The Agent is Passé, Long Live the Advisor.

The difference between a great sales agent and a good one – the ability to step into the role of an advisor. But do they have the gear to make it happen? We look for answers in a recently held panel discussion. 

Globally, the sales function is undergoing rapid transformation and the pandemic has further accelerated this change. But are salespersons equipped to surf the new wave and continue top-quality engagement with their customers?

Sales leaders from leading banks and financial enterprises such as Citi, Wells Fargo, CIBC, Combined Insurance and The Provident Bank joined Yamini Bhat, CEO-Vymo for an engaging exchange. 

Interestingly a personal incident became the pivot to this conversation! A panelist recalled a time in the past when he sold his house, cars, changed children’s schools, and moved across the country.  In a nutshell, he’d strewn a fistful of financial data crumbs to multiple banks with whom he was a client. Not a single bank or insurance company reached out with solutions. A huge window of opportunity – unopened. 

The banks had data? Yes. Was the onground sales team able to intuitively access this data? No. 

So where is the gap?

All panelists agreed that truckloads of data is available on the bank system, but it is not actionable enough for the frontline. They also agreed that this lack of timely, relevant insights is the single largest pain point sales managers and leaders are facing. And they were unanimous when they said, bridging this gap is easier said than done. 

Top three challenges that emerged through the conversation include:

  1. Sales teams spend more time accounting for their sales rather than selling
  2. They have high dependence on multiple systems for various data points (which are most often meaningless on their own and require analysis)
  3. Sales teams find it difficult to prioritize customers and identify low-hanging fruit. 

Through the discussion,  the team brainstormed on the possible solutions to address these challenges. The following key themes emerged: 

  • Empower them with the Right Data: Deploying large systems, organization-wide, hardly yields tangible, insightful data. As a result, teams do less of sales and more of data entry – which defeats the purpose. A field rep can go beyond if the systems can capture and provide sales-oriented data that help the agent strike a meaningful dialogue.
  • Provide Timely Insights: Most intelligence is delivered as lists and salespeople have a window to respond, by then the signal is dead since customer recall is poor. A platform that could assist their staff with inputs such as – Which three contacts need this product? You can meet them today in the time you have between these two meetings? Here is a product guide that you could read quickly ahead of this meeting etc. Such contextual recommendations with timely nudges on an easy interface can lead field staff to action.
  • Emulate Best Practices:  Observe what the best performers are doing – emulate winning behaviors and best practices so they can help reorient the behaviors of the larger team

To conclude, Yamini explained how a sales engagement platform can help actualize these key themes. A sales engagement platform provides a unified window to all the information and services that sales executives, managers, and business heads need on the go, with data-driven playbooks to drive task prioritization and deal acceleration. When implemented, such technology can provide the visibility, guidance, and control that sales teams need to unlock the full value of every customer interaction and deliver results more consistently. 

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