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[Guide] The Changing Role of Sales: How to Transform Sales in the Customer Engagement Economy
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[Guide] The Changing Role of Sales: How to Transform Sales in the Customer Engagement Economy


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For sales teams, productivity and efficiency have long been the trusted drivers of growth. However, there’s a new kid on the block—customer engagement. Powered by Mobile, Social and Cloud Applications …

For sales teams, productivity and efficiency have long been the trusted drivers of growth. However, there’s a new kid on the block—customer engagement. Powered by Mobile, Social and Cloud Applications (such as, learn the three ways Sales leaders are delivering growth and profitability in the new Customer Engagement Economy

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  • 1. How to Transform Sales in the Customer Engagement Economy THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES
  • 2. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 2 OF CEOs CITE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT AS THEIR PRIMARY INITIATIVE, YET MOST BUSINESSES CAPTURE ONLY A FRACTION OF THEIR OPPORTUNITIES FOR CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT. 1 We have entered into a new era of business. Information and technology have empowered buyers to take the driver’s seat. Mobile and social media are catalysts for creating a new connected customer experience, giving them more power than ever and making every customer moment count. For sales, growth and competitive advantage are no longer tied to productivity and efficiency alone. A new driver has risen to the top: customer engagement. In the coming years, customer engagement is set to overtake productivity as the primary driver of profitable growth. In the Customer Engagement Economy, profitable growth starts with aligning processes and technology to both your customers’ and employees’ needs. However while 90% of CEOs cite customer engagement as their primary initiative, most businesses only capture a fraction of their opportunities to increase it. In this guide, we will discuss emerging market trends and three ways Sales leaders can rapidly increase customer engagement within their organizations: 1) Engage Your Employees, Engage Your Customers 2) Inject Customer Obsession into Your Sales Process 3) Make Sales Social INTRODUCTION LET’S GET STARTED For sales, growth and competitive advantage is no Often it’s easy to miss customer engagement moments in an organization. They happen without you. Bluewolf helps you identify these moments, and then optimize them.” –Joanna Sohovich • President IAR • Stanley Read the Case Study
  • 5. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 5 Employee engagement may not be at the top of many executives’ lists, but it should be. Engaged employees are more productive, have better relationships with customers and are more innovative. Furthermore, they are willing to put in the extra effort that keeps customers coming back for more. Additionally, customer engagement is formed and nurtured by interactions with your sales team. According to Gallup, 70% of workers are disengaged at work.5 If your people are not engaged, you are most likely missing out on new revenue opportunities. Worse yet, you are wasting your company dollars due to lost productivity and poor performance. Here are the three steps to increase employee engagement within Sales organizations: 1) GET IN YOUR EMPLOYEES’ SHOES Before you begin to address the different ways to increase employee engagement within your organization, you need to identify your sales teams’ pain points firsthand. Don’t assume, spend time alongside them. Take a “rep ride” to understand intimately how they interact with your customers. Go from account to account with them and get the kind of understanding that only comes to one who has lived it. By going on a few “rep rides” you’ll learn the ins and outs of how your salespeople really do their jobs. You’ll discover bottlenecks. You’ll uncover priceless insights into how to help them sell more effectively. And you’ll open valuable channels of communication between you and your reps. ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES, ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS 1 How are your sales reps engaging with customers? 2 Is their process efficient? 3 How can you help them be more productive? 4 Are they leveraging technology the right way? Success Tips While shadowing your reps, observe and ask yourself these questions: Sales leaders today are being asked to –Bill Nelson • EVP Worldwide Sales • Nuance
  • 6. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 6 2) MAKE CRM TECHNOLOGY EFFORTLESS There is a definitive link between having the right tools for business and employee engagement. Why? Because employees are also consumers and expect to have cutting-edge, easy-to-use tools in the workplace, just as they do in their personal lives. Take, for example, the varying adoption rates of enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems within organizations. According to a recent Forrester study, only 41% of organizations fully achieve or exceed expected business results from their CRM deployments. In many cases this is attributed to the solution not being configured in a way that keeps up with how salespeople sell and changes in the business over time. The result: low adoption, diminishing ROI and an ineffective tool for both reps and managers. Achieving technology ROI starts with the deployment of solutions that your team will use. IT doesn’t own business technology. Neither does the executive team. Your workforce does. Involve your users from the start and switch from an “on-time, on-budget” metric from IT, to one that values sales engagement and ROI. This will not only lead to great system design, technology adoption, and dashboards that actually work, you’ll have kickstarted behaviors that create lasting business results. You’ll also have a workforce vested in helping you innovate on the solution and your technology and processes will be in lockstep with your business. Mobility has the biggest impact on our customer experience because it gives sales reps the ability to spend more quality time in front of the customer, with quicker responsiveness.” –Bill Nelson • EVP Worldwide Sales • Nuance Read the Case Study
  • 7. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 7 3) GO MOBILE From our experience doing “rep rides” on behalf of our clients, we’ve discovered that another way to increase employee engagement and streamline workflows is to provide mobile apps that extend Salesforce™ functionality into the field. For field sales, the desktop is dead. How many sales directors want their salespeople sitting in an office on their computer? Zero. Sales managers want their team to forecast and update activities in their CRM system, but not at the expense of face-time with customers. Providing an easy-to-use mobile solution is a smart way to keep sales teams in front of customers, while still getting opportunities updated in real-time and on the road. By “getting in the shoes” of your salespeople, aligning technology and processes around making their jobs easier, and providing mobile apps that extend sales technology into the field, you free your employees to focus on doing what they need to do best: selling to customers. 6 1 Lead with the right use case 2 ID common actions that would benefit from mobile sales 3 Design with users in mind 4 Intuitive interface, ease of use, few clicks, speed 5 Get feedback and iterate Success Tips 5 Tips for Successful Enterprise Mobile Strategy Learn more! Read “Building An Enterprise Mobile Strategy: 5 Tips For Success” MOBILE ENABLED REPS ARE Read the Blog
  • 8. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 8 BLUEWOLF CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT Free with existing Salesforce license. “SALESVISIT” iPHONE APP To identify opportunities for enhanced employee and customer engagement at one of the world’s largest food distributors, members of the Bluewolf team did “rep rides” with the company’s top sales reps on their visits to customers. By “getting into the shoes of employees,” the Bluewolf team was able to understand the unique interactions between the company’s employees and their customers. As a result, Bluewolf made recommendations on how processes and technologies could be enhanced and developed a simple mobile app that the reps could operate with one hand, to limit interruptions on sales calls. CHALLENGES • Sales reps worked out of their cars to service their accounts in any given region. • Reps had to dial in to a slow VPN to access Salesforce and had to work with a laptop and phone as well as iPads. • Accounts and activities were not getting logged properly or on time, resulting in missed sales opportunities. SOLUTION SalesVisit provides real-time, mobile access to the items most commonly used by a sales rep during a customer visit. From opportunity management, to easy activity logging, SalesVisit increases sales productivity with Salesforce. • Bluewolf built a custom mobile field sales application for the iPhone. • The app has a geo-location feature for reps to see all accounts in the area and log calls, activities, and notes with location data. • The voice activation feature allows reps to type while driving and on the go. RESULTS The app allows reps to easily track and log information, making the sales team more efficient. • Greater visibility into sales and pipeline • Easy activity capture • GPS-enabled account finder • Intuitive pipeline management
  • 11. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 11 The explosion of the social web and mobile devices has fundamentally changed the way people interact with organizations and buy products and services. Unlimited access to information helps customers diagnose problems, identify solutions, and allows them to make buying decisions without ever speaking to a salesperson. By the time they engage with your sales team, if at all, the last thing customers want is to be blindly pitched to and sold to. Organizations are realizing that the sales experience is more important than product features and benefits combined. Progressive sales organizations are obsessed about knowing what their customers want before they know they want it. This customer obsession is the driver for customer engagement. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS’ BUYING JOURNEY In the past, Sales singlehandedly took prospects from awareness to action, controlling the sale every step of the way. Today, the buying process has become increasingly nonlinear. Your customers are entering and exiting the sales funnel at different stages and Sales is no longer the only one in control. In the new Customer Engagement Economy, every customer touchpoint and interaction is an opportunity to increase revenue. Because customers are more informed, your salespeople need to be savvier and have the right knowledge, tools, and resources to proactively engage and capitalize on any customer interaction. INJECT CUSTOMER OBSESSION INTO YOUR SALES PROCESS 1 Nobody owns the customer, but someone always owns the moment. 2 Know what your customers want before they do—and act on it. 3 Customers are people, not transactions. Customer-Obsessed Enterprise Organizations are realizing that the sales experience is more important than product LEARN HOW TO GET CUSTOMER-OBSESSED View the Infographic
  • 12. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 12 POSITION SALES AS THE TRUSTED ADVISOR In the new Customer Engagement Economy, the disruption to the traditional buying process has caused relationships to be more important than ever. The overwhelming amount of information at your buyers’ fingertips has created the need for your salespeople to create value, build trust, deepen relationships and differentiate your brand and products through the sales experience. More akin to management consultants, today’s most effective salespeople know what their customers want before they do. They understand their customers’ customers, speak in terms of business impact, and help turn disparate information customers have into competitive differentiators. In the past, customers came to sales to get key information. Today they come for best practices, industry insights and strategies to achieve greater business outcomes. KNOW CUSTOMERS AS PEOPLE, NOT AS TRANSACTIONS Proactively solicit opinions and information that sketch the stories of customers as individuals, rather than relying on anonymous data to inform strategic decisions. Customers are truly engaged when they feel known. The guiding principle of customer obsession is to know your own customers intimately, but also to understand your customers’ customers. Cloud, mobile, and social technologies give you access to the right customer information at the right time. These tools enable you to meet customers where they’re at, learn what they want, and proactively meet their needs. Customer obsession drives customer engagement. You become the default buying choice for your customers. They’re loyal. They’re advocates for your company. Other customers choose you because of your reputation. Only companies that fully embrace customer obsession from the top will succeed in the Customer Engagement Economy. We now have a system that encourages proactiveness with our customers because our Sales team has all the information it needs at its fingertips to address buyers needs.” –Tony Ball • Senior Vice President • HID Read the Case Study
  • 13. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 13 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) wanted to develop a strategy that would enable its sales representatives to better engage and nurture relationships with physicians. Bluewolf custom-designed the Koach iPad app that makes it easy for sales reps to access Salesforce customer data and real-time product information while in the field. This has elevated GSK’s reputation and improved engagement with its physician customers. CHALLENGE As medical professionals are typically busy, they don’t have a lot of time to spend meeting with reps. GSK wanted a mobile solution that would provide their reps with the ability to access information and resources while onsite with customers, enabling them to focus on the sales areas most likely to have the greatest impact. Some factors which determine what material the rep is going to “pitch” include the doctor’s “personality type” and level of brand loyalty. The ultimate goal for GSK was to deliver more intelligent and effective selling, matching each medical professional with his/her ideal products as well as increasing doctor-to-patient recommendations. SOLUTION Bluewolf built an award-winning Visualforce iPad application that incorporates a complex matrix of situational criteria (e.g. brand loyalty, personality type, practice specialty, etc.) and matches the drug(s) the doctor is most likely to accept, approve, and recommend. The app pulls information from a set of custom objects, which house various types of information (e.g. research, sales tools, situation- or product-based lists of questions to ask doctors based on personality type, etc.) to help coach reps on effective, customer-focused selling. THE RESULTS • Increased doctor-to-patient recommendations • Improved the reputation of GSK’s brand, increasing its credibility and revenue • Enabled sales reps to strategically target leads with specific products • Increased “brand loyalty” of GSK customer base BLUEWOLF CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT “KOACH” iPAD APP
  • 14. MAKE SALES SOCIAL part 3
  • 16. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 16 Profitable sales teams are using the power of social media to differentiate the customer experience and stay one step ahead of their competitors. Social selling is critical for both for B2C and B2B companies. Bluewolf recently surveyed a cross- section of B2B and B2C executives to find out top priorities for using social for business. These executives cited employee productivity, getting closer to customers and internal collaboration as the key business drivers of social selling. Are you using social media to influence customers? In today’s business environment, your salespeople need to leverage every possible channel to get closer to customers. Enabling your sales team to actively participate in social selling provides a powerful and efficient new way to engage with prospects at the right time in their buying journey, spur internal collaboration, shorten sales cycles, and increase revenues. We partnered with Bluewolf to introduce CRM and social tools and processes that help us understand our customers better and share internal knowledge more effectively, in order to deliver the best solutions to our clients globally.” –Debora Rustemeyer-Brown • Global Commercial Programs Manager • ERM View the Success Story MAKE SALES SOCIAL Success Tips 1 Don’t be too quick to “connect” with your prospects. Make sure you have a purpose in connecting and the relationship built is strong enough to withstand someone poaching that contact. 2 Listen and share. Keep up with your industry and your customers industry and demonstrate thought leadership. 3 Manage your connections. You may think that having 500+ connections is great, but like all things of value, you must take care of them regardless. 4 Don’t be abusive. Social networks are for connecting and collaborating, not for stealing and pestering. 5 Deliver an excellent customer experience via social throughout the cycle.
  • 17. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 17 THE RELATIONSHIP BUILDER VS. THE CHALLENGER SOCIAL SELLING By Andy Thoe Enterprise Sales • Bluewolf @AndyThoe Statistics show that the most valuable trait that sales reps have is the ability to listen to a customer’s problem and challenge them on how to most effectively solve it. Statistics also tell us that the least successful sales rep is the one that solely focuses on building relationships. The truth is that in today’s “always on and always connected” Customer Engagement Economy, sales reps need to be both. Here are the steps to most effectively marry the two behaviors at the start of a cycle: 1) UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE Take the time to check out your prospect on various social networks. Look for things like the groups they follow, tweets they posted and prior jobs they have held—this will tell you what they really know. 2) HAVE A MEANINGFUL FACE- TO-FACE THEN MAKE THEM PART OF YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK A core tenet of the challenger sell is building trust by relating and helping a customer identify gaps in their perceived solution. Telling someone what they need to do over the phone is not going to cut it. After you have a great challenging conversation, make them part of your professional social network. 3) BRAINSTORM WHAT CHALLENGES YOU HAVE HELPED SIMILAR CUSTOMERS OVERCOME There is a lot to be learned by understanding the point of view of the individual you are meeting with. For example, they probably care about integration and reports if they have spent their whole career in data warehouse jobs. 4) FIND THE CONNECTION Now it gets tough. Once you are underway with your cycle, try to find soft connections between your prospect and your other relationships. For example, if the prospect is a salesperson, maybe their top customer is an existing customer of yours. Once you find this link, you can skip a few steps in the sales process.
  • 18. THE CHANGING ROLE OF SALES 18 In the new Customer Engagement Economy, leaders must be focused on driving customer obsession across their organizations to sustain profitable growth. Your customers aren’t transactions, they’re people with stories. Your willingness to invest in your employees’ ability to understand and respond to those stories affects your customers’ decisions to buy. Empower and engage your employees to seize every customer moment. Understand your customers’ pain points and equip your sales team with the right technology and processes to stay one step ahead of them. Whether it’s through selling strategy, mobile technology, or building out functionality beyond core CRM, the results will quickly show up in your company’s bottom line. CONCLUSION SALES TEAM ENGAGEMENT + CUSTOMER OBSESSION = CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT Business Process Consulting Technology Roadmap and Implementation Mobile Field Sales / Custom Development Executive Dashboards and Coaching Salesforce Training BLUEWOLF SALES TRANSFORMATION SERVICES
  • 19. Bluewolf is a global business consulting firm. Companies across the world choose Bluewolf to help them engage their customers and drive more sales. As the first global business consulting firm born in the cloud, Bluewolf’s strategic consulting, implementation, training, and cloud management services realize business outcomes in weeks, not years. Our proven Agile Business Transformation methodology helps clients rapidly innovate their business processes and technologies to get closer to their customers. And our people are recognized for having the competencies and entrepreneurial energy to shape agile, customer-obsessed enterprises that sustain profitable growth in competitive markets. CONTACT BLUEWOLF +1.866.455.WOLF United Kingdom +44 (0) 207 643 2749 France +33 (0)1 70 61 83 98 +61 (2) 9006 1696 CONNECT WITH US Website Blog Twitter @bluewolf © 2013 Bluewolf, Inc. All rights reserved. ABOUT BLUEWOLF SOURCES 1) IBM, CAPITALIZING ON COMPLEXITY: INSIGHTS FROM GLOBAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER STUDY, 2010 2) GALLUP, “CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT—WHAT’S YOUR ENGAGEMENT RATIO?”, 2009 3) GALLUP, “CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT—WHAT’S YOUR ENGAGEMENT RATIO?”, 2009 4) BLUEWOLF, “INFOGRAPHIC—CUSTOMER SERVICE: THE NEXT BATTLEGROUND”, 2012 5) GALLUP, “CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT—WHAT’S YOUR ENGAGEMENT RATIO?”, 2009 6) COMSCORE MOBILE METRIX, MARCH 2012 7) SIRIUS DECISIONS WEBCAST, “THE MARKETING ORGANIZATION IN 2017” 8) IDC “WHAT’S KILLING THE TRADITIONAL SALES FUNNEL?”, 2011 9) CEB SURVEY, 2012 10) CONE INC. 11) FORRESTER, “LISTENING AND ENGAGING IN THE DIGITAL MARKETING AGE”, 2012 12) LINKEDIN, FORRESTER AND RESEARCH NOW, “IT PURCHASING GOES SOCIAL”, 2012