This guest post comes from Victoria Young. Victoria has over 10 years of experience in digital strategy for the launch of innovative experiences for global products in consumer technology, including uberPOOL and Facebook Live. She is currently working in Product Innovation at Netflix. Previously she has worked at HubSpot, Google, JWT Digitaria, and Disney in sales and marketing.
Developing an internal culture and structure that enables your sales team on a daily basis is at the heart of ongoing growth.
In times when customers are constantly connected with information and competitors, being strategic about cultivating processes, creating internal collaboration opportunities, and providing the right training to your sales team can translate into significant results. Understanding the customer's real needs and behaviors will empower your team to approach customers much more effectively. With that in mind, here are a few ways sales leaders have enabled their sales organization to make them more effective sellers.
They Equip Managers and Reps With the Tools to Continuously Gather and Sort Data
As CRM tools become more advanced, encourage both your marketing and sales teams to always be collecting information about the customer so you can leverage the power of aggregated data. Interesting trends may emerge -- clients can be more easily transitioned between salespeople, and historical data can lead to more refined sales processes. With this data, your team can leverage predictive modeling that can give insight into the profitability of each customer and the likelihood to close.
Of course, data is useless unless it can be analyzed and interpreted in meaningful ways. Hire the experts you need to turn data into valuable insights -- large sales organizations may turn to ops professionals, analysts, even statisticians. Utlize anyone who can help make sense of the data your sales and marketing teams have diligently gathered in the CRM.
A refined understanding of a customer and industry can enable much more tailored communication. With in-depth intelligence and a sophisticated view of the customer’s needs, goals, and behaviors, your sales team can approach potential accounts much more strategically, understanding the nuances of when and how to take action when opportunities emerge.
They Provide Unfettered Access to Thought Leadership
Sales teams need to be able to flex between detailed one-on-one relationship building and an understanding of the big picture. Sometimes, sales teams are so immersed in constantly selling that they begin to lose focus of the industry as a whole. This can be crippling as customers value thought leadership and a vision for the future of the industry. How can they trust your sales team to deliver products that truly make an impact if your sales team shows an outdated worldview?
Include summaries of webinars, industry newsletters, important conferences, and rising trends in weekly or monthly sales team meetings. It helps keep everyone current and future-thinking without asking that they invest hours performing their own research. Having a sales team that can inspire customers with their vision and expertise is very powerful.
They Collaborate Powerfully With Marketing
Cohesion through collaboration with the marketing team can yield greater returns for both teams. Ensure that initiatives are communicated consistently to drive more fruitful collaborations. Feature your sales team at client events, and work with marketing to highlight sales reps as thought leaders in blog posts. Think of your efforts as one-to-one-to-many in order to reap exponential results from the work your sales team is doing.
They Build a Process, and Honor the Process
A little process goes a long way. All of these tactics should be built into an ongoing sales process. By focusing on the customer journey through step 1 (gathering data) and step 2 (cultivating knowledge), clear stages and positions for selling will emerge that are tailored to the needs of the customer.
Continue collecting data and empowering your sales team with knowledge in order to make your sales process increasingly intelligent. By establishing a clear process, you can create a strong foundation from which the stages can evolve and be iterated upon, and inspire your sales team with information, collaboration, and structure to help create a culture that is driven by curiosity and focused on improvement and growth.
It’s not often that you’re able to get the whole sales team together in one place. Make the most of your annual sales meeting by keeping your salespeople engaged, and getting hyper-focused on the things that will improve your team’s performance the most.