The Intelligent Appointment Scheduling Blog

The State of Sales 2018: How TimeTrade is Driving Sales Success at the Intersection of AI and Productivity

Salesforce recently released its annual “State of Sales” report, and it contains some amazing insights based on responses from more than 2,900 global sales people, managers and leaders. The report is a must-read for anyone involved in the sales profession as it clearly demonstrates where businesses are focused in terms of technology trends and best practices, as well as the overall health of the sales profession.

Increasing Rep Selling Time

Salesforce reports that remarkably, despite advances in technology, content, email services and marketing alignment, 57% of sales representatives expect to miss their quota this year. Perhaps it’s not surprise then that reps reported spending just 34% of their time in a given week actually selling. That means an astounding 66% of a rep’s time in a given week is spent doing everything from research, to data entry, to administrative tasks such as scheduling meetings.

Fortunately for many, TimeTrade’s Scheduler product has alleviated much of the wasted time associated with the back and forth of meeting scheduling. With just a few clicks within Salesforce, reps can easily schedule meetings, including multiple internal attendees, or issue an invite to a customer or prospect to confirm a time that’s most convenient for them. This not only helps to shorten the sales cycle, it also keeps the customer at the core of your engagement strategy.

Sales Investment in AI is Growing

The Salesforce Survey reports on two key areas where technology, including Scheduler, can offer even greater sales productivity benefits.

Salesforce users have no doubt heard of Einstein, the powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine that provides recommendations and analytics across the multiple Salesforce Clouds. The report cites that “Sales leaders expect AI adoption to grow 155% by 2020.”” In fact, the report summarizes that AI growth in sales is expected to outpace most all other sales technology investments and projects that by 2020, more than half of sales leaders expect to be using some form of AI.

the impact of artificial intelligence

At TimeTrade, we’re well aware of the need to provide services that leverage AI, and we’re especially pleased that our Intelligent Scheduling capabilities were built to integrate seamlessly with Einstein on the Salesforce Platform. Through our native Process Builder interface, Scheduler can automatically generate outbound meeting invitations based on Einstein’s Lead Scoring feature, effectively getting the hottest leads on the calendar without a sales call. Opportunity Insights allow invitations to be sent when Einstein suggests that a specific meeting should happen to shorten the sales cycle. Working together, Scheduler for Salesforce and Einstein are already working to make meetings easy for TimeTrade customers and we’re excited about where Einstein can support future AI-driven innovation.

Rise of Virtual Selling

Aside from AI, the report also shows that virtual selling has increased 3.2x more than meeting customers in person. 60% of surveyed representatives reported an increase in virtual meetings versus last year. And this trend is driving new hiring practices for inside sales reps and SDRs. In fact, improved technology is the #1 reason given for expanding inside sales or SDR headcounts.

sales people use AI

Scheduler for Salesforce is perfectly aligned with this trend. Scheduler is the only scheduling application available with real-time integration to top virtual meeting vendors such as Zoom, GoToMeeting and WebEx, including the dynamic creation of unique links for each appointment. The Scheduler application, built on the force.com platform from Salesforce, eliminates the need for an Inside salesperson or SDR to coordinate the creation of a virtual meeting outside the scheduling process. (No more cutting and pasting into calendar invites!) What’s more, since every meeting creates a unique link, there’s no issue with a 10:30 meeting attendee showing up on a different meeting that is still going at 10:29! This summer, TimeTrade will be launching our integration with join.me, making it even easier for join.me customers to book more meetings and start more conversations.

To learn more about the solution our customers are calling “world-class”, “perfectly integrated with Salesforce”, and “priceless for eliminating wasted sales time”, visit Scheduler for Salesforce on the AppExchange. To read the full “State of Sales” survey from Salesforce, click here.

Written by Steve Connolly

Steve has more than 20 years of product management experience, with the last several years working on products designed for B2B sales and marketers. Steve is responsible for the Scheduler product line within TimeTrade, which integrates into CRM solutions such as Dynamics and Salesforce. Prior to joining to TimeTrade, Steve was Director of Product at Lattice Engines.

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