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October 13, 2020

7 Keys to Achieving Sales Success

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The biggest, easiest metric to use to measure the success of a sales rep is quota attainment. Every rep has a quota, and they’re typically calculated on a monthly basis. So, every month you can use that metric to determine if you were successful or not.

On top of just looking at your quota attainment, you can also use the revenue you generated as an indicator of success. Whether you’re just starting out on a team and have a smaller goal or are more experienced, you still want to generate a lot of revenue for your company and have a high win rate — and you want to have a process figured out that enables you to do that continuously.

Here are seven keys to consistently achieving sales success:

1. Look at Your Sales Analytics and Data

You should be looking at your performance data on a regular basis so you know how your efforts are working. It’s really important to understand what your conversion rate is for each portion of the sales process and make sure it’s always improving. 

To have accurate data to work from, you’ll need to have clearly defined sales process stages and consistent criteria for transitioning from one stage to the next. 

If the data you’re recording is all accurate, then you can look at waterfall reporting and see where large numbers of prospects are falling off. This can reveal where you need to change up your strategy in order to keep deals moving forward.

Additionally, looking at sales analytics highlights the areas where you’re doing well, which can give an indication of your strengths so you can find ways to apply those skills to future efforts.

2. Define Your Sales Process

To see success, you have specific steps of your sales process and you need to make sure you follow them linearly every single time. However, while you need to make sure that you’re taking those steps in order, you also need to allow for some flexibility in how you follow them so you can adapt to what’s important to your prospect and how their decision-making process works.

For example, the first step of your process could be a discovery call. Step two could be a demo, and step three is pricing. You know from experience that you are the most successful when following that structure.

The features you highlight during a product demo might be different depending on the pain points you uncovered during the discovery call, and the price will vary based on what product tier best suits the prospect’s needs. Even though the steps will be the same, the information at each stage will vary.

Where you can get into trouble is if you give someone pricing information on the first call without knowing what their needs are or what product tier they’re the best fit for. They may disqualify themselves and not move on because your quote doesn’t match their perceived value of your product.

3. Leverage Your CRM for Lead Prioritization

Leveraging your CRM for lead prioritization is key for success in your day to day to generate new sales opportunities.

For new leads, measure on fit and interest. Sort the contacts assigned to you by fit and then prioritize the highest-fit people who have also exhibited interest. By calling those people first, your likelihood of booking a meeting will be higher.

On top of working new leads, you should also be looking at your older contacts and keep an eye on when a good time to re-engage them might be. Maybe someone told you it wasn’t a good time when you first reached out but they’d be open to having a discussion at a future date. Maybe someone is re-opening your communications or documents. Maybe someone started engaging with marketing content and your company website again.

You can track these changes with automation, setting up notifications for when older contacts come back to your website or re-open your old communications, or you can set up dashboards and contact views in your CRM to make it easy to identify those older contacts.

Download our Sales Activity Planning Template to be sure you are on track to  crush your monthly and yearly revenue goals. 

4. Be Familiar with the Industries You Sell to

Many industries are transforming rapidly as technology evolves. As a sales rep, you can get used to having similar conversations about day-to-day challenges with prospects, but what matters most to them can be continuously changing.

To be aware of the various issues that might be top of mind for your prospects, you should read publications about their industry. I recommend setting aside time at least once a week to get up to date on industry news. LinkedIn, Forbes and Inc. can all be great sources of information along with industry publications, newsletters and thought leaders.

5. Know Your ICPs and Personas and Research Your Prospects

Having a really deep knowledge of your prospect’s pain points and how your company solves for them will allow you to be more personalized and more specific in your communications.

So, you need to be familiar with both the challenges a prospect faces in their day-to-day role and the needs of their entire organization. This knowledge will inform who you’re reaching out to, the tone and length of emails, the content and resources you share and the key points you’ll touch on. 

The content of your emails itself should be really specific to the individual. In today’s world, buyers are expecting you to have looked at their LinkedIn and to have gone to the company’s website and looked at their products and services to gain a familiarity with what they do. The more specific you can be in your communications, the better.

6. Communicate with Your Marketing and Services Team

Acting based on marketing data can help you create the best possible experience for prospects.

Know what sources are converting the most opportunities. Be familiar with the buyer’s journey from the beginning for those sources and think about how you as a sales rep can continue the conversation that marketing already started. Prospects like it when you do these things, and you save yourself a lot of time by continuing a conversation about something they’re already interested in.

The other side of that is collaborating with your services team. After a deal closes, follow up with their client success manager and see how their engagement is going. Ask whether or not you recommended the right solution. Most of the time, the answer will be yes, but if not you’ll gain feedback that can help you improve your own sales process.

Talking with your services team and looking at their data can also teach you which customers have the highest customer lifetime value and the lowest churn. Knowing that can inform which prospects you prioritize for your sales efforts.

7. Focus on High Impact Activities

As a sales rep, there is an unlimited number of things you could be doing at any given time. You have to manage the whole sales process, you have to generate opportunities and there’s always more to be done.

What’s most important at a high-level in order to be successful is focusing on the highest impact activities.

To figure out what the highest impact activities will be, you need to determine what your style is and where you’re successful. If you have the right reporting set up, the data will tell you this. 

Look at your success rate across deal types, how your sales cycle length varied and what personas you sold to most successfully. You know what your bread and butter is as an individual. Go after those most of the time, but still mix in some deals outside of your comfort zone.

There are also high impact and low impact activities at every stage. For example, at the outreach stage, you can send out 10 personalized emails or blast the same message to 200 leads. Those personalized messages will take more time but are also more likely to pay off. 

So in addition to prioritizing your efforts on the opportunities you have the best chance of closing, focus on activities that can move deals from one stage to the next.

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Tag(s): Sales

Karly Wescott

Karly is a Lead Growth Advisor at New Breed

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