The sales industry is often described as a blend of art and science, with the fusion of these two aspects becoming increasingly regarded as the key to success across the sales landscape. The integration of data analysis into sales strategies is now paramount in fostering predictability and transparency in business operations. By closely monitoring performance, dissecting traction, and assessing return on investment, organisations can better understand what’s effective and what isn’t, ultimately helping eliminate the guesswork from the decision-making processes.
In our recent interactive Q&A session, we engaged in a conversation with two members of the VST team with the objective of gaining insights into how the infusion of ‘Science’ has revolutionised the sales function. Presented below are the key takeaways and notable quotes shared by Louise Howson, Managing Director, and Andrew Smart, Founder of VST turned Solutions Director, throughout this discussion.
Is Science Integral to Sales?
“Undoubtedly, harnessing and collecting high-quality data from sales campaigns infuses the scientific approach into sales, eliminating uncertainty regarding what’s effective and, more crucially, what’s not. This data equips us with the ability to discern the optimal approach to present a product or service and select the most suitable channels for different audience segments. One cannot overemphasise the importance of allowing ample time for thorough testing.” – Andrew Smart.
The once prevalent notion of science and sales being at opposite poles of the spectrum is undergoing a transformative shift. Companies are rigorously scrutinising their expenditures in the aftermath of the pandemic, seeking predictability and a demonstrable return on investment. Data analysis now holds a central position in conversations with clients, as enterprises endeavour to create data-driven strategies, streamline processes, and base strategic decisions on evidence rather than gut instincts.
Andrew Smart, the Solutions Director, highlighted the fact that science has always played a role in sales; it’s just that in 2023, people have become more data literate than ever before. Consequently, they feel more at ease discussing, analysing, and employing data to guide their actions.
“Digital transformation is now ubiquitous in workplaces, with industries embracing it continuing to expand. Business owners and management personnel have recognised that comfort with data-driven discussions is imperative for survival. It’s about rendering data quicker, more accurate, and more accessible, while also ensuring that it’s presented in a way that people can take meaningful action upon.” – Andrew Smart.
Science forms the bedrock of data analysis and is essential in achieving a genuine return on investment. By reinfusing science into sales, the uncertainty vanishes, and predictability emerges.
“Although science and sales may seem to be polar opposites, tracking trends and delving deep into data empowers us to develop warmer leads. Transparency is the linchpin, and by openly sharing our data, we can make informed decisions that shape our strategies in every meeting. Data analysis obliterates the emotional element from campaigns, enabling us to discern the effectiveness of our pitch and chosen channels.” – Louise Howson.
At VST, we base our actions on tangible, empirical data, achieved through A/B testing and fine-tuning campaigns. To learn more about the data underpinning our campaigns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
How Do VST Employ Science in Sales?
As front-facing account managers adapt to new market dynamics, data analysis has become our trusted ally in identifying patterns and formulas that can be adapted across various industries.
Managing Director of VST, Louise Howson, touches upon this first:
“At its simplest form, data allows us to analyse the correlation between the number of calls and decision-maker conversations, as well as the conversion of those conversations into bookings and ultimately, sales. With advancements in data science, we can now juxtapose this data against other variables, such as the type of decision makers, industry sectors, business size, geographical locations, seasonal trends, competitor assessments, and the number of touchpoints across different channels.
Automated data analysis has significantly expedited this process, reducing what used to take hours of analysis to mere seconds.”
Andrew Smart summed up this shift by saying:
“This approach marks a substantial departure from the outdated ‘spray and pray’ methodology, where companies would make a plethora of calls in the hope of securing a few clients. With the new data-driven approach, it’s highly targeted and more effective. In essence, the databases become leaner, yet the prospects exhibit a higher likelihood to convert.
Nonetheless, all these enhancements lose their significance if the initial database is in disarray or outdated.”
If you are keen on discovering more about our data cleansing services, our experts are eager to assist you.
How has the Incorporation of Science Benefited VST’s Campaigns and Procedures?
Delving further into the holistic perspective that data offers VST’s campaigns, Louise Howson, our Managing Director, emphasised the significance of predictability and transparency within the sales process:
“As budgets tighten in the current economic climate, scrutiny of sales and marketing expenditures have intensified, with the expectation of tangible returns on investment. To achieve predictability, the path forward is to establish processes, monitor trends, and delve deeper into data.
Maintaining transparency across the board and presenting clients with true return on investment figures have profoundly boosted our campaigns.”
What Are VST’s Plans for 2023?
At VST, we have continued to identify the role of data analysis in propelling sales. We’ve introduced changes to align with this new reality.
“We’ve invested in our employees by sending three members of our team for data analysis courses, to empower our staff to formulate algorithms and processes that inform the overarching strategy of their sales campaigns. Ultimately, this results in enhanced ROI and more targeted, relevant outreach.” – Louise Howson.
In addition to investing in our personnel, we are now extending a pre-campaign data audit service to our clients, recognising its mutual benefit. This data audit substantially shapes the outcomes of the campaign and equips our VST team to deliver superior results. Don’t hesitate to contact us to explore our pre-campaign data audit services.
Towards the conclusion of last year, VST underwent a significant transformation, with our founder, Andrew Smart, assuming a newly established position as Solutions Director. This allowed Andrew to explore the incorporation of technology and innovative processes not only into our sales functions but across the entire organisation, so that we may remain forward-facing in our endeavours.
“We are progressively integrating more technology into our sales processes at VST. This encompasses voice analytics, workforce management, gamification, incentives, and sales enablement. We utilise technology to analyse calls, understand the optimal timing for mentioning certain points, predict customers’ next moves and provide our sales team with the tools and insights they need to steer conversations in a positive direction.” – Andrew Smart.
As an organisation, VST has wholeheartedly embraced digital transformation and continually explores how data can enhance performance, both internally and externally. Data serves as the compass that guides our decision-making processes, displacing emotions and gut feelings from the equation.
In concluding our discussion, Andrew had this to say:
“Data takes centre-stage in every meeting we conduct, redirecting discussions toward data-driven paths rather than allowing emotions to dictate the course of action.”