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Sales teams seek personalised buying processes as win rates decline

6th Feb 2015
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The chance to feel like Charlie Sheen is growing ever slimmer, according to Qvidian’s latest research, which states that ‘winning’ in sales continues to decline.  

The report, State of Sales Execution, which is based on the surveys of hundreds of executives and sales leaders across the globe, marks the average rate of sales “forecasted to win” decreasing to 41% from 45.9% in 2014. Furthermore, 50% of sales reps now fail to make their quota annually, the report adds.  

Part of the issue, sales leaders state, is an incapacity to personalise the buying process for potential clients, with selling content not personalised to buyers (27%) and sales unable to effectively communicate value (41%) the top reasons for “not achieving quota”.    

Of organisations surveyed, 55% have difficulty finding tailored selling content at the time they need them. Conversely, over 60% of organisations that have a high expectation of quota attainment find it difficult to locate tailored selling content.

Personalising the buying process is seen by many to be a fundamental requirement in B2C environments, however, in B2B buying processes the method is considered more expensive and more complex.     

As Dave Peters, CEO and founder of Emagine, recently explained to Mycustomer: “The aim of personalisation is to foster a better customer relationship that is rooted in value and relevance for the individual; marketing to one, not many. It’s about understanding a customer’s needs and preferences and connecting with them in a manner that suits them in order to extract maximum customer value and protect the relationship.

“However, this involves upfront investment in critical enablers such as business intelligence infrastructure, data feeds, analytical resources and a multichannel campaign execution platform. Doing this without a robust strategy in place and without a checklist of goals to measure against would be a wasted investment.”

The vast majority of sales leaders turn to CRM systems in attempts to increase the understanding of buying processes, however Qvidian’s report states this is never a silver bullet:   

“While 65% of surveyed organisations have deployed a CRM system to help them conquer these very problems of streamlining sales complexity, the gap remains, underscoring the CRM’s inability to truly deliver on expectations.

“It’s evident that managing pipeline stands in the way of most sales organisations, with 28% of those surveyed reporting the inability to generate enough qualified leads and 22% reporting inaccurate pipeline forecasts as top challenges to achieving objectives.

“While the inability to generate enough qualified leads dropped 17% since 2014, an 11% increase in inaccurate pipeline reveals that while the top of funnel is improving, the middle and end of the funnel continues to struggle.”

Paul Liascos recently suggested that sales staff would require more manual support from marketing departments in the future, if they were to successfully plug the gap and better personalise the middle and end stages of the buying process.   

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