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Data-backed Strategies for Sales Success: Insights from Alison Edgar MBE

By April 9, 2024May 21st, 2024No Comments
Alison Edgar

Guest blog written by Alison Edgar MBE.  Alison explores how successful sales strategies in today’s world require a data-driven approach that combines personalised communication across channels with relationship building and the power of AI for research and efficiency.

Alison Edgar has over 25 years’ of experience as an award-winning salesperson and founded her own sales training business, in 2011. She has become one of the UK’s top business advisers, a regular contributor to the BBC and is a #1 best-selling author.

Throughout my career I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of businesses, speaking to thousands more through various events. I approach each engagement with the intention of delivering a piece of knowledge or insight that helps improve performance on an individual and business level.

Helping organisations overcome the challenges they face to become high-performing machines is my passion, so it was a pleasure to be asked to share my thoughts on AMPLYFI’s latest piece of industry research.

What became instantly clear is that when it comes to sales, the modern-day business requires a process that looks beyond the transactional part where figures are negotiated, and contracts are signed to ensure they’re geared up for success.

 

Finding the right channels for engagement

Some of you reading this may remember the (arguably much simpler) time when the channels that you’d use for sales outreach were limited. You’d pick up the phone, send an email or, if you had the recipient’s address, even send a handwritten letter.

Fast forward to the modern day and the emergence of digital platforms has left sales professionals spoilt for choice – which in turn makes it more complicated.

We all have our preferences of how we communicate so it can be difficult to know the best way to engage someone new. Yet understanding how and where to reach out to prospects is crucial for effective engagement.

It was unsurprising to see that phone calls were preferred by many buyers (43%) as it remains a powerful tool in the sales process. However, other channels such as LinkedIn and email have been gaining traction for a while now and are a popular approach for salespeople.

One thing I truly believe, and something that AMPLYFI’S findings supports, is that salespeople should strategically use both traditional and digital channels to connect with prospects. Whether it’s a personalised message on LinkedIn or a well-crafted email, tailoring the approach can make all the difference in capturing buyer interest.

Why not go a step further and ask them what their preference is?

Showing that you listen and care is never a bad tactic.

Get personal

Email has changed the game for sales, creating a world where buyers can easily become inundated with cold emails. We’re witnessing widespread ‘Inbox Overload’, so it’s no wonder that more buyers prefer the phone!

In such a noisy environment, standing out from the crowd is crucial. But it’s far from easy.

Consider what makes you take note of an email from an unknown sender?

As the data supports, it’s probably some degree of personalisation that makes you take that pause to give your attention to what you are reading, whether it’s a catchy subject line, or demonstrating a clear value proposition like one fifth of the survey respondents.

Personalisation is key to cutting through the noise and capturing the attention of potential buyers so I would encourage salespeople to invest whatever time it takes to understand the needs and pain points of their target audience before reaching out. By offering valuable insights and tailored solutions, they can establish credibility and build rapport with prospects. It’s not just about making a sale; it’s about nurturing relationships and adding genuine value to the conversation.

AI is here to help, not hinder

Conversations around AI and how businesses should and shouldn’t adopt it into their processes is dominating the news and boardrooms alike at the moment.

While the prospect of AI may spark apprehension in some, embracing technology can revolutionise the sales process. AI-powered tools can be instrumental in supporting prospect research, automating repetitive tasks, and streamlining workflows to ultimately enable the personalised sales approaches that buyers are asking for. Sales professionals should view AI as a complement to human interaction rather than a replacement.

If you’re not adopting AI to some degree, your competitors probably are, and you may be losing ground.

Focus on building relationships

Effective sales, particularly in the enterprise environment is about building strong relationships. Research data supports this, with a third (34%) of buyers naming long-term relationship building as the number one way that a salesperson can provide value in the procurement process.

By prioritising the depth of understanding of buyers and delivering value beyond the transaction, those in sales roles will position themselves well for long-term success. By nurturing a relationship built on a foundation of trust and loyalty from the outset, there is a far greater chance of driving repeat business which ultimately fuels long-term sustainable growth.

Be empathetic. Listen. And show a genuine desire to meet the needs of customers beyond the sale.

Be authentic 

As humans, we have an unrivalled ability to be authentic.

It’s what sets us apart from even the most sophisticated of AI tools.

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘people by from people’, which is absolutely right in my experience. Buyers are looking to engage with and build genuine connections with humans. 

With that in mind, sales strategies that prioritise tailored, thoughtful, and genuine interactions, are far more likely to resonate with customers and prospects alike. It’s a much more pleasant experience on both sides of the table. 

So, for an effective sales strategy, harness the power of AI to do your research, and armed with an enhanced degree of insights, be authentic in your delivery throughout the process.

Get our FREE report uncovering the gap between how you approach outreach and how decision-makers actually want to be engaged, backed by independent commissioned research.

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