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?

Forecasting is an evidence-based process that weights all the available evidence. The role of the forecast is to show what is probable and realistic and it should confirm that set targets are achievable. It’s often the case that targets are set ahead of time and are not supported by hard evidence e.g. this year’s target is “last year + 10% because we feel good about the business and have some evidence of increased demand.”

The forecast should be built using analytics rather than being a simple extrapolation of what’s in the pipeline. Analytics is used to interpret the opportunities, apply weighting based on historical data, and with this approach a more accurate and considered forecast is produced.

A dozen years ago, if you asked the average sales leader about their sales enablement strategy, the likely response would’ve been, “Huh?”

It’s not as if companies in years past weren’t training and enabling their sales forces; it’s just that the term “enablement” wasn’t yet a common part of the B2B sales lexicon. (Then again, back then most people didn’t know what YouTube was either.)

Flash forward to the present, and the number of companies with dedicated sales enablement functions has more than tripled since 2013, reports CSO Insights.

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.”

If you’re a reader of Smart Selling Tools, chances are you understand the inherent value in equipping sellers with the materials they need to engage buyers.

But what is that value, exactly? We at Seismic recently partnered with research firm Demand Metric to find out.

After surveying more than 300 marketing and sales leaders across North America, the answer was staggering: more than half of respondents estimated a revenue increase of 20 percent or more if the needed sales content was always available to their sellers at the right time and at each stage of the sales cycle.

I’ve been to many conferences over the years, but lately they’ve been centered around Sales. Naturally that makes sense since we provide Sales Leaders with free resources on how to navigate the Sales Technology landscape, so when I had the opportunity to join the B2B Marketing Exchange conference this past week in Scottsdale, I was excited.

Matt Heinz, my marketing mentor, said it’s one of the best B2B marketing conferences of the year. Matt was correct. When I looked at the sessions I wanted to attend, I was wondering how I could clone myself.

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.

2018 is poised to be a particularly busy year for people looking to start new jobs. With the unemployment rate at a 17-year low, and companies planning to accelerate hiring plans, opportunities for career growth and advancement will be bountiful. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most American workers will switch jobs 10 to 15 times between the ages of 18 and 48, so there has never been a better time to make a career change. While that’s great news for most, the rapid turnover may actually disrupt the goals of sales and marketing professionals.

Do your sales people have what it takes to be successful in educating, engaging with, and selling to your customers? Ensuring that each sales person has the right information and content at their fingertips to help them to improve the likelihood of closing a sale is critical to sales ops, sales enablement, and sales team managers. Over the last 20 years, since the inception of the digital revolution through the laptop, finding ways to help the busy sales person to get this content ready to go has become even more important.