On this week in sales we’ll be looking at:
- Salesforce learning from Microsoft’s AI mistakes
- How selling is way different in Japan
- Victor pulling off the first ever, presentation within a presentation at Outbound 2021
And much more!
How Salesforce Learned From Microsoft’s Mistakes to Dominate in AI
one of the biggest pieces in Salesforce’s growth story is talked about the least, both in earnings reports and otherwise. Salesforce built Einstein, the company’s sales and productivity artificial intelligence (AI) bot, by studying ethical AI after Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) AI bot Tay infamously adopted offensive behavior in 2016.
Put simply, Salesforce currently has the edge in sales intelligence AI because it beat Microsoft and other major players to the punch by several years in providing low-code sales AI solutions. Further, Salesforce’s massive market share and impressive customer retention (typically above 90%) make it harder for competitors to catch up now that they’re behind.
This time-to-market argument is especially true for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies like Salesforce, because switching costs tend to be high compared to other industries.
Salesforce’s client base is a major benefit in training Einstein to be smarter, build more use cases, and increase customer value. The more data that AI has to learn from, the faster it will improve and make more predictions.
Introhive raises $100M to automate customer relationship management
Introhive, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer relationship management (CRM) automation platform, today announced that it raised $100 million in a series C funding round led by equity firm PSG.
Includes CRM software, marketing automation, and business intelligence technologies, syncs and enriches information from email (including email signatures) and other business systems and spotlights, scores, and maps “who knows who” across a business network in dashboards and regular digests.
Common Sales Approaches In Japan
I am going to make incredibly broad, general statements here, but in my experience, they are true for many salespeople in Japan. How do I know this? We have been teaching sales training here since 1963
- Asking for the order is typically avoided. Saying “no” is culturally taboo, so the best way to avoid having to say it or to hear it is to save everyone’s face and leave the outcome deliberately vague.
- When the seller meets any resistance from the buyer, often the first reflex is to drop the price by 20%. Western sales managers would be apoplectic if this was the default objection-handling mechanism. Here, defending your price, through explaining the value, is thrown overboard and simple price point reductions are the preferred lever.
- Objection-handling skills are underdeveloped, because the seller tends to see the buyer not as a king but as a god. The seller’s job is to do everything God wants. The salespeople are predominantly on base salary and bonus remuneration arrangements, so there’s not much commission-sales
- The buyer completely controls the sales conversation. They demand the pitch be made straight up, so they can lacerate it, to make sure all the risk has been cut out. Buyers are incredibly risk-averse in Japan. This a zero default, no errors, no mistakes business culture.
4 Levers To Boost Pipeline Generation From Sales Development
1. Create Specialized SDR Roles To Narrow Scope
By focusing on a narrower scope of sales motion, industry vertical or account type, SDRs develop deeper expertise on the subject, thus yielding more effective prospecting.
2. Shift Data Responsibilities To More Cost-Effective Roles
Using SDRs to perform large volumes of manual data entry is an inefficient use of selling resources.
3. Design A Prescriptive Sales Engagement Playbook Aligned To Workflows
The playbook simplifies SDR decision making with prospecting workflow guidance on which touch patterns to use and how to execute messaging.
4. Scale Manager Impact With Conversation Intelligence
How this ex-sales exec found a wildly successful, second career in hypnotherapy
Victor pulls off the first ever, Presentation within a Presentation at Outbound and a BIG takeaway.