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Why Process is the Power behind Sales Performance - Part 2

Posted by Fiona Coughlan on Apr 25, 2017 2:43:05 PM

The first part of this series ended with the sales model below, where we discussed the problems that face the marketing and sales process. In part 2 we’d like to look at the importance of using this model to track the buyers journey as well as do a deep dive into some of the other components highlighted in this sales process.

model stages to track a buyer's journey.png

 

Marketing: Create demand; move the buyers from suspect to MQL and nurture until they’re ready to buy

Contemporary marketing relies heavily on inbound leads developed through digital marketing activity.

A survey done in 2015 by the Consumer Executive Board (CEB) of 1,900 corporate decision makers found that “buyers were, at a minimum, 57 percent of the way through the buying process before they contact a potential supplier. Some respondents reported being as much as 70 percent complete with the decision-making process before reaching out to a vendor.”

It can’t be over-emphasised how important it is to have a disciplined approach to help decision makers find your company website and then nurturing their interest until they are ready to engage.

Increasingly there needs to be a systematic methodology for lead generation in order to track the health of the funnel and refine the activity for the website, the messaging, the content and the campaigns in order to address and respond to the changing nature of the purchaser’s journey.

Only then can a marketing team give themselves the best chance of providing the sales team with enough pipeline opportunities to achieve the revenue goal.

 

Sales; qualify and close!

When a sales team take over the opportunities they should offer a solution to fix a need; if the buyer thinks the value is justified… they will buy.

Think about the last purchase you made; for everyday items, there is a need. How much you spend on basics will be a personal decision driven by your budget and your beliefs. When buying something discretionary, you will still go through the same process but the justification for “NEED” will be more robust. Increasingly within businesses this need evaluation is a multi-stage multi person process.

If you offer something and there is market demand and a strong proposition to meet that demand the limitations to success are the ability to align the buyers need to the proposition. Correctly tracked using a marketing and sales process results in a closed won opportunity.

 

Tracking all elements of the marketing and sales activity

Once you move away from pure “founder led” selling and looking for those first initial customers, businesses need to introduce marketing and sales processes. In Trinamo’s experience, the lack of a good process is the main reason many of our clients have missed their forecast and their sales goals. We’ve highlighted the importance of using a model to track the stages of a purchaser’s journey. Now let’s look more closely at some of the other process components.

 

A Sales Methodology

How do you track how you progress across the model? And why is it important? To give your business the best chance of winning the deal you need to understand what you don’t know. You need a methodology to help recognise these GAPs to close and implement the correct actions.

  • Qualification questions to ratify your understanding is correct
  • Triangulate information – network with multiple stakeholders to see the real situation
  • Deal reviews; mapping of decision makers, budget holders, users, influencers etc
  • Steps to close

Often businesses have no methodology. This means there is no disciplined way to repeat behaviours that lead to sales wins and qualify out quickly from losses.

 

Systems

The chicken or the egg? Often sales models are defined in part by the system chosen; Trinamo is agnostic to which system a business has but the main requirement is for it to be simple and easy to use, configure and maintain!

Make sure you

  • Run a workshop to define the sales model
  • Configure the sales model to reflect the granularity needed
  • Date stamp opportunity updates so that others can track where you are in the sales cycle
  • Keep the system simple, don’t have too many “check boxes”
  • Sales people will check everything; whether it is true or not to save time.

Do not rely on a system to manage the sales cycle for you! Just by having a data repository does not mean you have good data going in, and so good reports, metrics and information coming out… that comes from good sales management – a topic for another day!

 

Metrics

Use your system to track marketing and sales metrics from day one. It is never too soon to look for trends and insights!

Again, there are hundreds of blogs about what metrics to track but ensure you are looking at

  • Leading indicators, not just lagging indicators ie. health of the funnel
  • Conversion statistics; across the model, by product, by person

Use the insights along with win / loss analysis to refine your model, your methods and most importantly, how you support your team! Does one person do really well until they have to ask for the purchase order? Is someone good at upselling but poor at new business wins?

 

Enablement

Assuming you have a simple, pragmatic marketing AND sales model. You have a system configured to track the data in, and generate reports on a regular basis. You have metrics showing some strengths and some weaknesses… job done? NO!

Selling is about winning; coming first every time. That requires support, training, management and coaching all the time! That is where “enablement” delivers; it is the vital support capability to ensure that all the aspects of a marketing and sales function runs smoothly; to ensure that the sales people have the info they need and are not spending hours on back office activities.

Sales tools: provide insights into competitors, references, testimonials… nuggets of knowledge from wins elsewhere in the business, lessons from any losses too.

Sales induction: New joiners need to be rapidly trained on propositions, processes and systems.

Regular team meetings: Are the best way to promote sales success and ensure knowledge transfer. How frequently and with whom will depend on the team shape and size.

Training: Do top performing teams rely on one training session a year? NO! So, there is also a need to provide on-going training and development to people.

 

Sales enablement is a big subject on its own so be sure to check in over the next few weeks when we will dedicate a blog to these individual topics. If you want to learn more about how Trinamo can help you reach your sales and marketing goals, check out our free marketing and sales growth consultation

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