If the perfect solution is presented to the wrong prospect, does it close a deal? Before working a deal, salespeople must identify decision-makers and influencers at an organization, then move forward with a tailored approach. A steady and calculated approach wins the deal.

But what separates a shot in the dark from a precise hit? Here are three ways to ensure your deal stays on track.

Get the lay of the land

Organizational charts are a necessary evil, but they’re rarely an accurate representation of how a company operates. Titles don’t necessarily equate to who consumes the information you provide. The buyer journey often involves a large group of travelers; so make sure you can accurately identify the most important players in your target prospect’s typical buying process.

Cross-reference buyer with engagement

Just as an org chart might not be as accurate as a salesperson wants it to be, the influence each part of a buying group has is rarely equal. Use engagement metrics to determine who opens and reviews emails and sales assets, and who is responsible for redlining final contracts. Technology to track engagement eliminates the guesswork from determining the most engaged members of a team. Michelle Vasko-Sparks, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Relevant Solutions, notes that “salespeople who can solve problems and predict needs with intelligence and data are transforming sales.”

Use data to inform future deals

“Customer intelligence will become the unifier between sales and marketing, but it has to be part of the platform,” said Sean Brady, President of the Americas at Emarsys. Not all deals are the same, but collecting data provides a valuable opportunity to derive insight from closed-won deals and determine which assets performed well and why. Find where most of the time is spent during the buyer journey, and use that information to improve sales assets for future deals. The result could be better qualified deals that close faster and lead to better customer experiences.

While the profession of sales will always involve a human element – people buying from people – technology will continue to impact the buying and selling process. The need for people who can maximize technology will only increase.

Without question, the art of selling is becoming more of a science, and the best sales leaders will leverage customer data to deliver personalized solutions and win the deal.

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