Transforming Sales: With Data, Sales Process, Engagement, Playbooks & Continuous Innovation
Q: WHAT ARE THE TOP AREAS OF FOCUS IN THE NEXT 12-24 MONTHS FOR ThOSE THAT WANT TO TRANSFORM THEIR SALES ORGANIZATIONS?
VLAD: Digital transformation is a vast topic, but let’s narrow it down to the areas most relevant for sales organizations. In my experience, these are: data, processes, engagement, playbooks, and innovation. More specifically:
- Organize your data. Make sure your CRM data lake is full and that it doesn’t “go stale” but you are actually using it to its full potential.
- Streamline your sales processes. Rely on what worked in the past vs what did not and come up with the right playbooks for the right cases.
- Engagement. Engage your prospects; engage your clients; engage your employees with what matters most.
- Make sure your playbooks are being played by your team. Even if the game is the same, every sales team plays by different rules, yet most Sales managers long to control each play of each game — often to no avail. Moreover, HBR states that out of all metrics Sales managers track, they only have control over meager 17%.
They either have to wait for the next pipeline meeting to re-validate the pipeline, or they have to transform. Technology nowadays can instantly determine if something is going wrong or is not being done on time, if the playbooks are played by or not. With several signals available to trigger, tune and manage, Sales teams can stay on track and follow the right steps at the right time and close more deals, faster.
- Continuous innovation. Sales process is constantly evolving. Make sure your sales organization is ready to do so as well.
Q: HOW SHOULD COMPANIES DECIDE WHICH APPROACHES TO SALES TRANSFORMATION ARE RIGHT FOR THEM?
VLAD: Recent studies show that businesses are actually doing a pretty good job in setting up their sales processes in the right way.
Customers are being educated with a lot of content and guided through communication channels. Automation is used to improve sales reps’ performance, etc.
This makes sales transformation a complex task – how do we not break what is already working, but keep improving what we have and outperform the others?
I recommend applying the growth hacking approach. Take a broader perspective and evaluate your funnel as a whole. Come up with hypotheses about each part of your funnel and then validate them quickly.
The thing is there is no magic button or silver bullet which will propel your sales transformation – mostly because the chances are you are already doing the right things! But you’ll be surprised how tweaking here and there changes the end result significantly.
For example, here are a few things that can be tweaked:
- Ensure that all data (Contacts, Leads) is being collected into CRM and is not being lost.
- Shorten the reaction time so prospects are engaged faster.
- Improve sales content.
- Track sales commitments, follow-ups and planned tasks better
Improve one of them and it won’t give you any substantial results; combine all of them and easily double your revenue.
Q: HOW IS YOUR SOLUTION TRANSFORMING YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SALES ORGANIZATIONS?
VLAD: We at Invisible.io have dedicated more than 15 years to solving complex problems for sales organizations. We strive to make the lives and jobs of sales professionals easier, be it getting them more productive, reducing the volume of routine tasks, or helping them close more deals. The ultimate result that we have achieved can be summed up in 3 key points:
- Auto-capturing contacts & leads.
Personal example: our marketing pays $5-100 per contact. Health check of my Inbox shows that among 1,500 contacts I’ve been in touch with about 700 contacts are not in SFDC. So, while we spend $3,500-70,000 on acquiring these leads through marketing channels, I simply “lose” half of these contacts, without them ever reaching our CRM.
- reducing time spent on non-revenue-generating tasks.
Let’s talk money. In 2017, the average base salary for an inside sales rep was $67,960 in the United States. Research shows that 63% of their average working day gets spent on non-selling related tasks, that means that a typical company pays $42,814 for activities that do not generate revenue. And that amount is just for one sales rep. If you have a team of 20 salespeople, that’s a whopping $856,280.
- Speeding up with Revenue signals.
Some things go wrong. Some things don’t get done. That’s just what happens. What matters more is the speed of your reaction to it happening. Speed also matters when we talk about sales cycles, and consequently generating more revenue. Following Revenue Signals, you shorten your reaction time and your sales cycle. In most cases, when you speed things up by 15%, your revenue acceleration gets at least a 15% boost as well.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS TO ENSURE THAT TECHNOLOGIES CONTRIBUTE TO SALES TRANSFORMATION IN A MEASURABLE AND IMPACTFUL WAY?
VLAD: This is what we do at Invisible.io when tracking our own transformation:
- Find the correlation between the success of our team members and the activities they do.
- Make sure our sales leaders are backed up by the essential tech for tweaking their sales playbooks.
- Implement new methods and ensure that our sales team is following them.
Q: WHAT ARE GOOD RESOURCES TO LEARN WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING, OR OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO SALES TRANSFORMATION?
VLAD: If you’re going to Dreamforce 2019, I’d suggest you stop by booth #405. We’ll be demonstrating SmartCloud Connect for Salesforce and you can see for yourself how it can transform sales. I’d also suggest our free resource: Sales automation: the Ultimate Guide.
Vlad Voskresensky is the CEO and Co-Founder at RevenueGrid.com, powered by Invisible.io, a software development company offering a diverse array of tech solutions changing the game for B2B sales.