In today’s competitive B2B market, sales managers have more to worry about than ever before. You have to manage your reps, develop territories, create effective strategies, research and implement sales technologies, and much more. In order to succeed, you need to understand exactly how the modern B2B sales environment works. Below are ten important sales tips to help your sales team succeed in 2017 and beyond:Continue reading
As most VPs of Sales and Chief Revenue Officers know, the mortality rate of those who take on ownership of meeting an organization’s top line revenue is quite high. The job security of a VP of Sales is often determined by whether they made the number for the last quarter.Continue reading
[fusion_text]If you are planning on a vacation this summer, or will be spending a lot of time traveling for work, you may find yourself with a few hours of downtime. This book list offers suggestions of books that will peak your interest, stimulate your business thinking and give you insight into how to boost your sales for the rest of the year.Continue reading
The recent SalesHacker Conference in San Francisco. This is literally a start-up conference company pulling together some of the hottest sales and marketing talent in the sales software productivity space. After listening to 12 presentations over an 8 hour period, my head was literally spinning (that was before happy hour!). Thanks to one of the sponsors PipelineDeals, the conference sessions are summarized on the Saleshacker.comwebsite. Here are some of my insights and sales tips on this information packed day.
The Give and Get Spreadsheet (John Barrows, Sales Trainer to the Tech Sales Stars) @
John did a great job of kicking off the proceedings. He spoke about negotiations and the "art" of gives and gets. The concept of beating someone in a negotiation is an outdated concept. As a salesperson in today's interconnected world, you need to understand that every deal you make or blow up may impact your next deal or even your entire career. Developing a reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator is okay as long as your opponent (now your customer) is still standing. John discusses the need to develop a process for creating a balanced negotiation where both parties feel they are receiving a fair value. His simple, but effective spreadsheet helps manage this process.
Presented by: Gabu Luna-Ostaseski @gabelunao
The following sins directly relate to the sales process:
The All in One Salesperson – One common issue at startups is that their salespeople spend too much time doing things that don’t drive revenue. I encourage startups to focus on figuring out how to make things more efficient, automate, and specialize.
How to Avoid:
- Segment job roles
- Delegate or outsource low leverage taks
- Remove client success from responsibilities
Flying Blind – If you don’t know what should be happening at each point in the sales process, you’re not ready to scale. How are you going to grow your company and reach your goals if you’re flying blind? You need to break down your goals and understand what you need to be doing day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month at each point in your sales process in order to be successful.
You don’t necessarily need to manage by revenue in – you should also be managing by specific actions that should be completed. For example, think about the # of bookings that each sales rep should be making each week, each month, each quarter, etc. in order to grow your business to your goal.
How to Avoid:
- What gets measured gets managed
- Trending in reporting
- Identify and manage lead measures
Presented by Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks
Again, my favorite sales process related rules:
As a general rule, we’ve found that it takes 100 outreaches to get 10 conversations to get 1 deal. Our first 10 customers came from 10 different sources. We obtained customers from email, LinkedIn, conferences, referrals, and social. I had to go out and target customers where they were at.
One key learning that I have had at Betterworks is that your CEO has to do your sales early on. Don’t rely on a hired gun to get your first 10 sales. As you start to scale and gain some repeatability, you can start to bring in more salespeople.
Scaling requires outbound sales
There is a lot of latent demand out there for better solutions. In order to be successful with outbound sales, you need to tighten up your target market definition. By tightening up your target market, you will be able to develop better personas to contact.
I think of my phone as an ATM. I know that outbound reps can turn 10 numbers into dollars. There is so much opportunity out there.
Remember – with inbound leads, businesses already know that they have a problem and they want to know why they should choose you. With outbound leads, you need to identify that there is an issue and then transition to why you’re the best solution for them.
"Vote Early, Vote Often" was coined by Al Capone to make fun of the "less than honest" past political practices. I'm not suggesting you use any "questionable" practices, however, in my experience, "early and often" can result in expanding your sales pipeline and putting a little more "green" in your pocket.
Many times our prospects and clients are focused on measuring sales lead metrics around Meetings Scheduled or Qualified Leads.
I agree -- These call results are the absolute best. However, often times you might be calling prospects but the timing is off or they do not have a compelling reason to try your product at that time.
There is something to be said for the “early and often” factor though. And it’s what you do with these Follow Ups or these Referral Connects that really matters.
As a real world example, here is how one early lead generated from a sales prospecting session in March 2013 resulted in a Sale at the end of Q1 2014.
- Spoke with the top Marketing executive on an Live Conversation Automation Sales Prospecting Session.
- The prospect was impressed with the outbound calling technology I was using to get him/her live and agreed our value prop was strong
- Unfortunately, there was not a compelling reason at that time. Their sales team was not really “sales forward” and there were no real concerns around marketing program effectiveness etc.
- Over the next 2-3 quarters, I consistently maintained contact with my prospect. This consisted of many voicemails, conversations and email.
- I received a call from my contact that a new Sales VP was hired. (Key Trigger Event). Was told I would be introduced to this person.
- Held a discovery call and demo with the Sales VP, Marketing executives among others. Discussed their challenges which had to do with lead conversion rates.
- Client Ran a 7-10 day trial. Trial Results exceeded Established Trial Criteria.
March 31 2014
- Closed the Deal!
- Wrapped up Q1 with a nice win!
Moral of the story?
- Stay meticulous -- Stay on top of all your sales and marketing generated activities – there might be Gold there.
- If you start having conversations with your sales prospects and accounts early and often, who is more likely to win the business? You or your competitor? In the example above, I did not even have a competitor.
Now, Go get em!