Good Data, Data Management, and Facts Matter
People tend to believe just about anything they read on the internet, especially when it’s shared on a reputable site. Here's an example. My Inside Sales Manager once showed me a former Tyson Group employee’s LinkedIn profile, in which he claimed he won Rookie of the Year at my company. Trouble is, we don’t have a Rookie of the Year award. I sent him a note apologizing for missing the ceremony with a P.S. explaining that he might want to represent himself accurately.
Sometimes, it's easy to simply accept what you find in an online forum or on a popular website. These inaccuracies and outdated information impact a salesperson's performance. This means a salesperson has to be asking the right questions at the right time in live conversation or through thorough research. It’s critical throughout the sales process for your salesperson to constantly ask if the information they are getting correlates with the body of knowledge they already have in their information management system.
Buyers Require Useful Data and Better Data Management
Not only has the role of sales professionals changed after meeting with a prospect, but the time and effort it takes to get to that meeting has also increased. Identifying an opportunity, pre-approach, and initial communication, are the most time-consuming parts of the sale process .
In B2B sales it takes six to eight touches to get someone interested enough to even talk with you and another six to eight touches to get time on someone’s calendar. Those touches can come through LinkedIn, Twitter, even postal mail.
Making these critical milestones with potential buyers not only requires a steady, strategic sales process, but it also requires transparency. In a recent Inc. article, they cite a 2016 Label Insight Transparency ROI Study which confirms the need for more transparency from companies and their representatives because of the following reasons: consumers want to know everything about a product; consumers want to know about more than just your product; and if your company isn’t providing the transparent information, consumers will look elsewhere to get it.