Do you sometimes feel like your sales team is counting on luck, instead of strategy and process to close deals?
Of course, I am going to advocate for strategy and process but sometimes, yes, you get lucky and will get deals closed without it.
If Not Luck, What’s It All About?
It’s all about strategy and consistent tactics. Not luck.
You can grow a company on luck and many of you got where you are today without strategy and consistency, but I wonder how much more sales growth you could have had and if you can get to the next level.
Hit Your Numbers
If you want your team to hit their numbers at the end of each quarter, you need a strategy and a tactical plan. No more guessing and waiting for salespeople to get lucky. Put some strategy behind your tactics and drive activity that gets results.
It’s all about the numbers. Yes, sometimes your salespeople get lucky and hit the right person the first time they pick up the phone. But, the truth is, that over the span of a quarter, hitting your numbers requires that your team has the right list, is dialing enough times, is leaving great messages that build your brand and has the right message when they do reach the right person.
It’s all about prioritizing. If your salespeople are not prioritizing their activities properly, it will take a lot of luck for them to hit their numbers. The secret is to prioritize closing business first and prospecting second.
The first reason to do this is the momentum and great feelings that come with closing. Use those to prospect. It’s always best to prospect when you are in a great mood.
The second reason is, without a solid stream of leads coming into the top of the funnel, they will not have enough opportunities and place too much focus on trying to close deals that are not a fit or trying to force opportunities to close that are not ready to close. So much frustration comes from not prioritizing lead generation second to closing the deal.
It’s all about talking to the right people. Talking to the wrong people all day long won’t get you any closer to hitting your numbers than talking to no-one. Leadership should clearly identify the target market and develop a list of the companies they want to approach. Then sales and marketing should work together to identify the buyer personas within those target companies and plan an approach.
It’s all about saying the right thing at the right time to the right people. Messaging needs to speak to specific problems buyers are having. No luck there. It’s hard to get attention these days. Develop messaging that speaks to the buyer personas most likely to be involved in the decision to buy. The message has to match the person it’s being delivered to. CFOs and CMOs don’t buy for the same reasons. Don’t let your salespeople talk about products and services. They need to tell the buyer how your product or service will make their life easier and help them hit their goals, that will get their attention.
The Complex Sale
It’s all about covering your bases. Sure, a salesperson might get lucky and find a buying influence who can make the decision without getting others involved. Chances are, however, that they will be better positioned to handle objections, shorten the sales cycle, improve your chance of winning the sale and getting repeat business if they are working with all the people involved in the buying decision. Next time your salesperson says, “I’m talking to this guy” stop them and ask a few questions about who else besides that ‘guy’ will make the decision and how they will all be involved in the buying process.
It’s all about understanding your funnel. Funnel, pipeline, whatever you call it, you need to be the master of it. You should be able to pull a report that shows you:
- All of the sales opportunities your team is working on (by rep).
- What stage each opportunity is in.
- What the next action is and on what date that action will take place.
That is the only way you will know if there are enough opportunities moving at the right speed to hit your number.
If there are not enough opportunities in the top of the funnel, you should be able to see that clearly and take action. If there are too many opportunities stuck, you should be able to clearly identify those and develop the right strategy for each to get it moving.
The reason I like the term funnel is that the shape is important. Lots in the top and less moving down as you qualify opportunities. It shows you if you have the right balance. If your company’s funnel isn’t properly balanced, kissing the Blarney Stone won’t be enough to make your numbers.