7 Sales Acceleration Strategies to Get the Most Out of Your Sales Team

 In All Things Productivity, Blog

sales-acceleration-programSales leaders occupy one of the toughest jobs in business today. Charged with increasing revenue, the modern sales manager must deliver results in an ever decreasing time window.

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For sales leaders, sales acceleration is now a major priority. In today’s hyper competitive business environment, managers must look to gain every advantage they can as they strive to reach quota.

As sales managers look to grow revenue and maximize the sales effectiveness of their team, there are 7 sales acceleration strategies they can employ to give them the best chance at success.

1. Assess the State of Your Sales Organization

Taking this simple step can be a great starting point on the road to accelerated sales. Assess your current systems, processes, and, most importantly, how your reps are spending their time. Identify sales roadblocks and inefficiencies.

Give your team a voice as you assess your company’s sales productivity. You should also examine key sales activity metrics like time spent selling. Time, after all, is the most precious resource of the sales rep.

In many companies, sales reps do not spend enough of their time selling. Indeed, it is estimated that sales reps today spend from 6.5 to 8.8 hours per week searching for content.

2. Develop a Sales Acceleration Plan

Having identified the problem areas in your sales process, it is now time to put together a sales acceleration plan. Re-work your sales processes and equip your team with the sales acceleration software they need to meet quota.

If your reps are not spending enough of their time selling because of content retrieval issues, you should introduce software that quickly eliminates this inefficiency. Look towards next generation content management software that integrates with your current systems and does not require you to change your workflows.

Remember, you need to accelerate sales as quickly as possible. Look for the quick wins. The days of long term IT implementation projects are drawing to a close. Prioritize intuitive sales enablement software that equips your sales team with the content they need, when they need it, regardless of where it is stored.

3. Equip Your Sales Team With Tailored Content

Tailored content has become increasingly important to sales reps as they look to provide value on the sales call. The modern buyer completes up to 57% of the sales process before the rep is even engaged.

The buyer is more knowledgable than ever before. Gone are the days when explaining features and benefits to prospects was considered helpful. Buyer’s have already educated themselves online and are perfectly well aware of the benefits of your service.

To add value, sales reps must use their unique knowledge of the industry and leverage relevant content that specifically addresses the buyer’s needs. Meet with marketing to ensure content is created that addresses each stage of the buyer’s journey. Case studies, whitepapers, and solution sheets can make all the difference when it comes to complex selling.

4. Close the Marketing Sales Feedback Loop

The Information Technology Services Marketing Association reports that companies are now spending 16% of their overall budget on marketing content. However nearly 90% of the content produced by marketing goes unused.

Many companies are producing the exact type of tailored content that sales needs, but these potentially powerful pieces of content are getting lost amidst the mass of files and folders reps have at their disposal today.

There are two steps to take to eradicate this problem and accelerate sales. The first is to ensure your reps are provided with the next generation content management software already mentioned. The second is the introduction of software which allows marketing to push the latest and greatest content to reps as soon as it is created. As content investments increase you must also introduce content analytics which measure content ROI and assess which content is associated with winning deals.

5. Concentrate on the Most Important Deals

In many fast growing companies, quantity of opportunities is valued over quality. Your reps can only work so many opportunities and you must ensure they are spending their time on the deals most likely to close. If you can achieve this aim, your sales acceleration program will be in good shape.

Keep track of sales analytics around your average deal size, average deal length of time, and the conversion rates associated with lead source. If, for example, your company normally takes a certain amount of time to close a deal, sales analytics can quickly flag up deals that are unlikely to close. If a deal is taking an exceptionally long time in the sales funnel, your reps might be best served working deals that are progressing much closer to your company average.

6. Coach Underperforming Sales Reps

If you have an underperforming rep on your team, you should take the time to speak with the person to figure out where things are going wrong. Sometimes a valuable coaching session might be all that is needed to accelerate sales.

If the rep continues to underperform when it comes to closing deals, but excels at moving prospects through the sales funnel, then maybe you should move the rep over to the SDR team and put your faith in proven closers!

7. Accelerate Sales With a Winning Culture

Look to nurture a winning culture in your sales organization. Set time aside to allow your reps to share their success stories when big deals get closed. Examine the most important moments in the deal and ask questions of your team along the line of what did we do well, what didn’t we do well, and what would we do differently in future. Winning becomes a habit, so look to develop repeatable processes but be careful not to encroach on the individuality of your sales rep.

Another word of warning when it comes to culture. As you look to accelerate sales, be careful to avoid the win at all costs culture that will quickly see top performers depart for greener pastures. Take the time to congratulate reps after wins and do not become overly focused on making that number. Instead look to drive improvement in the areas you have most control over like time spent selling.

If you can successfully increase the amount of time your reps spend talking to key decision makers, your sales acceleration program will be well placed to succeed.

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