The Daily Conundrum
If you’re like most sales professionals working in today’s hyper-connected, always-on environment, you struggle on a daily basis to meet your goals. The concept of work-life balance is a dated one as we continue to raise the bar on performance and financial expectations.

This struggle is real, because essentially your salespeople are tasked with 4 jobs, each of which could be a full-time job including; 1.) Outbound prospecting to ensure they have enough pipeline to meet coverage targets. 2.) Working and developing existing opportunities to meet quarterly and annual sales targets. 3.) Seeing to the needs of existing customers as they use your solution. 4.) Finally, and perhaps most tedious of all, managing internal expectations. It’s the last one where many folks desperately seek ways to simplify the process, trying to avoid duplicating updates to the various systems of record and to the many layers of sales management.

game chang·er
noun
an event, idea, or technology that causes a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.
“a potential game changer that could revitalize the entire US aerospace industry”

There have never been as many game-changing sales technologies as there are today.
These game changers can help you sell more, in less time, at the right price, and with fewer salespeople. What we call the 4 Golden Goals of sales organizations.

In our 2018 Sales Tech Game-Changers series, we ask Executives several questions about how their solution can change a sales organization in a significant way.

As a sales leader, onboarding new hires quickly should be a top priority. Why? When your sales ramp rate is poor, it’s a huge drain on resources that can prevent you from hitting annual targets. It costs your company time and money that it could put toward new hires and increased sales.

So, how do you implement a great sales ramp rate that sets you up for success and lets your sales team soar?

1. Set clear objectives

New hires are usually keen to please. So, let them know exactly what’s expected so they have a goal to chase.

The Sales Signals We’re Ignoring Could Be Worth Millions

We’ve all heard the line, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It typically leads to discussion on observations and perception, and the idea that if something is not heard, is it even there? 

Now, let’s apply it to sales. “If data about your customers and prospects isn’t entered into your CRM, does it even exist?”

I asked this question recently to a handful of sales executives and the answer was “we have mandated that all info needs to be entered into the CRM, but quite frankly, the reps aren’t doing it.”

Speed-to-lead. It’s an expression we use often here at VanillaSoft. If you’re not familiar with the definition, it refers to how quickly you respond to a new lead entering your system.

Perhaps a prospect has filled out a form on your website for a killer piece of content or signed up to attend a powerful webinar you’ve scheduled. Maybe somebody responded to an email blast or a social media post asking for more information. These all represent new leads and based on sales best practices we need to respond quickly while their interest is at its peak. That’s speed-to-lead.

The Sales Tech space has grown dramatically as evidenced by the publication of our 2017 Sales Tech Landscape with 500 solutions. The buzz words for the year were predictive analytics, AI, ABM, ABS, and Coaching. Here are some of Smart Selling Tools stats for 2017:

– Published over 100 articles on our blog
– Hosted 17 of our own webinars and participated in about a dozen others
– Recorded 39 Sales Software video reviews

Oh, year-end analysis. How I love thee and hate thee. Let me count the ways…

This is the time of year when executives become hyper-sensitive to numbers and are asking a flurry of questions.

What revenue will we close the year with?
What was our ROI on that new tech investment?
What did we do this past year that was most effective at moving the needle?

The Sales analytics category has exploded in recent years, both in number and diversity.  A recent industry round-up listed 50+ providers, and the list continues to grow.  Metrics are the bedrock of any sales function (in fact, one could argue that no enterprise function is tracked, measured and analyzed more than sales!)

When your customer is ready to sign, you want to close the deal ASAP—not be slowed by a paper-based signing process. And yet that’s exactly what happens in many organizations. According to an IDC report, Bridging the Document Disconnect in Sales, although most business today is digital, 56 percent of executives still rely on paper to sign contracts and close deals.