Mike Pregler, VP, Research Director
The events of 2020 posed unprecedented challenges to sales leaders, but they also surfaced opportunities for meaningful change. Heading into 2021, successful sales leaders will double down on data and insights to better connect with buyers while continuing to help their teams succeed in a virtual environment. Vice President and Research Director Mike Pregler breaks down the challenges and opportunities ahead on this week’s podcast episode.
Sales is at an inflection point, Pregler says, where success is less about individual “heroics” than having data- and insights-driven operations. “Sales leaders are challenged by their boards and their CEOs to deliver a more predictable, consistent revenue stream,” he says. With “a well-designed, well-developed, almost scientific process, you can start to meet those expectations quarter over quarter, year over year.”
Data from across and beyond the buyer’s journey — from initial interactions to post-sale engagement — can yield insights that help sales leaders optimize processes, more effectively connect with buyers, and grow relationships with customers. Sales leaders should work with marketing and customer success teams, Pregler says, to provide a more complete and integrated experience that spans the buying journey and customer lifecycle.
With the timeline to recovery still uncertain, sales leaders must still work to improve the virtual selling experience and keep sales reps effective and productive. Coaching from sales managers — an often-overlooked success element — can play an important role.
“If you enable first-level managers to effectively coach their reps, guide them through the process, and make sure you’re measuring them and keeping them motivated, that will ultimately help with success,” Pregler says.