Is Frictionless Sales The Answer To Your Pipeline Problems?

Over the last 12 months of the pandemic one thing has become apparent to me, a long time student of all things sales related. Sales is dead. It no longer works. Outreach and cold calling are now so inefficient they beg the question as to whether they should be done at all. 

Such is the rush to digital adoption, and therefore the increasing web traffic, e-commerce, social media, video on demand, podcasts and so on and so on, that the chances of reaching your perfect client at all, much less reaching them at the relevant time are so slim as to seem impossible. 

No one much likes 'selling'

Or at least, continually getting rejected for simply trying to earn a living. And no one like to be sold too. We simply have never got over our aversion to sales people as inherently untrustworthy, and now with the cacophony of 'noise' adding to our natural reluctance to engage with sales means people trying to part us from our money have an ever more difficult, if not outright impossible job. 

But wait a minute, does the data support that? Isn't this the basis of the argument around Inbound v Outbound sales? 

A really quick look about shows that while we are all being impacted upon by Covid 19 and lockdowns, some products and markets are doing very well indeed. 

Is there a cure for sales? Another way to do it, that results in improved performance? Increased cut through? Greater engagement? Higher closing ratios? Well, no... It's not some magic pill that is allowing those businesses to become increasingly successful. But it certainly does seem to be to the detriment of traditional businesses they continues to flail around in their death throes. 

There's no amount of automation, funnel creation, outreach, coaching, or any of the other helpful sales techniques that scream increasingly desperately from the pages of my social media, that can 'fix' the fact that the customer is now king like never before, and they will buy where and when they want to.  

It's actually a 'new' idea, thats as old as the hills. A 'new' approach client focussed organisations will realise is hugely familiar. 

I call it Frictionless Selling

HubSpot talk about moving your business from a funnel to a flywheel. That is replacing the focus on simply putting more in the top of your funnel to move more through the funnel, faster, with a focus on supporting the customers you do have to ever greater success, and removing the 'friction' in your sales team and the wider business. 

Increasing force, and at the same time reducing the friction in your system, or your flywheel, is the key to unlocking this 'cure' to the fact that old fashioned sales approaches just don't work any more. 

The HubSpot flywheel

There are three areas to look at to introduce frictionless sales to your organisation. 

  1. Sales enablement 
    Technology that is designed to help sales people and the customer get to the solution as fast as possible. Email, P2P video, meetings links and calendars, call outcome recording and task creation, self service, knowledge basis, tasks, lead flows, deal stages, etc are all terminology that modern sales teams must come to terms with, and modern businesses must enable their teams and customers to access. 
  2. Alignment
    One cannot run the organisation in the old fashioned siloed approach of the past. Sales teams, marketing teams and customer service teams with different leadership, targets, technologies and data sets increase friction many times over. The latest thinking around 'revenue operations' or RevOps'  allows the business unit to centralise customer data and drive insight. This makes for agile decisions and the ability to bring teams together like never before. Sales and Marketing are working to the same end, so why not share the target? In a flywheel organisation, retention and customer satisfaction is as important, if not more important, than new business. 
    All 'revenue' teams should be guided, measured and lead by the same principles, technology and leadership.
  3. Education 
    On balance the best trained sales team wins. I learned that lesson 20 plus years ago. It still stands today. The organisation that learns together grows together. Teaching the teams about the business, the customer, each other, the suppliers and any thing else that impacts on the business, their role, their job satisfaction, can only be a benefit to the bigger business. 

We have always said 'selling is helping'. And it means more now that ever.

Selling is serving.

Selling is teaching.

Selling is guaranteeing your customers success.

Selling is customer advocacy. 

If you want to learn more about transforming your sales teams into a frictionless flywheel, please get in touch! 

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Tony Dowling

FCIM | HubSpot Platinum Partner | Revenue Consultant | HubSpot Certified Trainer | South Wales HUG Leader | | 07812 582213

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