Four Eras of CRM Selling: Why Big Data and Predictive Analytics Will Unlock the Science of Selling

Four Eras of CRM Selling: Why Big Data and Predictive Analytics Will Unlock the Science of Selling

Cindy Marie Gordon (SalesChoice Inc., Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1837-2.ch041
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This chapter examines the evolution of selling, as well as the software solutions that sales professionals have used to support Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices. Tracing over four eras of selling, spanning 30 years, including product to solution selling, customer centric selling, social selling, and big data: predictive analytics selling. This chapter examines the stark reality that after three generations of CRM: less than 50% of sales organizations do not achieve their sales quotas. It is time to seriously challenge the current approaches to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as quota attainment is seriously underperforming, despite what sales software leaders espouse. Research from CSO Insights, Accenture (2013), and Sales Choice (2014) is compelling to pause to Think Big and Smarter! The next era's growth resides in Big Data and Predictive Analytics as advanced sciences and mathematics will pave the way to unlock productivity growth challenges that have plagued the first three eras.
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Sales 1.0: The Era Of Product To Solution Selling (1980-1995)

During my tenure at Xerox in the mid 1990’s, I was responsible for leading business transformation programs in: Total Quality Management (TQM), Sales and Service Innovation and Business Productivity. Xerox revenue worldwide is currently over $21B and the company is known for its invention of the first xerographic copier, a machine that outperformed every copying process, then in existence. One of the global programs of strategic imperative in the early 1990’s was Sales and Service Force Automation. At this time, the personal computer growth panacea was in full swing and equipping talent with specialized technology tools inherently was regaled to significantly increase sales and service performance. There were also only a few solution-selling methodologies in the market that were enabling sales professional behavioral foundations to achieve sales excellence. One of the most significant sales productivity approaches developed to improve sales a professional selling practice was: SPIN, a solution selling methodology (Bosworth, 1994).

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