Sales is strategic – you do things a certain way in a certain order because, based on experience, you know it works. There’s always some room to get creative and be flexible, especially in a world where buyers are often educated about your products and services before you even know who they are. But in general, it helps to come up with stages or steps for your usual sales process that you follow most of the time.Read More 4 minute read
Inside sales is growing in popularity in large and small companies in the B2B sales world. And it has some advantages including reduced travel costs and the ability to make more touches and sales calls in less time. It also meets buyer preferences for fewer meetings or phone calls. According to Hubspot, “And customers don’t want a salesperson to come by unless they conclude that a face-to-face visit is absolutely critical.”Read More 4 minute read
When we reflect on our sales and marketing work and assess areas of strength and areas for improvement, it’s hard to know where to start or what benchmarks to refer to. Often, we slip into stream-of-consciousness thinking where one idea leads to the next until we have little direction and even fewer action items as a result.Read More 3 minute read
A predictable sales forecast - is that even possible? We don’t often use "predictable" and "sales" in the same sentence. Our forecast often feels more like a roller coaster ride - not very smooth and not very predictable.
However, we refer to our sales forecast like a prediction of sales to come. So if your sales forecast is a prediction of future sales revenue, we had better stop guessing at the numbers and begin to create a foundation based on information. Oh yeah - and there is no such thing as a crystal ball.Read More 2 minute read
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released two intriguing statistics about employee turnover:
Not too long ago I was talking with one of the professional sales trainers at Hubspot and it got me thinking about just how much I enjoyed their bootcamp class. It prompted me to go back and reread a blog I wrote that was inspired by it. As it turns out, the concepts and tips in that blog are as relevant now as they were when I wrote it in 2017 – maybe even more so. If you work in the world of B2B sales and marketing, you may enjoy some of its insights. Happy reading!Read More 4 minute read
You’ve probably heard of sales enablement, but you might wonder what it means exactly. I think of it this way: if you work in sales, any tools, processes, or systems you use to become more efficient and productive at your job are part of sales enablement. Another way to look at it, according to Forrester, is that sales enablement is: "a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system."Read More 3 minute read
When was the last time you scrutinized your sales process? Even if it’s not elaborate or formally documented in a flowchart, your company has some kind of sales process. If you’re not generating enough sales revenue, the process isn’t working. To find out why, you must break it down step by step to find the place(s) where things get stuck.Read More 4 minute read
Over the years of both doing direct selling and managing sales teams, I began to analyze why sales forecasting was so unreliable. Why could we not get to a high degree of accuracy month over month? It occurred to me that if we did not have a well-defined sales process we could not get a reliable sales forecast. I asked myself, so when do I say a deal is going to close? I realized that it was when I felt it was going to close.
And my sales teams acted the same way. I began to examine what was critical to predict when a sales opportunity was going to close with a high degree of accuracy. My research and my evaluation of the activities
I was doing helped me come up with a model that can drive a very high degree of predictability.
I am often approached by businesses that complain that their sales are not what they want them to be.
They feel that they have a good organization with good sales representatives. They are certainly interested in growing their business, but the sales aren't there. As I dig further into their concerns, I often discover that the challenge for them might be bigger than just selling. It may be The Business of Sales.
Over the years of doing both direct selling and managing sales teams, I began to analyze why sales forecasting was so unreliable. Why could we not get to a high degree of accuracy month over month? It occurred to me that we did not have a well defined sales process to help us in our sales forecasting. I asked myself, "so when do I say a deal is going to close?" I realized that it was when I felt it was going to close. And my sales teams acted the same way. I began to examine what was critical to predict when a sales opportunity was going to close with a high degree of accuracy. My research and my evaluation of the activities I was doing helped me come up with a model that can drive a very high degree of predictability.Read More 2 minute read
Question: How do you know your CRM and sales forecasting tools are working? How do you know when you have a predictable business model and have hopped off that sales forecast roller coaster?
Answer: Your month-end financial statements tell you so.
That’s right – you’ve cleaned your data, segmented and prioritized your contacts and assigned them sales stages. You’re using a CRM and you are generating reports. Now, take a look at your month-end financial statements.
Here’s the financial payoff from all of your hard work: