Allen Mueller, CEO of Emissary and Randy Seidl, CEO of Sales Community recently discussed today’s evolution of sales intelligence and how it can help you sell smarter and faster in 2023. Randy and Allen have both had long and successful careers in a variety of executive sales leadership roles and have seen the sales process shift over the last 5 to 10 years. They review how sales teams can respond to the changes and the critical role human intelligence will play going forward.
Watch the full conversation with Randy and Allen here:
Here are some highlights of the conversation:
Questions and responses are edited for length and clarity.
Randy: How has enterprise sales changed over the last few years?
Allen: You’re no longer selling to a single person who then goes and does all the internal selling for you. You have large buying committees, and you often don’t know who they are, how they evaluate technology, or what preconceived notions they bring to the table. Also, procurement has gotten more complex. As the buying process has evolved, the selling process must change as well to ensure selling actions are on pace with buyer actions.
Randy: Besides sales intelligence, pick three areas vital for 2022 / 2023. Mine are:
- Leverage the sales tech stack, science, and analytics.
- Conduct more face-to-face meetings; people want to see sellers.
- Practice sales basics.
Allen: I agree with all those. Plus, I would say it’s important to have a good hiring and onboarding strategy to attract and keep talent. And preparation is another vital area. Each interaction is precious because we have much less face time than in the past; you have to be very well prepared for each meeting in order to make progress.
Randy: So, what is sales intelligence?
Allen: At the end of the day, selling is a human interaction. When it comes to sales intelligence, we’ve seen a need for human connection and guidance. Imagine if you had a coach to help you through the sales process at an account, including how to prospect, break into an organization, expand deal size, and work through procurement. The only way to get that is from someone who’s worked in that company.
Emissary is a curated network of over 9,000 Global 2000 executives who’ve recently left buying roles in the organizations you’re selling to. We call them Emissaries; they coach your sales and marketing team across the entire relationship, and their insight is not available anywhere else. It’s incredibly powerful. I wish I’d had it my whole career.
Randy: Can Emissaries help by industry? How does that work?
Allen: Yes, great question. Emissary connects sellers and marketers with our advisors so they can have interactions. Often, this is about a single company, but more and more customers are using the Emissaries to counsel the revenue teams on selling in a specific industry.
Randy: After an initial call with an Emissary, what happens in terms of follow-ups or additional interactions?
Allen: We advise having a call every time you’re at a pivotal moment in the sales process, such as going in for a first engagement or preparing for a bake-off. You need human intelligence to understand how the company makes decisions or how leaders interact with each other. Beyond that, we’re working on codifying the Emissaries’ experience into just-in-time insights for people who need to get smart about an organization fast.