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NOTE: Today’s Guest Blog is, “Are you assuming or replicating what works?”
Proved by Vlad Voskresensky, CEO and Co-Founder at RevenueGrid.
Let’s say your sales reps are doing all the right things but still falling behind on quota. You might be wondering,
- “Are they following up?
- Are they calling too much?
- Are they scheduling enough meetings?”
And perhaps most importantly, “Will we meet this month’s quota?”
Sales reps are often in a selling mode without a clear understanding of what works. So, when they run across something that does, managers are not able to effectively capitalize on that newfound discovery.
The dilemma occurs because there are still lots of assumptions and variables in the world of sales.
Entire departments are expected to rely on these assumptions to push themselves beyond existing expectations. Managers tend to ask, “How do we rise above employee and customer expectations?” when they should be asking, “How do we replicate what works?”
What Is Stopping You From Replicating The Winning Formula?
Unfortunately, sales managers everywhere are stuck in a vicious cycle of “sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
The thought doesn’t give them confidence in their abilities. And the thought does not help them lead effectively. But to identify and capitalize on the right course of action, we are to be mindful of the obstacles that could stop us from getting there. Here’s some of those obstacles:
Not Focusing On Helping Customers
How often do you get a random call from a salesperson about a product they’re offering? As the representative continues about its features and benefits, all you can think is, “how does it help me?” The RAIN Group surveyed 472 sales executives. The survey found that over 25% of the pipeline will decline due to a lack of connection between the buyer and seller.
Things change over time, be it regulations, market, or technology. When coaching your sales reps, ask them to look at these changes from the customer’s point of view.
For example, although a customer’s incumbent product was a great decision some time ago, it may not be so now. Changes in the environment mean they must also change. Hopefully, you can provide a better product.
Not Closely Following Their Playbook
Managers want to replicate the characteristics of their top reps:
- What they’re doing differently when they’re re-engaging
- How they perform the sale
Others see their playbook as a productivity guarantee. Therefore, they avoid any change at all costs.
No matter what your playbook is about, it should not deviate from its purpose: ‘Increase sales performance, onboard sales reps faster and help managers create effective training programs.’
The purpose translates into a more unified team culture that helps everyone understand and work towards their targets.
You Are Not A CRM Data Perfectionist
Over the past four years, CRM adoption has more than doubled, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 study. When the correct data is unavailable, or activities aren’t properly recorded to CRM, selling becomes unproductive. Salespeople are forced to perform activities non-essential to selling.
While manual CRM data logging can be accurate, it’s prone to human error.
For example, when choosing between logging data to CRM and closing a hot deal, most sales reps (even with the best of intentions) choose the latter. With the help of CRM data capturing software, we can eliminate these circumstances.
Not Being Personal Or Timely Enough
The days of mindless email sequences and drip campaigns are over. Sales managers want their outreach to be better than that of the next rep.
Accenture just reported that 33% of customers abandoned their business relationship because it lacked personalization. Increasingly, more salespeople need the “when and how” of prospecting to stay personal.
For greater control over when and how you follow up, consider implementing customer outreach tools or sales engagement software. These tools allow you to set follow-up sequences depending on the type of lead, with some even notifying you when leads perform an action. All of this helps you to be personal.
Not Recognizing Changes In The Sales Cycle.
Can you separate a prospect who’s merely interested in learning more, from someone who is ready to purchase? What about pinpointing when high-value opportunities see drops in engagements, or when a heavily engaged prospect isn’t offered a meeting for days? More likely than not, there are important reasons why these events are happening.
While management doesn’t need to be full-on data scientists, they should understand that being data-driven and implementing a fact-based approach to lead activity is a must.
Make a list of what actions to monitor (number of follow-ups and meetings per opportunity) and how to relay them to salespeople so they can close more deals.
What We Found Missing
In a perfect world, salespeople would follow playbooks to the tee, offer timely, personal customer service, and have precise control over their CRM data and sales cycles.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Salespeople have a quota to meet, the human element to account for, and an 8-hour workday with which to contend.
But that’s not all.
In the face of changes and constraints, sales managers either make data-driven decisions, or they struggle with all of the above.
While data-driven sales sounds great in theory, it’s a bit more challenging to implement in real life. That’s because being data-driven means collecting and using data to drive every single decision. Included is the time they reach out to customers to how much they focus on a specific opportunity. A tall order for any sales team.
When you are in the business of integrations, data capture, and connecting corporate systems for 15 years, being data-driven comes easy. But many organizations out there do not have that luxury. For these reasons, my team and I created RevenueGrid.
It is a Sales Engagement platform that helps all customer-facing teams to replicate what works without getting distracted by things not directly related to sales. Included are keeping CRM data updated or manually tracking how well the playbooks are being followed.
It’s that missing piece of the puzzle that allows you to understand what worked and, ultimately, replicate it.
Sales Tips: Are you assuming or replicating what works?
- Favor fact over opinion
- Adapt to different perspectives
- Outline sales expectations
- Ask the team for their pain points
- List data you can measure
- List data you can’t measure
- Research data logging methods
- Research sales engagement tools
- Replicate what works
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s Guest Blog is provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!
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