Categories
Sales Management

The 5 Components of a Winning Sales Team

As sellers, it’s our responsibility to stay abreast of the latest sales trends and best practices. So when we read the Harvard Business Review article “The Sales Playbook of Successful B2B Teams”, we immediately wanted to share it with you because it really resonated with us.

Right at the onset, the article, which was written by four Bain & Company partners, mentioned one of the most common problems that sales teams face: underutilizing the tools at their disposal.

“Every major B2B company invests millions each year in sales technologies, yet 62% of 167 companies surveyed recently by Bain & Company said the return on their investment fell short of expectations. What companies hoped would be an intelligent CRM system ends up being used as a simple accounting and workflow management system. They’ve bought a high-octane car but lack driver training.”

At Sales for Life, we’ve also encountered a lot of companies with this same problem. Solving it isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s not just a matter of installing the tool on everyone’s computer or browser and enforcing its use. All the technology in your roster should work together seamlessly to achieve your organization’s goals, and there has to be an overarching strategy governing their usage.

The 5 Factors of a Winning Sales Team

Revenue teams need to develop different sales strategies for different occasions. Similar to how sales teams these days use data and statistics to select their players and create training routines and game plays, all of your revenue team’s moves should be based on proven facts instead of relying on gut feel or following what’s popular.

While different revenue teams have different priorities, thus having different strategies, the article’s authors observed that the highest-performing sales teams have certain distinct commonalities. These factors, described below, enable them to surpass their peers in terms of revenue growth and market share gain.

1. Detailed, specific data and sales signals that lend insight into an account’s priorities and spending habits at the individual customer level.

These data should go beyond contact information and surface-level company and financial data. Sellers should likewise know their target accounts’ priorities and goals, ensuring that their communication efforts address these.

Sales reps should also take note of Compelling Event Signals, which are specific, time-sensitive insights and events that can be leveraged to gain a competitive advantage. Compelling Event Signals give sellers a heads-up when there’s a particular situation that the seller can capitalize on, such as the installation of a new C-level executive that used to work at one of your existing customer accounts. If such a Signal comes up, the seller should act fast and play the appropriate sales strategy.

2. A sales play factory that can churn out a variety of plays that can be used for every conceivable occasion: Securing new accounts, upselling and cross-selling to existing accounts, renewing expiring accounts, and winning back former customers.

Selling isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Different customers have different priorities and situations, and they will naturally have different ways of responding (or not responding) to your outreach efforts.

That’s why it’s important to have a selection of various sales plays, ready to be deployed if a particular situation calls for it. By applying a variety of themes, messaging, engagement strategies, your sellers would have a higher likelihood of providing value to your customers during the activation cycle.

3. A command center that tracks and manages sales plays, pushing out the most effective plays to the rest of the team.

In the same way that sports teams analyze their games and continuously refine their strategies and training regimens, sales teams should keep working on their most effective sales plays in a strategic manner, at the same time shelving sales moves that failed to produce favorable results.

In addition, the best sales teams also have a global command center for their sales signals. All their signals are aggregated on one platform, which is easily accessible to the entire revenue team. This way, sellers can take note of the hidden links connecting all the accounts in their total addressable market, allowing them to see the sales opportunities and risks that might be present. When all the information is centralized, they can roll out the best sales plays for any situation.

4. Consistent, intensive coaching like what Sales for Life offers, which delves into specific areas of improvement and requires actual results.

Sales training and coaching give your team the knowledge and skills necessary to keep growing and supporting your client base. It also fosters accountability in your sales leaders, allowing them to guide their sellers to produce better results.

Remember, building the best B2B sales team doesn’t just entail hiring the best sellers and investing in the best sales tools. While these could propel your revenue team to the top, you’ll need to invest in regular sales training and coaching in order to stay there for a long time.

5. An array of interconnected sales technology tools that are integrated within your existing sales system and are fully utilized by your whole team.

Even if you have all the best sales tools at your disposal, they wouldn’t make a difference if they are not maximized.

“One software-as-a-service (SaaS) company had invested in technologies for customer relationship management, marketing automation, sales enablement and cadence, and call recording, but it was barely using them. By taking the time to embed these technologies properly into its sales processes, the company was able to increase revenue growth by 200 basis points within a few weeks.”

Conclusion

These five factors are essential for revenue teams that want to succeed in today’s cutthroat sales environment. With these systems in place within your strategy, all the departments within your sales and marketing teams work better with each other.

These five components also allow you to address your customers’ needs efficiently. You’ll be able to provide more value at the right time, benefitting your customers and giving you more opportunities to successfully close a deal.

Categories
b2b sales Digital Sales Transformation Sales Management

How To Hit Your Sales Goals: Reverse-Engineering

Achieving your sales goals is easier said than done. There are so many circumstances that can give even the most experienced sellers a hard time meeting their sales targets.

Case in point: The global COVID-19 pandemic, which forced revenue teams to replace in-person, face-to-face networking events and client meetings with social media interactions and Zoom calls.

In order to conquer the curve balls thrown your way, you should first recognize that the only things that you could control in order to achieve your sales goals are actions and activities. Everything else is an influence, aligned to something beyond your control.

For example, you couldn’t control when it would rain. But you can plan ahead to ensure that you’d be ready in case of a sudden downpour. You can always carry an umbrella or a raincoat in your bag, or you could map out a shaded route that you could take while walking to work.

The same principle applies in sales. Keep in mind that you can’t achieve your desired sales goals by yourself. You can only influence them and align with them so you’ll end up in a favorable position.

Working Your Way Backwards From Your Sales Goals

To have the best chance of hitting your annual sales goals, you should create your gameplan by reverse-engineering from your target.

Imagine that there are stepping stones leading towards your sales goals. These are your sales objectives, or milestones, and they indicate your progress towards goal completion.

Milestones inform your revenue team about what success should look like at a certain week, a certain month, or a certain quarter. They help your sellers stay focused and motivated, and prevents them from being overwhelmed by your main sales goal.

For example, if your sales goal is achieving a total annual revenue of $1 million, one of your milestones could be closing a certain number of deals by the end of Q3. Achieving this milestone will indicate that you’re on track to achieving your sales goal.

Take note that hitting all your milestones wouldn’t guarantee a 100% chance of achieving your sales goals. As we’ve said before, you never know when life decides to throw you a curve ball that could derail your strategy. You will, however, have a higher likelihood of hitting your goals since you’ve already made the necessary preparations for it.

Actions and Activities: The Building Blocks of Your Sales Goals

Now, the milestones you set are influenced by the sales actions and activities that you undertake. These are the things that you and the rest of your revenue team can actually control, such as the messaging of your content, the cadence of your emails, and the videos you send to your prospects.

That’s why these sales activities and actions should be carefully planned and coordinated. Cooperation between the sales, marketing, and enablement teams is critical. The whole revenue team should be aligned and focused on one thing: To achieve the sales goal you set for yourselves.

If the revenue team isn’t properly aligned, some departments could find themselves unnecessarily spending time doing arbitrary actions and activities that can boost their own profile, but don’t really propel them towards their milestones. It’s a distraction; a waste of time, effort, and resources.

We can’t stress enough how crucial it is that each member of your revenue team should know what their top priority should be. If a certain sales action or activity can’t influence your milestones, then it can’t lead you closer to your main goal of achieving your sales targets.

To Summarize

To achieve your sales objectives, you need to take to heart these two notions:

  1. Understand that you can only control actions and activities. Everything else, you can only influence to achieve an outcome that’s favorable to you.
  1. To achieve your sales goals (or any goal for that matter), start planning at the end. Reverse-engineer your progress towards goal completion by determining the milestones indicating that you’re on track to achieving your target. Then, figure out the actions and activities that will help you achieve those milestones. 
Categories
Blog marketing Sales Sales and Marketing sales for life Sales Inspiration Sales Leadership Sales Management Sales Process

Account Planning: Competitive Intelligence & “Seeking out Poison Pills” in key accounts

knowledge is power

Categories
b2b marketing Blog increase sales marketing marketing tips Sales Sales and Marketing sales for life Sales Management sales strategy Social Selling Social Selling Tools Social Selling Training video selling

Why you Need Account Based Marketing for Your Organization?

Are you implementing Account Based Marketing? If not! It’s time you started applying it in your organization! Studies have shown that the most effective marketing approach in recent times is proving to be Account-Based Marketing. This marketing strategy is more focused and results in better ROI compared to any other marketing method. Account Based Marketing entails identifying prospects that are key stakeholders and strategizing marketing to resonate with the specific personas.

Categories
Blog Sales Sales Advice Sales and Marketing sales for life Sales Inspiration Sales Kickoff Sales Leadership Sales Management Sales Process sales strategy sales training sko planning kit

Do’s and Don’ts for your 2019 Sales Kickoff

Having participated in 100’s of tech company Sales Kickoffs (SKO) and witnessing the thousands of dollars to the multi-million dollar events, I thought it would be timely to share my observations, tips, do’s and don’ts in a blog.

Categories
Blog Develop Sales increase sales Sales Sales Advice Sales and Marketing sales for life Sales Inspiration Sales Leadership Sales Management sales training

How Do I get Started with my 2019 Sales Plan?

Calling all sales leaders! 2019 is right around the corner and that means your 2019 revenue number is probably bouncing around your head right about now. Questions like:

Categories
Blog Sales Management

3 Tips to Find Sales Talent That Can Engage with the Modern Buyer

Who is the “right” sales talent in today’s business environment? The modern buyer is drastically different and the buying cycle has changed significantly as well. As buyer expectations and demands shift, sales professionals must master new sales methodologies such as social selling and digital selling in order to keep up.

Categories
Blog Sales Management sales training

Can You Make A Great Sales Team Out Of Average Salespeople?

Nature vs. nurture. Talent vs. skill. Destiny vs. willpower. It’s one of the oldest unanswered questions that still confounds science: How much of an individual’s potential is realistically achievable?

Categories
Blog Sales Sales Management Social Selling Training

The Keys to Quality Sales Calls: Structure and Similarity

The best sales reps know sales isn’t about luck. Quite the opposite, sales results come from thoughtful strategic planning. That planning happens at a high level through activities like customer experience mapping and annual sales strategy sessions. However, equally as important is the planning that goes into individual customer interactions and sales calls.

Categories
Blog Digital Selling Sales Advice Sales Management

The Basics of How To Leverage Customer Success as a Growth Engine

customer-success-growth-engine

As the SaaS and technology industries become more crowded with niche products, software companies are facing new challenges around customer retention. Specifically, companies are struggling to meaningfully onboard clients and help them understand their product and its true value, which results in subpar retention rates.