Gil Cargill (Principal of Cargill Consulting Group) authored a Channel Pro magazine feature, entitled Vital Steps for Sales Success in 2015. The article talked about how the IT buying process has changed, and sales professionals are being forced to keep pace.

Cargill says, “If you want to manage yourself and/or your team to optimum sales success in 2015, here are the steps that you should take:”

  • Selling time: Make sure you remove any and all non-sales tasks from your sales team.
  • Shorten the sales cycle: Take into consideration the total time required to get one new account.
  • Utilize automation tools: Your website should have a visitor identification package attached to it. You should also utilize autoresponders. CRM can be a wonderful tool if, and only if, it’s properly implemented and training is maintained. Closed-loop marketing can and should be automated, as it will help you stay in touch with hundreds of prospects and give them each of them the perception that you are reaching out to them one at a time.

I’d like to focus on the automation “step.”


Because specific features from automation tools are being used to address the other two steps. Automation can shorten the sales cycle and enable sales to ‘sell’ – breaking down the barriers and eliminating friction, allowing sales to focus on the most important and valuable opportunities.

I’ve seen great success with partner sales teams, when they have the right tools within the environment that they feel most comfortable. This means bringing the tools into the Sales Automation, CRM and Marketing systems that they use everyday. Not creating extra work, rather empowering sales to do more within the systems they login to everyday.

Five Specific Automated Features That Superpower Sales Teams

1. Through Partner Marketing Automation (TPMA)

This is the ability to execute email, social, search and content rich campaigns through partners to their end audience – considering the unique needs of prospect and customer audiences.

The majority of partner sales teams we encounter, struggle to get regular campaigns out-the-door on a regular basis. (Nevermind utilizing basic multi-touch, persona based and trigger campaigns). They are buried in day-to-day sales activities and simply don’t have time to focus on funnel building activities.

With TPMA solutions, Partners can quickly find relevant campaigns that align with their sales goals – and schedule campaigns into the future, so they can focus on lead follow-up and SELLING. Additionally, with our nurturing capabilities, we can grow opportunities over time and provide a steady stream of leads through the year.

2. Instant Notifications and Reports

This is the ability to instantly notify sales when a lead demonstrates sharp interest in a product, industry focus or business need; or take specific actions on the site or within a campaign.

Look for solutions that offer the ability to monitor all prospect activity and trigger notifications (via email or direct into CRM) direct to sales. This feature helps sales to focus on the most interested and qualified prospects, as they raise their hand.

Interest level change notifications are among our most popular and widely used reports.

This feature will send an email alert to a member or group of sales people, when a contact reaches a new level of interest. This is configurable, but it normally takes 2-3 unique interactions with content, email clicks, or campaign activities for a contact to achieve a new level of interest.

3. Website Analytics Reporting

This is the ability to monitor and report on all pages of your website – tracking both known and anonymous visitor activity. Be careful here, simply counting webpage hits and clicks is not enough – you have to go the extra step and be able to report a few more layers deep. Also, this data must be shared with sales on a regular basis to support their selling activities.

Modern solutions offer a simple code snippet that can be added to footer of your website. Instantly, you’ll begin to track all site activity of anonymous (using reverse IP lookup) and known contacts. All activity will be reported at a company/account level through systems reporting and via email on a daily basis.

Sales will look for these reports each morning – savvy sales reps will identify patterns and use the data to move deals to close.

4. Digital Body Language and Topic Level Interest

This is the ability to track, score and report all marketing activities at an individual contract level. The ability for sales to click on a prospect or customer and see a marketing story.

With a single click, these solutions offer sales visibility into all email, social, content, web page and event activities that an individual contact has completed. Additionally, systems tend to organize this interest into topic categories that align with specific products, industry focus and business needs. It’s like being able to know what products or focus the prospect is interested in, before making the first call.

This approach allows sales to be more contextually relevant and impressionable on initial contact.

5. Closed Loop CRM Integration and Reporting

This is ability to tie revenue, pipeline and sales activity directly to specific marketing programs.

The best solutions offer CRM connectors and integrations with many leading Sales Automation and Marketing Automation platforms. Imagine being able to open your CRM system and know specifically which marketing campaigns have contributed most to lead maturation and sales progression.

The point here is that automation and automated tools are only as good as you can prove their value. Meaning, if activity leads to positive revenue – do more of those things.

If you can’t tell, if you can’t measure, if you can’t connect the loop – you’ll never know if what you’re doing is worth the effort.