It is broadly accepted that productivity is a key factor in driving revenue in sales. For example, it was stated that particularly improving the productivity of existing sales representatives was the highest driver of reps being able to hit new targets (Salesforce).
However, one specific attribute of the various parts of productivity that is sometimes overlooked in Sales is pre-meeting research. It was cited that 84% of sales reps reported content search and utilization as the top productivity improvement area. In addition, it has been reported that sales reps can spend roughly 30% of their workday searching for information.(Xenit). Many of the issues linked to such a substantial amount of time being spent searching and toggling through information for meetings is due to sales reps often being unable to fully access documents or not having relevant information consolidated for easy access.
Many organizations are still operating at lower productivity levels at the expense of reps spending an inefficient amount of time preparing for meetings and searching for vital information. Hence, here are some reasons and recommendations on how prioritizing pre-meeting research can improve a company's returns in sales.
Having substantive conversations win deals
Part of having a substantive conversation with a new target is informative pre-meeting research. It is important to note that sales reps are not simply contacting “targets”, but they are talking to real people. In State of Sales Productivity report by Salesforce, it was reported that 70 percent of reps cite the “ability to convey value messages” as a top driver for winning deals. Also, when pre-meeting research is done well, it can reflect a deeper understanding of a vendor’s business in a rep that will make them more likely to close the deal.
In order to have such conversations, reps should have easy access and insight to information relevant to their targets so that they can optimize their conversation to win more deals.
Accountability for deals
With prioritizing pre-meeting research entailing tracking and getting insights on deals, reps and managers can improve accountability for accounts that may be faltering, but also take measures to ensure that deals are closed.
Additionally, Part of having better pre-meeting research can mean creating extensive methodologies and training reps to have a guide at all times (Troops). Some criteria recommended by Troops can include looking into and asking questions like:
- What is their positioning?
- Recent news
- Hiring pages
Henceforth, prioritizing pre-meeting research in sales reps is a step towards improving productivity. In addition, if done consistently, it can give companies and edge in customer experience by reflecting that reps are well informed about their customers.
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