How Sales Experience Impacts Deal Outcomes
Written by Jonnie Anderson, Marketing Manager at Primary Intelligence
As the buyer’s journey shifts to a digital experience, sellers have less time than ever with their buyers to build trust, demonstrate value, and close the deal. Sales reps must make the most of this shortened window of time by gaining a thorough understanding of what decision drivers cause won and lost deals and what specific things they can do as individuals to increase win rates.
In a recent study, we found buyers thought 36% of losing vendors could’ve won the deal by making a change during the evaluation process.
Most often, buyers described missteps in the sales process as reason for lost business – even ahead of product or price of the solution. However, according to a study by Gartner, sellers will often blame their losses on pricing and feature issues, or claim it as an accident and credit their wins to their own heroics. Additionally, over 50% of the time, sales reps will give a different reason for a win or loss than their buyer. This disconnect between why sellers think they lose and what really causes losses according to buyers – the sales experience – is where deals go awry.
What is “Sales Experience”?
At Primary Intelligence, we classify “the sales experience” as the interaction between sellers and buyers during a decision-making period. The sales experience is affected by how well a sales rep can perform in areas including:
- Knowledge of Industry
- Building Trust
- Understanding Business Needs
- Presentation and Demonstration
- Concern Resolution
- Product Knowledge
- Facilitating Ease of Purchase
- Differentiation Against Competitors
When a sales rep performs well in these areas, they’ll be able to build better relationships with their buyers and increase win rates – even often at a higher price.
Optimizing your Sales Experience to Increase Win Rates
Sales Experience Analysis
By running a sales experience analysis program, you’ll be able to collect buyer feedback from all your rep’s deals, so that you can get first-hand, unbiased insight into why your rep really wins and loses. Your sales experience analysis will show you the specific strengths and weaknesses in each of the above area – overall and by individual rep. This data allows you to uncover blind spots in your sales processes, messaging, and positioning that only your buyers can see.
Sales Coaching and Enablement
As you dive into how each rep performs in areas of sales experience, you’ll be able to identify areas where additional coaching or sales enablement may be needed to help your team succeed. Use insights to personalize coaching sessions and make all feedback relevant to your rep since it comes from their specific deal feedback. You may also notice areas where you often lose as a team – perhaps there is a certain competitor you always lose to or your “knowledge of industry” seems to be lacking for a particular persona. You can use these insights to create better sales enablement pieces to empower your reps to speak more confidently in these weak areas.
Often, sales reps do not have the technical or product knowledge to confidently speak against competitive claims during sales calls. This inability to properly differentiate your solution from your competitors can affect deal outcomes and cause a buyer to gravitate towards one main decision driver – price. By analyzing your sales experience, you’ll be able to see where reps fall short when it comes to competitive deals. You can use your buyer feedback and sales experience analysis to collect data around how your buyers truly perceive your competitors and display these insights within battlecards that empower your reps to speak confidently during competitive deals. When your rep has a better understanding of your competitors, they’ll be able to better show the value of your solution in comparison.
Your sales tech stack can play a large role in your sales experience. From your contact database to your sales intelligence tools to your outreach programs and beyond, choose technologies that provide you with the automation, buyer insights, and user experience that will create the most ROI for your business. Consider the quality of analytics and the ease of adoption for your sales reps – who have enough things to focus on and shouldn’t spend their time struggling with a new system.
Here are some technologies you should consider within your sales tech stack:
- Conversational Intelligence Tools
- Automated Communication Tools
- Go-to-Market Intelligence Tools
- Competitive Intelligence Tools
When your sales technology provides you with the data and usability your team needs, your team will be empowered.
As you continually analyze and optimize your sales experience, you’ll be able to empower your reps with the specific insights, coaching, and enablement they need to increase win rates and revenue. It feels good to win, and sales experience analysis can help you uncover each rep’s unique path to winning more.
For more information on how you can improve your sales experience, schedule some time with a member of our team.