Aug 26 2019
Sales representatives are increasingly unable to meet their quotas. According to the Salesforce State of Sales report, 70% of Australian and New Zealand sales professionals were expected to miss their targets in 2018. In an age of new ways to connect with clients digitally and advanced CRM systems for maintaining relationships, why are salespeople still struggling? The answer may have something to do with the way sales teams measure success.
The Connected Buyer Facilitates Change
Instant communication via the internet and mobile devices has elevated consumer expectations for customer service. In particular, clients are seeking instant and personalised communication from sales representatives. In fact, Salesforce found that customers are finding it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere if service doesn’t make them feel valued.
When client expectations change, sales teams’ KPIs must change along with them. One of the most important emerging measurements of success is customer satisfaction (CSAT). Unfortunately, CSAT can be vague and hard to measure, and many methods of measurement display an inverse relationship between ease for the client and quality of feedback. For example, measuring CSAT with responses to the question “How would you rate your experience?” on a scale of 1 to 5 can give a decent measurement of overall opinion, but doesn’t offer insight into why clients were or were not satisfied. In addition, clients with a neutral or positive experience are less likely to respond than those with a strong negative experience, which can lead to skewed scores on voluntary surveys. Conversely, a non-voluntary survey that requests detailed feedback can provide excellent tools for understanding areas that need improvement, but may inconvenience clients to the point that they develop a more negative view of their experience.
While many sales teams are already measuring CSAT, just over half were using Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in 2018. This score, while similar to CSAT, asks clients how likely they are to promote and recommend the product. In an age where customer testimonials and recommendations gain quick traction (and sometimes even virality), salespeople can benefit from referencing clients that positively promote the product. Conversely, a high CSAT and low-to-moderate NPS can indicate that clients are unlikely to take their business elsewhere, but they’re also not enthusiastic about the product or service.
Of course, CSAT and NPS aren’t the only ways to measure how clients feel about the product. Asking questions specific to different aspects of clients’ experience can help identify areas for improvement. In addition, providing clients with an avenue to submit unsolicited feedback can reveal new questions to include on future surveys and feedback requests to provide more unique measures of success. In addition, a quick and personalised response to feedback can encourage clients to submit it more often.
Data-driven KPIs Drive Customer Insight
These feedback-based measurements can provide strong insight into data-driven KPIs such as customer retention. For example, a low CSAT score can somewhat explain a low customer retention rate, while a high CSAT score combined with a low customer retention rate may indicate that other aspects of the product, such as price-competitiveness, need evaluation. In addition, scores that contradict each other (eg a very low CSAT and high NPS) can indicate that clients are receiving inconsistent experiences or not understanding survey questions. When sales teams use these KPIs effectively they can gain a better understanding of what clients are seeking, and benefit from testimonials and recommendations from highly satisfied clients. Using a market intelligence resource is crucial to understanding your clients’ needs and providing them with high-quality service.
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