Entering the New Year, many executives are reflecting on how to increase revenues.
If you’re coming off an excellent 2016 you may be looking at how to replicate your success, and if it wasn’t such a great year you are probably trying to figure out how to right the ship.
No matter the case, CEOs and Sales Executives want to improve and grow their annual revenues.
To make 2017 your best sales year yet, here are 3 insights to help you exceed your goals.
Put an Actionable Sales Process in Place
Companies with a documented sales process close more deals - it's that simple. According to Salesforce, businesses with a sales playbook are 33% more likely to be high-performers, yet 40% don't have a sales playbook.
With a documented sales process, your sales representatives are armed with actionable steps to systematically navigate and execute the sales process. Clarity on next steps will help to speed up the sales cycle, improve productivity and increase closing efficiency.
When creating or optimizing your sales process, make sure to cover these 3 critical areas:
- Outline your sales process: Outlining and documenting your sales process gets your team on the same page. Aligning your sales process to your buyer’s needs will define what actions need to be taken in order to attract and close new business.
- Define your steps and KPIs: It’s important to define the steps, stages and key performance indicators (KPIs) for success. It’s great to have sales goals, but without clear steps to meet those goals, you’ll struggle to get there.
- Automate your sales process: Leveraging a CRM tool is the best way to streamline your sales process, track activity, and manage your pipeline. Tailoring the platform to your unique sales process will help to automate sales - increasing your teams efficiency.
Example of a sales process.
How effective is your sales process? Schedule a free sales process evaluation.
Recruit the Right Salespeople
On average 67% of all salespeople fail to meet their sales quota. This is an expensive problem to fix, but the best way to increase your odds of boosting sales is to have the right people with the right skills for YOUR sales system.
Here are 5 steps to take to ensure you select and hire the best talent for your team.
1. Define your ideal candidate profile: Before you begin recruiting, it’s important to understand your ideal candidate. Work with your team to understand the specific competencies, product knowledge, and personality traits that are needed to be successful. This profile will serve as your benchmark and qualification criteria for evaluating candidates.
2. Consider your recruitment strategy: You’ve established your ideal candidate profile, you need to map your scouting strategy. Defining your approach creates clarity to identify, attract, and select the right candidate for your needs.
3. Structure your interview process: Before you begin scheduling phone and in-person interviews, you should collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to determine what you want to learn about your candidates on the front-end. Like most things in life, being prepared is half the battle for a smoother process. Use the candidate profile to get a clear idea of the qualifications you’re seeking to add to your team. Let it guide you to ask specific questions that will give you deeper insights into your candidate’s relevant experience and compatibility with your sales environment.
4. Incorporate a sales skills assessment: To accurately predict sales performance it's going to require more than a personality test. Sales skills assessments will measure the candidate's sales DNA to ensure you hire the perfect match for your business and sales environment. Include the assessment at the beginning of your screening process to dramatically reduce the time and energy spent interviewing unqualified candidates. Choose an assessment that is customizable to your ideal candidate profile and sales environment to get a true gauge on compatibility.
5. Don’t stop once you’ve given an offer: Your onboarding and training program will play a considerable role in the success of your new hire. You should begin developing your on-boarding program prior to making a hiring decision. Your on-boarding program should define the tools and resources needed for success. Providing the proper support and setting clear objectives will go a long way to accelerating ramp-up and reducing turnover.
How much is a bad sales hire costing you? Check out this sales hiring mistake calculator.
Implement the Right Tools and Technology
Utilizing the right technology will help to automate your sales process, increase sales productivity and improve efficiency.
The importance of choosing the right technology cannot be understated. Using the right tools to track metrics and analytics will provide valuable information to help you make informed decisions.
With the wide variety of technologies available, below are 3 steps to help you determine the right option for your needs.
- Define requirements: Not all tools are created equal. Clearly defining your user and technical requirements will help you determine the features and functionality your sales team requires.
- Keep the future in mind: Whatever technology you choose, consider your needs down the line. If your business grows exponentially, will that tool scale with you? Companies that only consider their present needs may end up requiring a more robust platform in future. In most cases it’s better to over buy and turn on new features as you need them, rather than migrating to a new system at a later time.
- Plan your implementation and user training: Many organizations purchase a new system, but fail to establish an actionable plan for how to roll it out to their team. Not taking the time to properly plan your implementation and training needs will often lead to low adoption and improper use. For your team to use your sales tools effectively, it’s important to provide them with instructions and best practices.
With your actionable sales process, the right team, and the appropriate technologies in place, you are well on your way to executing your vision and surpassing your sales goals in 2017.