How Can We Empower Our Sales Team to Do More of What it Does Best?
Times have changed. Many of today's CRM solutions have matured and are delivering the capabilities for customers to leverage best practices easily, without heavy reprogramming.
Posted Jun 21, 2004
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Missed revenue goals, lengthening sales cycles, turnover in your sales team, and increased competition. Are these things keeping you awake at night? If so, you're not alone. These are the concerns that are worrying sales leaders everywhere. If you believe in Pareto's Principle, or the 20-60-20 rule, here's the deal: On average, the top 20 percent of a sales team typically brings in the majority of a company's revenue. And that means that most sales organizations have the potential for much higher performance if they can translate the selling methods of their top 20 percent to the rest of the team. No matter the rule, the underlying theme is essentially the same: the belief that the relationship between input and output is not balanced, especially in terms of sales efforts, time, and cost-to-ROI. Using the 20-60-20 rule as an example, think of a triangle cut into three areas: the top, the middle, and the bottom. At the top, you have the top 20 percent of your sales performers. These are your superstars--they know how to sell your company's products and services, especially against the competition. You need these top performers to stay focused on what they do well. At the bottom of the triangle are your poorest performers, like new hires. Then, in the middle you have mediocre sales performers--they hit their numbers occasionally, but not steadily or predictably. The aim here is to lift your poor and mediocre performers to the top of the triangle. You can enhance the performance of your sales team by identifying the best practices that the top 20 percent of your sales team follows. Then, you need to bake these practices into a workflow-driven, sales-based CRM tech tool to help support, guide, and coach the remaining members of the team toward successful selling. As you start to think about how you take your sales team to the next level, take a look at your sales process, or lack there of. A recent study of more than 1,300 companies by independent research firm CSO Insights concluded that sales teams that used--and more important, enforced--a sales methodology or process had a 17 percent higher quota attainment rate than those that do not. But fewer than half of the companies surveyed actually had a way of enforcing a defined sales process. It was once believed that only companies with fat wallets could afford comprehensive workflow capabilities to guide their processes. Times have changed. Many of today's CRM solutions have matured and are delivering the capabilities for customers to leverage best practices easily, without heavy reprogramming. Being able to bottle these best practices and distribute winning strategies from team to team, department to department, and division to division is critical to reinforcing behaviors that generate real results. The power of process is unmatched when it comes to following the steps of what works best for your sales organization. Learn a great deal. Profit from your process and make everyone on your sales team a sales leader.
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