One of my brothers works as a dentist specializing in implant surgery. He’s a true expert in his space, always using the latest technology and pushing its capabilities to the limits. It’s interesting to learn how technology has improved the dental profession. He explained one of the latest advances he’s using and it got me thinking about early adopters of sales effectiveness software.
In the past, my brother interviewed patients and took a two-dimensional x-ray image and then used his eye vision to plan where and how to place the titanium implant that holds the new crown in place. To drill with the exact right angle, to the exact depth is challenging and precision is crucial.
A mistake can render it impossible to place the implant and even cause permanent damage to patient’s nerves. Once the implant was placed, an impression was taken and sent to the dental laboratory to create the crown. The patient then came back for the dentist to mount it on top of the titanium implant.
Today, he scans a 3D image and uses software to plan the implant placement with precision. When finished planning, he uses a 3D printer to print a plastic guide, which is placed in the patient’s mouth, allowing him to drill exactly as planned, with unprecedented precision.
This is an evolution in his space, as it ensures a successful end result and reduces the risk for both the patient and the practitioner. Also, because the implant will be in the exact position as planned, the crown can be created in advance and often placed at the same time as the implant is mounted. The patient leaves with a new smile and a much more pleasant experience!
One would think that all dentists would use this new technology. In reality, very few do. Like most new technology, early adopters go first and it will be years before the laggards follow. In the meantime, there will be a lot of damaged nerves and patients treated in a suboptimal manner. A positive aspect is that early adopters like my brother can coach other dentists from a distance, as the pre-planning is done in software.
Just as my brother has access to the latest technology, so, too do sales executives, managers and sales professionals. Sales effectiveness software lets sales people carefully plan their strategy for each account and then be visually guided through the process to win the business. Yet, most sales organizations – like most dentists still doing things the old fashion way – use traditional CRM systems. And often complain about them not being of assistance to them.
Just as my brother is benefiting from early adoption of new tooth implant software, here is how sales professionals benefit from new software for sales effectiveness:
1. Thorough qualification – just as my brother interviews and examines patients, and recommends that some patients don’t have an implant, sales people need to qualify prospects out of the pipeline if they that don’t meet a certain criteria.
2. Guiding sales people through the sales process – just as software can create guides for dentists for precise drilling; sales effectiveness software can be used to guide sales people step-by-step through your sales process.
3. Opportunity planning – just as my brother can see all the facts and create a detailed plan, sales effectiveness software helps you capture all the key stakeholders, situational questions, buyers’ afflictions and aspirations as well as the competitive landscape in order to lay out the best strategy to win their trust and business.
4. Coaching –implant surgeons can coach dentists; and sales managers need to coach their sales people by asking questions that help result in the right action.
5. Increase effectiveness – similar to patients no longer needing to wait for the perfect smile, sales people can be served collateral, knowledge-increasing content and methodology that help them speed up engagements with buyers.
Modern sales managers need the same kind of “3D vision” that technology is providing dentists. Sales people need to understand the customer’s business challenges, stakeholder’s individual challenges, their buying process and internal politics. Your sales process and methodology needs to capture all the relevant information in a tool where you can guide sales people towards maximizing win-rates and minimizing risks for both the sales person and the buyer.
At Membrain, we’re building the world’s premier sales effectiveness platform to win more complex b2b sales and ensure that sales people consistently make their number. If you are a forward-thinker and want to make a difference in 2015 – let me know and we’ll help you get started. We love early adopters!
George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills and processes.
Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn