This is an excerpt from our 17 Top Sales Trends for 2017.

The power of accurate, useful data can help companies engage prospects throughout the sales cycle. And as Marylou Tyler explained, sales teams must do what they can to build rapport during earliest stages of the sales process. Jack Kosakowski, Global Head of B2B Social Sales Execution for digital marketing firm Creation Agency, predicts that salespeople who put in more work during the start of the sales process will land healthier deals and close them more quickly.

headshot “You’re going to see a lot more time being spent doing a lot more work on the front end for research and engagement, value messaging versus asking for something.”
Jack Kosakowski | Global Head of B2B Social Sales Execution at Creation Agency

Research reveals that salespeople who invest time and resources into engaging prospects early can in fact accelerate the sales process and close deals faster. According to Gartner, companies that automate lead management, for example, see a 10 percent increase or greater in revenue in 6-9 months.

What next?

Many of the experts in this year’s sales predictions guide agree that offering the right training and resources to sales teams is an essential element of increasing effectiveness. Kosakowski’s also believes that teaching salespeople how to research prospects is the key to closing the right deals. “By going through a heavy, targeted and front-end value selling process, it takes longer to get the appointment,” he said. “But once you get the appointment, you’ve already done everything right on the front end, and you’ve built the relationship, you’ve built the value, and you’ve started at the decision-maker level with a targeted account that can actually move through. And if you’re using the data right, you can look for those triggers when people are showing signs of interest and are ready to buy.”

Want more? Get our guide to all the 17 top sales trends for 2017 here.