Sales departments have been under increasing scrutiny in the last few years. Many sales professionals are looking for ways to grow top line revenue, especially in the face of stiffer corporate goals. Even when social selling and digital selling strategies are adopted for the business, corporate goals may remain out of reach.
Nonetheless, there are many ways you can grow top line revenue against corporate goals. Taking a long-term strategy that incorporates many different methods and sales tactics will yield the results you’re seeking.
Treat Sales as an Investment
There’s an old saying that’s true in the sales department: You have to spend money to make money. Most sales professionals are well aware of this adage, and many companies apply it to their sales departments. The question becomes more about how you invest your sales budget.
One smart investment is social selling and digital selling. It can be difficult to convince company leadership of the value in these newer sales methodologies, but the numbers speak for themselves. Social sellers outperform non-social sellers in their revenue growth by a large margin.
Sales leaders also strive to take the long view here. Almost half of fast-growing companies dedicated more than five percent of their sales budgets to goals that were more than one year away. A focus on sustained growth will serve your sales teams better in the long run.
Investment in technology has also increased, as new tools can assist sales professionals in becoming more efficient and effective.
Focus on Core Performers
Much like sales leaders evaluate where and how to spend their budgets, they should also evaluate in whom they invest. Around 70 percent of your sales teams are “core performers.” They are the middle ground between underachievers and your top performers. While top performers may account for a larger share of sales, your focus should be on elevating core performers to achieve.
Why? Since there are so many core performers on your sales teams, even a small shift in their skill set will have a large impact on your top line revenue. A five percent shift in skills can translate into 60-percent revenue growth. Top performers usually have little growth room, while those at the opposite end of the scale require a greater investment. Finally, both groups are much smaller, so the investment results in a lowered impact.
Reverse-Engineer Revenue Targets
You’ve no doubt heard about reverse-engineering, and it’s precisely what you should do to your revenue targets. In this process, take your corporate goals and work backwards from them to discover what you need to do to attain those targets.
You should also pay attention to your KPIs during this exercise. KPIs are important for measuring growth. Using them aggressively will help you create a strategy for your sales teams to attain their revenue targets.
Work on Sales Enablement
True sales enablement is more than just sales training. Training and development activities are important aspects of sales enablement. Others include adopting the right tools to support your sales initiatives and providing the right content for sales professionals.
Be sure to personalize sales enablement programs in your business, since this increases sales professional improvement, program participation, and quota attainment.
Digital tends to be a low-level decision, despite the evidence that a cohesive digital strategy benefits the sales department and the company as a whole.
Digital should be used to redefine KPIs, create a culture of innovation, and enhance customer focus. Moreover, it can create a cohesive strategy not only for sales but for branding as well. Those in the C-Suite need to be more involved in digital practices and strategy to implement them effectively and attain higher top line revenue growth.
Growing top line revenue against corporate goals requires a thoughtful, holistic strategy. Forward-thinking sales leaders who take this more encompassing approach will realize their goals more easily than those who adopt sales techniques and tactics on a piecemeal basis.