With an average of 18 calls needed before connecting with a buyer, getting one foot in the door with a potential client takes a mountain of work. Once you do nail that client meeting, however, the hard work is only just beginning. After all, a client meeting doesn’t equal a sale.
Given all that’s riding on a client meeting, it’s no wonder that 72% of sales professionals spend 30 minutes or more preparing for a meeting with a new prospect, while nearly half spend at least 45 minutes. Naturally, having a sales or business development team that spends valuable time digging for information they may or may not actually use in the meeting can have costly effects.
Fortunately, sales technology and data automation can significantly cut the time it takes for business development professionals to prepare for client meetings and provide them with more relevant information. Below, we break down the findings from the SugarCRM 2017 SalesTech Report that prove sales technology enables more effective meeting preparation.
1. Places All Client Data in One Place
Preparing for a client meeting without sales technology is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack. In today’s digital, hyperconnected world, your prospects are online in countless places. In fact, in the 2017 SalesTech Report, organizations listed nine information sources they use to prepare for client meetings. The list included social media platforms as well as company websites and Google. With such a long list of sources, your business development team has infinite places where they can research prospects. But to mine these sources for relevant information manually takes a lot of grit and determination.
With new sales technology and tools, all of your client data can be located in one database. And, yes, this includes client information that you might not have discovered yet. In fact, technology like CRM data automation can pull in data from all of your prospect’s personal social accounts as well as their company profiles. There’s no longer a need for business development professionals to do the digging on their own, instead it is all housed in one repository, saving a considerable chunk of time.
2. Improves Information Gathering
Of those surveyed in the SalesTech Report, most believe machine learning and artificial intelligence has a mean helpfulness of 4 out of 5 – 5 being extremely helpful. They feel that AI and machine learning can help business development professionals by improving data automation and information gathering. When preparing for a client meeting, this can save a lot of time as it saves your team from manually pulling data and deciding what’s relevant. But even though they believe it’s helpful, 49% of businesses still aren’t taking advantage of AI.
In particular, sales technology like relationship intelligence automation instantly pulls client information from countless sources instantly, and analyzes that data for common connections. While this eliminates the need for manual information gathering, the mutual contacts also help your business development team acquire referrals and warm introductions that accelerate the sales process. And considering that 84% of buyers now kicking off the buying process with a referral, it’s important that your team seeks them out.
3. Allows for Better Productivity
What does saving time actually accomplish? It allows your business development team to be more productive by focusing on the parts of meeting preparation that technology can’t do. Like prepare your presentation, pull compelling statistics and testimonials, or put together a proposal.
By using sales technology that puts time back in your team’s day, your team can go back to focusing on their prospects and meetings, without having to do mind-numbing research. For example, if they’re heading into an important client meeting, they could automatically receive a pre-meeting briefing with everything they need to know. No extra input or work required.
4. Provides More Relevant Client Data
The No. 1 sales technology organizations want are data enrichment services that aim to improve the information and data they have at their disposal. With better, more accurate data, organizations can build stronger relationships with clients and provide a better customer experience.
Here at Introhive, our relationship intelligence platform is all about improving your data by automatically collecting, analyzing, and delivering relevant data insights to your business development team for improved sales performance. With this technology, business development teams can see a 360-degree picture of their client relationships, including relationship mapping, scoring, and more.
Score Key Client Meetings
Sales technology helps with client meeting preparation by eliminating manual research and uncovering relevant client insights. Need help landing an elusive meeting with a dream client? Here’s our advice on how you can land a client meeting and get a seat at the table.