We recently had the opportunity to work with a machine-learning company that takes a data-driven approach to managing their sales team. And with 50+ salespeople there’s no shortage of data to measure on a day-to-day basis.
SDRs were creating new opportunities, salespeople were attending initial meetings, updating the opportunities in the CRM, and then activity was trailing off. Potential clients seemed eager to work with them, but the numbers weren’t reflecting that.
Lost deals became an all too common result and sales leadership couldn’t understand why. That’s when they turned to People.ai.
Uncovering a Sales Process Gap
After analyzing sales activity data with People.ai, the company found that a lack of next steps was leading to a loss of sales. They also uncovered the importance of identifying risks early on in the sales pipeline. People.ai was able to automatically track sales activities and add them to the appropriate opportunities, providing sales managers a more complete picture of sales activity on each account and in-depth analytics and reporting.
Building a Better Sales Process
With early-stage opportunities, it’s critical to keep the deal moving. With People.ai, the company could see that many opportunities were being identified and created—but not acted on soon enough, or at all.
Once sales managers saw the lack of future meetings in the deals that didn’t close, they were able to work towards a solution. They could then easily identify an early stage deal risk when next steps aren’t defined in the initial opportunity creation.
Sales managers at the company now monitor exactly how many opportunities are being created and identify the ones with low activity, and build that into their regular 1:1s and sales coaching sessions.
For example, an opportunity in stage one with very little activity—just three sent emails —triggers a conversation to qualify if this is a legitimate deal and weigh the investment of pursuing the opportunity and work on next steps. This allows managers to get to the root of what’s going on in the pipeline, rather than guesswork and intuition.
With the right data in hand, managers can more easily course correct. In the example, perhaps the emails being sent are not working, so what other tactics could they take to engage with the prospect? This is a much more productive conversation between the salespeople and the sales managers, and the deal strategy can then be clearly laid out and evaluated on a regular basis.
Managers could develop a customized process for qualifying a deal from a first meeting. For example, they may decide it’s best to make six follow up touches with the prospect These touches could be in any form (calls, emails), just as long as those six touch points happen. With this agreed upon activity plan in place, a manager can easily review sales data with People.ai and see exactly what’s working, or not.
Sales managers know how vital these next steps are in the early stage opportunities and People.ai makes it easy to track.