In part 2 of this series on our Sales Management Market Guide, TOPO focuses on how these technologies deliver value to sales leaders, key considerations when evaluating sales management technology, and the increasing demand for insights and engagement.
The Sales Team Lifecycle is a roadmap companies can follow to effectively put in place the right salespeople, processes, technology, and metrics as they grow from seed to Series C. This roadmap provides a proven approach to aligning the sales team with the company’s size and growth, and setting expectations for what is required at each stage. By following this framework, companies can avoid making the mistakes that introduce unnecessary risk into their sales organizations, go-to-market strategies, and growth plans.
Predictable sales execution is the most important aspect of successful sales from leadership to the sales rep. Today, the ability to deliver on these core responsibilities is not optimized. The day-to-day tasks of reviewing the pipeline, recommending next best actions, and creating forecast visibility suffer from imperfect data. Data that is only partially recalled by the reps and therefore entered incorrectly. Data that falls through the cracks and is left out of the database altogether. Data that is not optimally captured and therefore not visible. Data that is visible, but not easily scanned by busy sales leaders. Data, in other words, that is suboptimal—and therefore leads to unsatisfactory sales results.
Sales engagement, interactions between sales reps and buyers or customers, is overwhelmingly named by sales leaders as their top priority. They are focused on the quality and volume of sales reps’ activity with buyers as they look to drive higher conversion rates and larger average deal sizes. Sales engagement is such a high priority that 90% of sales leaders plan to invest in technologies and methodologies to guide their sellers engage effectively with prospects and customers.
According to TOPO’s 2018 Sales Benchmark, 60% of companies lack a well-designed sales process. That’s a remarkable statistic given that the sales process provides sales reps with a specific, prescriptive framework to manage opportunities from prospect to close. Without a standard process, individual sellers are on their own and the organization simply cannot scale. Moreover, a standard sales process is backed by data and experience which will result in higher close rates, larger average deal sizes, and shorter sales cycles.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is the hottest topic in B2B marketing. While the hype around ABM can seem overwhelming, in reality, less than 20% of companies are running mature account based marketing programs. Marketers name various obstacles when it comes to getting started, including lack of resources, strategy, and technology. The fact that account based is so nascent makes it hard for marketers to just get started – lack of confidence in the strategy, second guessing technology options, and often struggling to secure the resources required to make account based marketing work.
The sales demo, or product demonstration, is a critical piece of the sales process—and it’s easier than ever to deliver via a variety of channels, such as video or a web conference. A demo can mean the difference between closing a deal and losing a prospect.
Every day on LinkedIn there is a post with a long comment string discussing how some prospecting methodology is “dead” – cold-calling, social-selling, etc. These provocative arguments dominate our LinkedIn feed. It’s understandable because cracking the code of prospecting in today’s world is the holy grail. The real message here is that prospecting is hard and many techniques in isolation are frustratingly inefficient and ineffective.
In 2017, Account-Based is moving from cool idea to reality. The results for early adopters have been exciting – 82% of organizations executing account-based marketing for 1+ year(s) are meeting or exceeding their objectives (TOPO research on behalf of ABMLA). As their peers see success, more organizations are moving to account-based.
For many (this author included), culture has been relegated to an HR topic, not something a sales or marketing leader would take time defining and enforcing. That mindset is changing.