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Will 2021 be the year you listen to your sales team?

FeedStock FeedStock
15 Feb 2021
Quick Read

Today’s B2B sales and client relationship ecosystem feels very different to what it did a year ago, and is completely unrecognisable to what it was like 3-5 years ago. Business relationships have completely transformed, but the systems we use (email, calls, CRMs etc.) to manage, build and strengthen them have remained the same. In today’s rapidly evolving sales and client relationship environment, it’s essential to free the key revenue-generators from the laborious process of manual data inputs and equip them with the intelligence they need to capitalise on opportunities and risks within their client-base. So, in this short-read we ask, will 2021 be the year sales and CRM managers listen to their sales teams?

  • What do HMV, Blockbuster and CRM systems have in common?
  • Do you feel micro-managed by the CRM police?
  • Can you ever really replace face-to-face client meetings?

“We are at base camp today, in relation to what we can achieve with data.”

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Using data to understand your customer

Fintech Alliance’s Shaping Fintech webinar last week focussed on a very prevalent and timely topic in the B2B client relationship management world at the moment: how to use data to understand your customer. Involving industry leaders from across the software provider and enterprise tech verticals including Dun & Bradstreet’s CMO, Sam Tidswell-Norrish, Solidatus’ CEO Philip Dutton and Jack Collier, CMO of Mettle – the discussion centred around the emerging trend of using data more effectively in the business world to satisfy customer requirements. FeedStock co-Founder, Charlie Henderson, pointed out that how this kind of customer understanding and data-usage has been achieved with consumer products and services such as Spotify (which triumphed over HMV) and Netflix (which took over from Blockbuster), the obvious next segment for the deployment of smart-data usage is the business sector. Taking a step back and looking at the shifts in data-usage which we now take for granted in today’s consumer world enables us to draw clear parallels to what we can expect from data-usage in business relationships and service providers going forwards. To quote our co-Founder again: “we are at base camp today, in relation to what we can achieve with data.” The challenge is not so much the amount of data we can gather from our client interactions (FeedStock captures  more than 2.5 billion data points across its client base), but more: “how do you use that data to benefit the customer.”

Stuck in the ‘90s with legacy systems

At FeedStock, we talk about CRM systems as being systems of record, as opposed to the systems which we need to win in today’s client relationship environment: systems of intelligence. CRMs were designed and deployed in the 1990s, pre-big data, back when most client relationships were formed, built and strengthened over a long lunch. Now, these relationships look and feel very different, yet the systems we use to understand them are almost entirely unchanged. It’s hard to believe that while our business interactions have changed so much, we are still wasting time dealing with non-automated manual data entry to satisfy these legacy CRM systems. Precious time, money and brain power (up to 14 hours per week according to Forbes’ Research) is spent inputting data manually and undertaking non-revenue generating activities; imagine what you could achieve if you and your teams were freed from that burden!

Can you really trust data to make those intuitive selling decisions?

A previous FeedStock Quick-Read “How to stay human in an increasingly digital world” drew on a case study about Steve Jobs’ sales technique: the “storytelling” approach. Jobs removed his sales teams’ reliance on rigorously scripted sales pitches and empowered them to listen empathetically and truly understand what their customers were asking for. The key to Apple’s sales success is that Jobs focussed on the “unspoken clues” of his customer base. Today’s sales challenge is therefore a critical one: how can we gain access to the nuanced signals and clues which we once gained in our face-to-face interactions, so that we can thrive in the new digital era. The answer to this question lies in the fact that the AI-driven client intelligence derived from client interaction data far surpasses anything that our human minds can deliver. As we shift into the new era of systems of intelligence to help us maintain and build our client relations, we are entering a previously unexplored avenue of understanding which will see the AI-leaders outperform exponentially.

FeedStock’s #datavision

At FeedStock, our Client Intelligence Platform is revolutionising cross-industry sales teams. We automate, classify, understand and score all your client interactions, relationships and engagements across all the channels on which you communicate with them; we use AI and NLP to do this.

Due to the amount of data created by digital client relationships, which is what most of them are now, you need systems of intelligence to tell you who to speak to, at which client, about what and when. To alert you when clients are engaged, so you can sell more and to notify you when engagement is dropping off, so you can save the account. Our co-Founder Charlie was a sell-side broker who was bored of constantly manually logging interactions and who wanted an automated, real-time view of not only his own clients, their interests and relationship levels but also that of his team’s so he could understand how things were going and where relationships were strong or weak without having to have frequent internal sales discussions.

FeedStock’s Client Intelligence Platform was the result. We are freeing sales professionals from the burden of manual CRM inputs and giving them the gift of automated client intelligence – check out this video to see how #datavision will transform how you interact with your clients. Forever.

References

*Charlie Henderson, Co-Founder and CEO, FeedStock
Fintech Alliance, Shaping Fintech Webinar, (January 2021)