Last week, after months of plummeting stock prices, McDonald’s announced its plans to double-down on customer experience, investing nearly $6 billion across its franchises to update systems and transform its approach to customer service. The food retailer is not alone when it comes to facing financial impact due to lack of customer engagement – in fact, this is a common issue facing sales teams across companies and industries in an increasingly digital landscape.
In response to this growing market trend, Bigtincan recently commissioned a survey of 600 sales executives in partnership with Researshscape to evaluate the adoption, usage and impact of sales enablement solutions, ultimately looking to gauge how well today’s sales teams are engaging with prospects and customers to drive revenue.
Lack of Sales Enablement Contributes to Deal Loss
The study revealed that sales enablement is on the rise, with the majority (57 percent) of sales professionals using some sort of platform solution today. However, the study also points to a number of distinct challenges for teams not yet using sales enablement solutions, which are contributing to, on average, more than $1 million loss in revenue for each survey respondent, based on 2017 results.
In addition to revenue impact, the survey also found that respondents not using sales enablement solutions also saw a hundred or more deals lost in the previous year and experienced a longer sales cycle to close deals – with three out of ten respondents noting they had a sales cycle of four months or more.
AI is Shaping the Future of Sales Enablement
Beyond the impact sales enablement has on a company’s bottom line, the survey also revealed key insights on the significant impact AI and automation technology can have in streamlining the sales process, especially for those individuals already using sales enablement technology. Sales teams today need to move quickly to remain a step ahead of the competition, which means adopting automation to assist with labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks. Of the respondents, 30 percent of non-sales enablement users cite slow response times as the biggest driver of lost sales, and another 27 percent point to the fact that there are too many manual tasks.
Additionally, in evaluating respondents, the majority (53 percent) of those who use sales enablement technology use automation or AI, compared to only 40 percent of non-users. Sales enablement users also tend to be more optimistic about the impact this advanced technology can have on sales practices. According to the survey, 30 percent of sales enablement users believe AI is already having a positive impact on their strategy and tactics, in comparison to 22 percent of non-users. Additionally, four out of ten users believe AI will have a large or transformative impact on the industry, compared to just 27 percent of non-users.
Overall, the survey demonstrated how critical technology tools are in not only driving efficiency, but in fostering meaningful engagement touchpoints with prospects and customers to drive deal closure.