Many sales opportunities stall when a scheduled meeting with the buyer fails to take place. Buyers get busy, lose interest, and run into a range of other issues that will cause them to miss a meeting with you. At times, the missed meeting just delays the sales cycle by a few days. But a missed meeting is often the first sign the buyer is entering a prolonged “dark stage” or, worse yet, is about to become a closed lost opportunity. It’s a sales cycle conversion point that most sales people spend very little time thinking about.
59% of companies don’t have a well-designed sales process. That’s according to data from TOPO’s Inside Sales Benchmark Report. TOPO Analysts have spent the last several months benchmarking inside sales organizations across 90+ metrics in an effort to understand the processes, people, technologies, metrics, and plays used to drive out-sized revenue growth. One of the most surprising findings from the benchmark data is just how few companies are satisfied with their current sales process. On March 18, TOPO’s Chief Analyst, Craig Rosenberg, will discuss how companies can design and implement a world class sales process. He’ll share sales process data, best practices, and examples of real sales processes used by the world’s fastest growing companies.
Hiring enough good salespeople is one of the most important things a company can do. That’s because the rate at which you hire salespeople is one of the primary factors in determining how fast you’ll grow revenue. At it’s most basic level, sales is about establishing a company-wide revenue target, assigning an appropriate quota for salespeople, and then hiring enough reps so that you can hit the company-wide target. In other words, individual quota assignment multiplied by number of sales people = company bookings or revenue target.
Sounds simple, right? Not really, especially given the large number of dynamics that can derail your sales hiring. While some of these dynamics are obvious (e.g. hiring bad salespeople), others are less obvious. In this post, we’ll analyze four non-obvious sales hiring traps that can derail your sales team’s quota achievement, including:
- Accessing a large enough candidate pool;
- Shortening the average time it takes to achieve full quota;
- Knowing when to accelerate or decelerate sales hiring; and
- Covering rep attrition with your sales hiring plan.
What makes a good sales pitch? If you’re like most salespeople, you’d give a two-part answer to this question – a well-designed set of slides and effective delivery of those slides. While that answer is technically correct, it understates the impact that a great sales presentation can have on moving buyers through the top of the sales funnel. It also fails to capture the dozens of elements that makes for an effective sales pitch, from preparation to delivery to closing for next steps. Use the following tips when designing and delivering your sales presentation to ensure that your driving the highest conversion rates possible.
34 demand gen professionals joined TOPO last Friday for our first Demand Generation Council event. The event was only our second ever, but like our Sales Development Council event last month, the half day session turned out to be an excellent forum for some of the world’s fastest growing companies to share demand gen best practices. Much of this success can be attributed to the design principles that we’ve adopted for these events. First, we are laser-focused on the patterns and best practices that high growth companies exhibit. Second, we only allow marketing and sales practitioners to speak and attend TOPO events. Third, we tell all of our speakers and attendees that specificity wins – thought leadership/pontification does not play well at these events.
One of the most striking things our analysts see is the lack of standardization that exists in most sales organizations. There’s a staggering number of “one offs” – gerrymandered sales territories, custom comp plans, salespeople who “just do it their way”, content created by individual reps…
The lack of sales standards should come as no surprise though. Sales leaders and salespeople alike are strongly incented to make decisions in the context of achieving quota in the current or next period (whether that period is a quarter or a month). This results in short-term, one-off decisions, like allowing one sales rep to own a vertical, even though the 99 other reps on the team have geographical territories. Sales management and CEOs rationalize these decisions with the mantra “we need to hit the number”.
TOPO recently held its first ever event – a meeting of the TOPO Sales Development Council. The event was a terrific success, bringing together 26 of the world’s leading sales development practitioners for a half day of in-depth learning and collaboration. Our objective for this event was simple – put a small number of smart people in a room to talk about their specific experiences building and managing sales development teams.
In many markets, the sales organization has a huge impact on the what the buyer experiences. Despite this, the vast majority of sales teams spend no time thinking about how to design and deliver a great buying experience. It’s unfortunate because companies that deliver a great experience to the buyer grow 2X as fast as their peers. Turning sales into a function that thinks about designing and delivering an experience isn’t that hard. In a recent presentation, we examined ten ways that sales could deliver a great buying experience.
Here are five of the best posts we read last week:
Do you have a Whale, Dolphin, Minnow (WDM) go-to-market strategy? Hany Nada’s framework is inspired by Vegas, but has applicability in a range of markets. What the Music Business Can Learn From the Gaming and Gambling Industries
Craig Rosenberg (the Funnelholic) went beast-mode on the who, what, why, when, how of sales development this week. It’s essential reading. The Sales Development Team: A Proven Framework for Success
Better late than never! Here are five of the best posts we read last week:
If you work in marketing (or sales) and think about demographics at all, Tyler Cowen’s new book Average is Over is a must-read. Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation
Usually when my kids tell me I have to see something online, it’s pretty good. This prankvertisement for the remake of the movie Carrie was no different. Horror-Movie Stunt With Freaky Telekinetic Girl Is Frighteningly Good