There’s something about the cycles of life that make time appear to pass faster or slower. The first few minutes of a championship game go by at a leisurely pace, while the last few minutes…well they’re over in a flash. The beginning of the year with the wintery landscape seemingly still and brittle, gives way to the birth of spring and the hustle and bustle of birds and insects and to the laughter of kids on bikes. On the one hand, we have “all the time in the world.” Then, after the calendar’s pages have all been turned, we look back and wonder “where did the year go?”
Time is of the utmost importance in business just as it is in personal affairs. Time is money after all. In sales, we battle two voices. One cautions us against pushing too fast and putting the deal at risk, while the other one admonishes us to hurry up, and close the deal already. And while timing has always been important in sales (think monthly and quarterly objectives) the most important thing is to beat the revenue objective before the final buzzer goes off.
The term “revenue velocity” has surfaced as the catch-phrase of 2012 and it’s an interesting concept because it ties revenue more closely to time itself.
Velocity, as a word, is a “measurement of the rate and direction-of-motion of an object.” To increase revenue velocity, you need to increase both the speed at which you book revenue and the amount of revenue booked–and of course, you need to ensure that revenue is headed in the right direction, that is…up.
As business owners or sales leaders, we have always been mindful of time and its relationship to attaining objectives. Measuring revenue by comparing quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year results is evidence of that. But incorporating revenue velocity as a more pervasive concept in our thought and decision processes is a newer notion. We haven’t really had words for it other than to say “book more deals than we did last month” (quarter or year).
In my new ebook “Revenue Velocity: 7 Methodical Approaches,” I take a close look at how businesses can—not just increase revenue—but increase the velocity of revenue.
Sales leaders use numerous methods for increasing the velocity of revenue already, including sales training, sales coaching, and sales process improvement. We can classify these and other endeavors into three foundational categories that are the under pinnings of any great management initiative:
1. People:Staffing decisions, sales skill development, training, territory assignments, coaching,
2. Process:Best practices, sales process methodologies, operational workflow.
3. Technology:Tools—both hardware and software—used to execute on the processes.
While we believe all three are equally important elements, technology is the platform that supports the processes that in turn increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your people. No category stands on its own. Each element is interdependent and structurally vital to the whole. And so it is not enough, to focus on one category at the expense or exclusion of another. And although 6 of the 7 methodical approaches appear to focus on technology they in fact focus equally on process and people.
The methods that you’ll read about in the ebook all lead to more efficient use of sales capacity and therefore, revenue velocity. They will dramatically assist your reps to:
- Find needed prospect background and contact information quicker
- Conduct better pre-call research and prepare more effectively
- Find and utilize the most effective and relevant sales content for each prospect
- Create winning proposals in less time
- Get contracts signed faster and manage the entire contract process more efficiently
- Run more effective, and less problematic online meetings with prospects
- Allocate time and attention to the right deals
- Benefit by the enhanced use of Salesforce CRM
- Stay focused on and motivated by what matters most
And a whole lot more. Efficiency is at the heart of increased productivity. Demanding (orcommanding) more from your reps will only get you slight improvements and only for so long. Remember, there is such a thing as sales capacity. Consider the next 6 methods for driving the greatest revenue velocity from yours.
Decide which method or methods appear to be the most reasonable approaches for your unique circumstances, then take one or two of the recommended actions at the end of each chapter. Commit to investigating your options. Commit to taking the actions necessary to increase revenue velocity.