The salesperson today probably has a large array of software tools at their disposal to assist them in doing their job. This will range from standard products like email, WP and Spreadsheet applications to CRM and Predictive Analytic systems.
These all provide a wealth of information to the salesperson, sales manager and sales support about each individual opportunity, what they have done in the past and what they should do and what they are likely to achieve in the future.
All this information is extremely useful as historical background detail and combined with all the information from Support, Finance, Customer Services etc: provides a complete picture of their prospects and customers. Huge amounts of historical detail, reports and charts though aren’t necessarily useful in planning your next meeting.
The same applies to all the predictive analysis that is available, which takes detailed metrics from all the different sales automation systems and provides assistance on decision making at a number of different levels, from strategic account management to political tactics at the deal level. While all of this can be useful, none of the information available is pro-active.
What do we mean in this situation by pro-active? The type of software that would be most useful to the salesperson for both planning or during a meeting, is one that doesn’t need to refer to all the historical data. Although specific strategic or tactical advice can form a useful overview or context in which to plan, the salesperson is better served by specific coaching for that part of the process, job roles and subjects.
While deal coaching from their sales manager would be great, that’s only likely to be possible in a few cases. What the salesperson wants is a system that needs the minimum of detail entered and which will guide them through the sale. Not only that, they would really benefit from a system that allowed them to select different options and get feedback on the probable effect that would have on their likelihood of success.
This would be not only a coaching tool, but also one that was a teaching and support aid, giving them the individual coaching and support they need. The star performers would probably not use the system, relying on their own abilities, but the majority, the core of average performers, would find it invaluable.