Manny Medina, the founder and CEO of Outreach discusses the state of B2B Sales, the future of sales execution software and how AI will impact both.
Manny shares the Outreach vision is to unlock the full potential of B2B Sales professionals and to unlock the selling potential of every seller.
During this episode, we discuss the following topics:
State of B2B Sales and productivity heading into 2024
The increased need for adding value in each buyer interaction
The metrics to measure sales productivity increase
The potential impact of AI on B2B Sales
Manny highlighted that it is very tough out there for sales reps, and the need to be laser focused on the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) which will lead to increased sales efficiency. Investing a sales professional's time on the target customer segments with the highest potential to become a customer is key to efficient revenue growth. Marketing is having a much harder time on cutting through the noise, and as such Sales needs to be much more focused in which leads and opportunities they pursue.
Cold calling or emailing will fail if not of high value to the target prospect. For any considered purchase, the number of people in the buying process has increased, as such the number of people a sales rep must reach out to has materially increased, and the sales rep with a strong and high value point of value will stand out! As an example, Outreach focuses on the sales outreach process during customer on-boarding to increase the chances for increased sales outreach productivity for their customers.
What are the Return on Investment metrics to use when investing in a piece of sales technology? Manny answered by looking at the entire sales process and the need to identify the specific steps in the sales process that is not working. Often, when companies assessment the problem in the sales process, it is critical to be very specific in the "problem" and start by focusing there, and determining the metric(s) that best measure the current state of that specific step.
Manny expanded this topic by highlighting that we are asking sales managers to do even more work due to the increased number of sales technologies used, highlight the need to listen to "recorded calls" due to the pervasive use of conversational intelligence. This is an example of an area that needs to be evaluated so sales managers can spend more time coaching.
Where is AI going to have the largest impact on sales productivity? Manny predicts there is no future without every sales professional having a AI assistant. The "AI assistant" will help the sales professional optimize how and where they invest their time, essentially reducing the amount of wasted effort spent on low value activities and opportunities.
Another key area to benefit from AI will be predicting customer churn and then providing insights into how best to mitigate churn on an account by account basis. This led to the use of AI to increase forecast accuracy - which Manny started by highlighting that predictive forecasting is very hard due to the fast moving dynamics in the market. Using historical information to forecast can provided false positives due to changing market dynamics today. A better approach to use AI to analyze each opportunity today, and by using opportunity variables coupled with AI using large language models will increase forecasting accuracy.
If you have a B2B sales organization and you are looking for opportunities to increase their sales productivity, this conversation with Manny Medina, Founder and CEO of Outreach is a great listen!!!