16 Apr 2 types of sales knowledge your business needs
“Knowledge is power.” A classic quote, and one that is applicable to pretty much anything. Long ago, I heard another quote that describes the power of knowledge a little bit more effectively: “One of the poets, whose name I cannot recall, has a passage, which I am unable at the moment to remember, in one of his works, which for the time being has slipped my mind, which hits off admirably this age-old situation.” Forgetting the entire quote (and the reason for the quote) always struck me as hilarious, but can sometimes seem like the situation your salespeople might be in when they lack the information necessary to do their job. It can be extremely difficult to know what pricing is correct, which discounts are applicable, which product configurations are possible, or even which products are available for a customer when tools and information are spread throughout different tools and require updates via email.
Nothing can scuttle a deal more quickly than a lack of knowledge for a salesperson. Selling has changed from a world of knowledge asymmetry to one of knowledge equality, where a salesperson is required to be a consultant in solving problems with the customer rather than pushing an agenda or looking straight at their own bottom line. Instead, business and technology expert David H. Pink, says, “You just have to be attuned to what the other person is thinking, buoyant in the face of rejection, and be able to apply your expertise to curate and make sense of information rather than really accessing it. You need to identify hidden problems for your customers rather than existing problems.” I’d like to focus on where your salesperson’s knowledge comes into play in this statement. Processing information and identifying hidden problems is what separates the good salesperson from the great one, but it’s definitely easier to say that you should identify hidden problems than it is to actually do it. Oracle Sales Cloud was developed to assist salespeople in presenting knowledge so that salespeople can hone in on identifying hidden problems through customer information and guided selling.
Knowledge of the customer
Knowing how the customer was found, what their business is, and their (potentially many) interactions with your sales and marketing efforts is vital for a salesperson to know before they speak to the customer. Time is always limited, so using that time to go over their path to consideration is time that is wasted. Oracle Sales Cloud gives the salesperson all of that data, and even more that might be useful in an interaction. Beyond just that information for the salesperson, it’s shareable within the organization to anyone who might be involved in the sales process so that everyone is on the same page, and always stays up to date (especially with cool features like Outlook integration).
Once they’ve been converted to a paying customer, this same data can be accessed by your customer service team whenever there are issues for quicker, more personal support.
Knowledge through guided selling
Guided selling takes the guesswork out of the product offering for your sales team. Simple inputs and answers to questions will pinpoint the best product mix for the problems you’re trying to solve for the customer. Products are recommended based on industry segmentations, roles, or other predefined segments.
Beyond customer knowledge, Oracle utilizes machine learning and big data to map out customer influence and deliver sales projections based on the interactions with the customer. Oracle Sales Cloud then presents that information through upselling and cross-sell recommendations.
Understanding how your product offerings can help a customer solve problems is the foundation of sales. The best thing a sales tool can do is to surface the important pieces of knowledge about both the customer and product to bridge the gap between the two. I want to return to another thing David H. Pink said about sales in today’s world: “The research shows pretty clearly that the most effective pitches don’t try to convert people; they try to bring them into a conversation, bring them in as a co-creator.” That should be your team’s goal, and Oracle makes that possible.
For more information about Oracle Sales Cloud, contact Simplus today.