We hire salespeople because they’re strong communicators, gifted influencers who can turn entire organizations in their favor in the space of a few quarters.
People like to talk to salespeople.
But this likeability springs a trap that even the most motivated and discerning seller has fallen into more times than they’d like to admit: time-wasters.
Time-wasters can be pleasant conversationalists disguised as the primary contact at the next big account. They may even carry C-level titles. They usually “like the product” or ask for additional information (maybe even a quote) that they can “pass on to the people in charge.”
The problem is that time-wasters lack the two characteristics that are most important to a salesperson: influence and purchasing power.
In this blog, we will discuss how organizations can use real-time data via a sales pipeline management tool to help sellers focus on the right people within the right accounts when they’re most likely to buy (and say no to time-wasters).
For years, sales organizations have relied on their reps to use cold calling and lead chasing to sift through time-wasting contacts. Many have managed to land accounts on instinct and motivation alone. Without the right data to guide them, even the most driven sellers can default to shotgun-approach prospecting tactics.
Today, thanks to improved data collection and AI, there’s a better way. Leading sales organizations are using AI-driven sales pipeline management tools to help sellers narrow their focus to individuals with the most purchasing influence within their target companies. The tools collect years of historical data to help understand buying behaviors at various companies, validate whether or not a certain contact has purchase power, and then suggest alternative people to reach out to who may be able to move the opportunity forward. As sellers hone in on the right people, they avoid wasting time on unproductive leads and leadership can allocate resources more effectively.
Here’s something to consider:
You are probably wasting your time trying to sell to people without the right purchasing power.
Your goal is to move the opportunities in your pipeline to closed-won as quickly as possible. So, why waste your valuable time playing a guessing game? In the ideal scenario, you can identify and get in front of key decision-makers while expending as little time and energy as possible, so you can target more customers.
Here are five steps you can use to uncover key contacts in each account and get your sellers in front of them:
Use an AI sales tool to automatically capture sales activities such as emails and meeting invites, then match that data to the right accounts in your CRM, including those with active pipeline. This data foundation will help you validate whether reps are talking to the right people later on.
A sales pipeline management tool can automatically create new contact records for buyers your reps have engaged, but who aren’t listed in your CRM. Contacts are continually enriched as new details come to light, including titles, departments, and locations. An always up-to-date CRM ensures your reps are engaging with all the right people in target accounts, resulting in more sales opportunities.
An AI-fueled sales pipeline management tool can analyze years of deal history helping you identify which individuals influenced your closed-won opportunities.
A buyer benchmark can help you proactively identify and mitigate a circumstance like this:
For three consecutive quarters, you’ve engaged with Sammy Young inside one of your top target accounts. Did you know that Sammy has a negative purchasing influence and has never been part of a purchase decision?
It’s time to move on to develop a new, multi-threaded contact approach within that organization instead of putting all your eggs in the Sammy basket.
Reps and sales leaders can then use interactive dashboards to visualize whether these people are adequately involved within existing deals, further shortening sales cycles and de-risking opportunities.These CRM-embedded dashboards also enable reps and frontline managers to visualize accounts that have active pipeline but are under-engaged, as well as priority accounts that are dormant. From there, teams can pinpoint next steps, such as setting meetings with a champion or economic buyer.
Once we lick our wounds from the fractured Sammy Young relationship (he was just wasting our time anyway), we can use AI-powered tools to help us identify the right people to market to. Leadership can spend less time digging for data and more time derisking deals and strategically planning the next steps based on complete and accurate data.
You no longer need to rely on success stories and spreadsheets for weekly forecasting meetings. By basing your sales strategy on validated key people within each account and measuring their engagement using AI-powered dashboards fueled with hard data, you can make strategic decisions and confidently forecast each week.
Now you’re working- and forecasting- smarter.
Traditional selling strategies, guided by human instinct and guesswork alone, have been replaced by more efficient techniques. Sales organizations should shift toward identifying key people within target companies and dedicate resources where they truly matter. With these targets in mind, teams can streamline their efforts, avoid unproductive leads, and forecast more accurately. In the end, it’s not about talking to everyone- it’s about talking to the right people at the right times.
AI-powered tools like People.ai’s Engagement Dashboards and Relationship Maps can help sales teams validate key people engagement as they develop multi-threaded relationships within their target companies. Learn more by clicking on the links.