Of course, sales success is about revenue. If your business sells a high volume product with no opportunity for repeat sales, maybe that's the only metric you need for effective review. However, if you sell a complex product or service that requires developing a more trusted relationship with prospects over an extended sales cycle, you may need additional insights to be sure your team stays on track and has a baseline for improvement over time.
Knowing the right people at the account
In most complex sales, there will be several influencers and decision makers involved in the process. Unless your sales team has identified them, understand their roles and gained access, they are doomed to an endless round of calls and meetings that won’t move the needle at all. To manage this complexity you need an Insight Sales Panel™ that ensures the reps are asking the right questions to understand the organizational dynamics, get the answers needed to move the deal forward and have appropriate value to present that is properly aligned.
Following the prescribed process
Top sales performers get the best results because they follow a proven process. If your organization doesn’t have a standard sales process, or if you are uncertain that it is being followed, you are at a great disadvantage. Your sales process must consistently deliver an experience of value that stimulates engagement and uncovers key insights. Start the process with disruptive engagement. Your reps should be comfortable in challenging customers and prospects to reframe their thinking and to position themselves as advisors with value to provide. Your sales process should also define a specific contact plan that outlines how many messages and emails are to be sent in an effort to connect, what the timing is and the precise content and value to be included in each. This is the only way for everyone to be delivering the same experience and for the team to learn what works and how to improve.
Understanding the prospect's need through insight discovery
One of the most important skills a rep can have is the ability to acquire key insight sales data. Develop the key insights that your reps should uncover during their discovery process. The Insight Sales Process™ provides a new framework for sales effectiveness management by pinpointing roadblocks for success in real time. Talk with your team to understand what answers they expect during this exchange and how they optimize their response and strategy. Without the detailed information acquired through insight discovery, the rep will not reach their full potential.
Prospects have a lot on their plate, and sometimes projects move forward in fits and starts. However, the longer the sales process continues, the more likely it is that another competitor will interfere. To prevent this, make sure your reps work with the customer to define appropriate expectations and timelines (check out Retraining Your Sales Team To Increase Sales). Try to identify a compelling event that may require the prospect to make a decision at a specific time. Keep the deal moving forward by adhering to the agreed steps andtimeline. Of course, there will be unforeseen events and delays, but creating atimeline will help keep the deal moving to closure.
With a defined sales process, reps have a standardized game plan to follow and are less reliant on sales skills than on executing the plan. By asking insightful questions during active discovery and working with key decision makers, the sales team will keep their deals moving toward more favorable outcomes.