture

Find more details about what’s driving success for today’s B2B sales organizations inside the report, including strategic recommendations and insights based on the findings.

To keep pace with the latest thinking in sales, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Blog today.