While there are many ways to monitor sales force effectiveness, the actual course that any individual sales consultation takes can usually only be understood by people that are present. But this is beginning to change, and analytics can now be applied to sales consultations – both
individually and in aggregate.
Out of necessity, during Covid, many more sales consultations with prospects took place online, via meetings on Zoom, for example. Sales consultants became accustomed to screen-sharing content and collateral. This led to the development by some firms of digital sales apps to support the consultants, who then took their prospects through the content modules within these apps. In doing so, these firms “digitised” the sales call, by making it possible to track the content and flow of every call. By combining this new data with sales data, patterns of content and flow can then be related to outcomes.
Tools like Adobe, Segment and GA make it possible to track each sales consultant’s interactions with the digital sales application. They track the usage of digital content and the sequences in which the content is used, producing visualisations of patterns in content usage and flow. These visualisations can be filtered by prospect attributes, sales consultant attributes, types of sales outcome, sales conversion rates and transaction values. Furthermore, flows can be examined more finely, down to flows in, out, and through individual content modules.
These analytics empower sales managers – people who have the experience to interpret these patterns of usage and flow – to create and test hypotheses and make judgements about how to optimise the sales calls for the best results. At the team level, it enables managers to make targeted training and coaching interventions. At the organisation level, managers can design, test and roll out training programmes; and set best practice standards and benchmarks for sales consultations. Practice can then be measured against these benchmarks to eliminate sub-standard, under-performance from the sales teams. Measuring the drivers of success in sales calls not only eliminates under-performance but also enables data-driven, continuous improvements to be made to the quality and effectiveness of sales consultations.
The customer journey and customer experience begin digitally, with online searches and visits to websites. The process then continues digitally through the sales consultation, tracking subsequent sales transactions and customer satisfaction. This digitisation of the sales consultation means that the customer journey, customer experience and customer life cycle can now be tracked digitally from end-to-end. The analytics from all these digital touchpoints can be used to drive interventions to optimise the entire customer experience, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of analysing sales consultations.