In the latest episode of Move the Deal, CSO Insights Chief Research Officer Seleste Lunsford previews the upcoming World-Class Sales Practices Report and talks with host Greg Moore about shifts in buyer behavior, how sellers should respond and what it takes to be a world-class sales organization.
CSO Insights is the research division of Miller Heiman Group. They collect and analyze data from thousands of sales organizations around the world to help sales leaders drive their company forward. Lunsford has a passion for uncovering reasons sales and service organizations win and shares the strategies that drive the best approaches to customer experience and sales effectiveness.
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The Ever-Changing State of Sales
Over the past few years, CSO Insights has found that companies and their sellers are hitting their numbers, the leading indicators of success like conversation rates, seller attrition and customer attrition are getting worse.
Sales cycles extend longer and more buyers participate in the decision-making process. Because of that, organizations have added more people, functions and technology tools to help their sellers—which ultimately results in sales managers spending more time on administrative work and less time coaching sellers.
The Gap between What Buyers Want and What Sellers Deliver Is Increasing
Due to their experiences as consumers, B2B buyers often expect similar treatment while seeking solutions, wanting a seamless and personalized experience.
Because of this, the gap between buyers and sellers is widening, launching a cycle we call the “buyer apathy loop.”
Breaking Out of the Buyer Apathy Loop
To break out of the buyer apathy loop, sellers need to inspire their buyers. They should be seen as a business resource by making the buyer smarter through research, providing content and being clear and concise throughout the full sales cycle—and continuing to do so after a deal closes.
When times get tough and changes in the economy occur, well-coached sellers and organizations who have the right methodology and process in place will prevail.
What’s in the 2019 World-Class Sales Practices Report
Every two years, CSO Insights releases its World-Class Sales Practices Report, which uncovers what makes sales professionals and their organizations successful.
In the episode Lunsford shares a sneak peek of the 2019 edition, which publishes next week and updates the 12 practices that correlate strongly with world-class sales performance.
Based on the study results, Lunsford shares advice for three different types of sales professionals:
- Sales execs driving a transformation: Be more involved with talent strategy and data and analytics
- Sales enablement: Think about the scope of your operation. Now is the time to make it bigger and do more
- Sales operations: Help your CRO build a strategy with insights from analytics
[1:20] Lunsford on CSO Insights’ background, sales shifts she’s seen and how her organization collects data
[3:50] How sellers need to respond to shifts in buyer behavior
[8:01] Buyers are getting better at buying than sellers are getting better at selling
[11:44] How sellers can break out of the buyer apathy loop
[14:15] Preview of the 2019 World-Class Sales Practices Report and advice for sales professionals
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