Sales teams don’t have it easy. They’re on the phone for the majority of the day meeting people from across the globe. They don’t have the mental capacity to remember every conversation they have throughout the day (unless your secret talent is having a great memory). This is not the only reason why HubSpot introduced their new conversation intelligence tool to Sales Hub and Service Hub, two of their 5 core hubs. Let’s start by analyzing the challenges that today’s sales teams are facing.
2 Major Ways Today's Sales Teams are Failing
A post-COVID world looks a little something like this: emails, calls, more emails, and you guessed it, more sales calls. It’s unlikely that a salesperson can remember every important detail. If you’re one of the few that can, then salute to you. But risking a detail slipping through the cracks is a high one. The perfect segue to challenges that sales teams are facing today.
1. Evaluating team performance
How does your team evaluate team performance? Sales metrics may vary from team to team because of industry and other internal/external factors, but the general foundation is the same. Sales metrics such as total revenue, win rate, and lifetime value (LTV) are common and so are sales expense ratio and year-over-year growth to name a few. What do they all have in common? The output of each is a numerical value. How much can you really do with a number to strategize ways to improve performance? You can make data-driven decisions based on the raw numbers you get. However, teams are limiting themselves in actually uncovering the approaches salespeople make, the objections prospects have that are affecting these “holy grail” metrics, and coaching opportunities to make their team perform better.
2. Moving to a buyer-first mentality
Would you rather be buyer-first or performance-first? Here’s the difference between the two:
Buyer-first means sales teams put prospects and clients first
Performance-first is when teams are driven by goals and quotas
At LinkedIn, Kwesi Graves, Regional Sales Manager cannot stress enough how important it is for sales teams to scrap a performance-only mindset. While there is no shame in striving to accomplish personal goals, building a buyer-first approach helps sales teams build vital relationships and hit the same competitive goals. But before you can build any relationships with prospects, it’s important that your sales team takes the time to know and understand the buyer throughout the sales cycle. This leads us to a few sales tactics that are still being used today, although significantly outdated.
3 Outdated Sales Tactics that You Must Let Go
1. Waiting to Engage Leads
Why wait to engage with your leads? The quicker the response time, the better chance of winning the sale, yet businesses wait for whatever reason to initiate the conversation. And when sales opportunities increase, the pipeline gets filled with leads that need to be qualified. During the qualifying stage, having Conversation Intelligence software makes it easier to qualify prospects. More on this later! In turn, your sales teams can qualify faster, save money, and give attention to leads that better fit your company’s ideal customer profile (ICP). But first, you must make it a habit to always engage leads and refrain from keeping them waiting.
2. Selling to Everyone
According to HubSpot’s sales statistics, 40% of salespeople say that prospecting leads are the most challenging part of the sales process. Closing deals (36%) and qualifying leads (22%) are next in order. All three steps are crucial to the sales process, but it’s far more difficult to execute each step when salespeople are trying to sell to any lead that falls into the pipeline. Sales teams waste their time and prospect’s time when they try to fit a square peg into a circular hole. That is why taking the time to disqualify leads is paramount for improving team performance. It’s hard to turn away a potential customer, and it becomes even harder to disqualify leads when sales teams aren’t capturing the right information during their prospecting calls. Information is bound to slip through the cracks and the only way to retrieve this information is if 1) teams and prospects meet a second time or 2) sales teams ask prospects over a secondary communication channel like email for the information again. Both options aren’t ideal situations you want your sales team to be in. Conversation Intelligence platforms were built to fill in those gaps and ensure every bit of information is documented to benefit both parties.
3. Pushing Towards the Close
Sales teams who always push for the close during the first, second, and even third call are perfect examples of being performance-minded. These salespeople primarily care for the deal being closed and not for the long-lasting client relationship. Remember: you don’t need to sell everyone you talk to. In fact, at least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for your product or service. It’s just the way it is. Therefore, capturing all the information you can from prospects using CI software helps sales teams make educated decisions on whether they should continue pursuing a sale with specific prospects. Pushing for the sale can also affect customer satisfaction. Prospects know when salespeople are being too ambitious, too pushy. They’re human, too.
Why Sales Team Performance is Crucial
Evaluating team performance is different from company to company. Each company has an established set of rules, expectations, and criteria that define success. Even salespeople have admitted that they rely on their peers for sales coaching and tips that can help improve their sales approach and the performance of the team as a whole. HubSpot reported that 44% of the salespeople surveyed look to their manager, 35% team training resources, and 24% to media. One-third of these salespeople spend a third of their day talking to prospects, and with a post-COVID world to account for, sales teams can face a much tougher time selling. With the world shifting to remote-first employment, in-person meetings seem very unlikely. This national shift will challenge sales teams to establish healthy relationships and close deals through a screen. Adding a conversation AI tool is a great addition to your tech stack and can give your team a competitive advantage over lagging companies.
HubSpot's Conversation Intelligence Tool
Any tool capable of capturing important information that commonly slips through the cracks on sales calls is a lifesaver. We’re humans after all, and yes, salespeople are, too. HubSpot decided to take their all-in-one software a step further by adding a powerful conversation intelligence tool to Sales Hub Enterprise and Service Hub Enterprise. In the eyes of HubSpot, their new CI tool is a huge boost for all sales teams that’ll improve productivity, help pinpoint areas of improvement, and above all, record every single word exchanged between sales reps, prospects, and clients.
What is Conversation Intelligence?
Conversation intelligence, or CI, is software that uses Artificial Intelligence to record, transcribe, and document sales call. Conversation intelligence allows salespeople to record a call and replay and analyze it on-demand. But there’s more. Here are 3 reasons why CI tools are a game-changer.
1. Capture valuable CRM voice data
that’s over 100 sales calls per day and over 500 calls per week! That’s a lot of prospect and client information to track. Not to mention that every prospect and client is not a part of the same industry, from the same state, nor do they share the same pain points. With HubSpot’s Conversation Intelligence tool, you can store every interaction in your HubSpot CRM and have access to voice data on demand. This means you can revisit any call in the CRM and analyze the transcripts to better sell, engage, and target.
2. Turn your team into top performers
Keeping track of how your sales team is performing can be difficult, especially when salespeople's decisions are not yielding results and you don’t know why. Conversation intelligence software is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to shed light on where your team can improve. CI software is meant for teams to identify patterns, recognize trends, and pinpoint any areas that need more attention. Without CI intelligence, it’s hard to spot the patterns that are hindering your team’s performance. With conversational intelligence, sales managers can spot areas of improvement and offer coaching opportunities to sales reps. Lou Orfanos, GM of Sales Hub put it perfectly: “Sales managers don’t have time to listen to 45-minute calls to provide feedback for one person. So, they’re having to blindly trust their gut, instead of trusting the truth about their market and customers."
3. Equip managers with feedback that matters
To piggyback off the last advantage of HubSpot’s conversational intelligence tool, sales managers need all the visibility they can get to ensure their team’s performance. That said, sales managers can share actionable feedback with their team. Poor communication skills and insufficient training are key indicators of poor performance among sales teams. But sales managers do not have the time to listen to 45-minute conversations to put their coaching hat on. A CI tool can help sales teams get the most out of their sales managers. This way, AI-powered insights can turn voice data into data-driven decisions.
Use HubSpot's CI Tool Outside of your Sales Team
HubSpot’s AI-powered intelligence tool can be used for more than sales coaching, performance reports, and decision making. Because the CI tool is designed to record meetings, it is a great tool for other internal initiatives that may require notes and quotes.
How Conversation Intelligence can be used for Marketing Collateral
Marketing collateral is the collection of media that is used to support sales teams when they’re making a sale. Types of collateral include eBooks, case studies, whitepapers, and infographics. HubSpot’s CI tool is perfect for creating collateral that may require testimonials, interviews, or direct quotes from your clients. We recently interviewed one of our clients to discuss the growth they’ve experienced since partnering with us to convert the interview into a customer success story. Instead of typing every word that was said on the call, we deployed HubSpot’s Conversation Intelligence feature to record the entire conversation. This hack allowed our marketing team to hop back into the conversation and pull the most meaningful pieces of information that the client shared in their own words. All in all, you don’t need to be a salesperson to use this overpowered AI tool.
How to get started with HubSpot Conversation Intelligence
If you’re on Sales Hub or Service Hub, then getting started is easy! HubSpot does an awesome job at providing documentation to set this up on your own with their step-by-step process on how to connect the CI tool. They also offer a CI guide to coach sales reps on how to attain success using HubSpot's Conversation Intelligence tool. If you still need help setting up your Conversation Intelligence tool, or want to expand other areas of your HubSpot instance, then contact us today!