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The “golden gut” is a term used to describe the ability of some extraordinary creative and visionary leaders to use only their intuition when developing a strategy, product, or offering.
And while there may be a few golden gut visionaries in the world (Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg), one of the worst things a sales rep can do is rely on their “gut instinct”.
Yes - while it may feel empowering to trust your instincts as a sales rep, it might be the worst thing you can do for closing deals.
The highest performing sales leaders we’ve worked with and studied demonstrate the ability to combine quantitative data from various marketing and sales automation platforms with a keen sales intuition about the prospect’s mindset and buying motivations to deliver results.
But in the end, the data drives their decisions, not their feelings. If you’re using your gut instead of the data, you are likely blind to the true factors why your prospects are churning and sales team is not continually improving.
Sales team leaders need to leverage sales process automation, data analysis, and past performance to drive new closed deals and improve your team performance. Lay your instincts to rest, and utilize your sales tools to make the best decisions for your team.
One tangible way you can do this as a leader is in sales forecasting. Often times, leaders will forecast sales benchmarks and quotas using their instincts, not data. These inevitably leads to problems such as
With GetAccepts’ detailed document analytics, our users are able to take historical data to build out quantitatively sound forecasts, which improve both strategy and sales team execution.
Spending too much time with prospects that have little to no chance of closing often keeps sales teams from meeting their goals. Precious time and energy is given away to prospects that lack the finances, decision making ability, or commitment to moving forward.
Within the first few interactions, your reps may have a “read” or gut feeling about whether the prospect will move to the next stage in the sales funnel. However, some of the best sales team leaders will tell you time and time again that their intuition analyzed a prospect incorrectly.
There are many reason why a prospect seems disinterested in the beginning of the sales process:
A successful sales rep is able to overcome these objections through exploratory calls and reach a level of trust and mutual agreement. This often turns a cold prospect into a hot one.
Document tracking functionality like the kind baked into the core of the GetAccept product allows you to to determine which prospects are reading and absorbing your content the most. You may realize that the prospects who seem disinterested on the phone (a “gut negative” feeling) are those who are most engaged with your document.
It’s a middle ground between trusting your gut and trusting the data because it allows you to do both at the same time. And the fact that the GetAccept Video Introduction feature has helped sales reps close 41% more deals isn’t too shabby, either.
When did you realize you needed to rely on sales analytics and not always rely on your gut instinct? Share your stories of using data to improve decision making in the comments!