All businesses want to generate sales leads. But we all want more sales leads and not just any old sales leads. We want the best sales leads for our team.
Historically, professional sales has been viewed as an art form. In fact, selling is “the art of persuasion.”
Its primary purpose was to leverage the conversational talents of reps to convince customers of the value of making a purchase.
However, access to data and powerful insights into the traits and behaviours of prospects and customers has given rise to the new role of science in selling.
Top contemporary salespeople balance the art and science of selling to optimise results.
The following is a look at these synergistic roles, and how to effectively blend them to get the best sales leads and grow your business.
(You might also want to read How to Generate High-Quality Leads With Whitepapers)
The Art of Selling
As mentioned, selling has long been viewed as an art form. Since this concept is more ingrained within the fabric of selling, typical organisations have a more natural connection to the artistic side of selling.
This perspective focuses on the importance of stimulating training and the development of a rep’s ability to consult with prospects, facilitate productive conversions, and then convert prospects into buyers through a problem-solving approach.
In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, the capacity to sell through consultation and conversation is more critical than ever.
It’s essential that sales leaders invest the time to train their teams on consultative selling, and help individual reps identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
Selling as an art form hasn’t changed. However, what has changed is the need to have a much more detailed view of the people you sell to. Including their needs, interests, motives, and behaviours.
The Science of Selling
You might say that the role of science in selling is to gather and use accurate data to leverage your artistic capabilities in building your most effective sales programme.
A wonderfully artful seller is of limited value, though, when trying to build a relationship with the wrong type of person, or with an inaccurate view of a buyer persona.
Through data and analytics, your business can evaluate the traits and behaviours that contribute to your most profitable existing customers. Then, use scientific assessment to ensure conversations are conducted with the right people and managed in the right way.
In addition to a demographic, geographic and firmographic profile of your top customers, intent data is vital to the science of selling.
This category of data includes insights into how and what very targeted prospects search when addressing a business problem.
You can more accurately know which job titles and roles in an organisation face particular challenges that your solution resolves.
Marketers can optimise targeting of the best sales leads and reps can put their elite conversational art skills to work.
We have recently discussed the need for top sales organisations to adapt through agility to the ever-changing marketplaces in which they operate.
If you have long-emphasised the art of selling in developing your reps but haven’t yet integrated the scientific side, you risk giving ground to more blended competitors.
Increase the power of your sales conversations by leveraging powerful data and analytics at your disposal.