For business owners, hiring sales overachievers is only part of the revenue generation success equation. The other part is the toolkit you provide those folks to excel and maximize revenue.
Building a sale is just like building a physical product. Done the right way it is an efficient and effective process with defined inputs and construction methods that result in a consistent outcome. If building a physical product you gave your workers inferior tools you know what will happen to both the process and the outcome. It’s the same with sales.
This is not about giving your team the “best tools that money can buy”. It’s about giving them the right tools at the right time. From lead generation data mining tools to CRM to marketing enablement software the sales tech stack space is so crowded it is difficult to know where to begin to start tooling up your team.
Starting at the top of the sales funnel your team needs a place to source leads, a way to find their contact information, a repeatable way to reach out to buyers, a defined process by which they move leads through the sales funnel, a value-based sales method to follow to conduct buyer facing interactions and finally a way[s] to measure all of these activities along the way.
Top of funnel management is the space where I’ve seen the greatest proliferation of options over the course of the last few years. At the far end of easy are outsourced lead and appointment generation services. They have significantly evolved in that they now use structured outreach and contact protocols to warm up leads prior to contacting them to ask for meetings. This significantly increases the quality of the meetings that are generated.
At the other end is the plethora of do-it-yourself tools that exist. In fact, if you use an outsourced business development service these are the tools their folks will be using. At its most basic LinkedIn is the place to find your Ideal customer. A web scraping tool like zoom info [expensive] will give you all the information you need to know about that person and where to reach them. Tools like hunter.io [relatively inexpensive] will get you bits and pieces of contact information, likely enough to conduct an initial outreach.
Moving down in the funnel your team needs a templated way to conduct an email outreach campaign to warm up contacts before calling them. At its simplest this is a series of emails sent to potential buyers explaining who you are, what you do and how you might be able to help them. Also included would be informational content of value for the recipients to click on to learn more about you and your offering. Creating effective emails is both an art and a science and is an iterative process. Hubspot has great content about how to construct such sequences and track their effectiveness at converting leads into meetings and ultimately paying customers.
Once an opportunity is secured your team needs a sales funnel process map they can follow to move leads through the sales funnel from the 1st diagnosis of needs meeting to Closed Won. Basically this is an inventory of all seller activities and buyer commitments required along the way in order for a sales opportunity to be converted into a paying customer. Skipping steps or doing them in the wrong order will result in poor sales performance, unhappy customers or both. Working with your team to plot this path will ensure everyone can check the boxes along the way and ensure that when a sale is made it is sturdy enough to last.
Having a value-based sales methodology for your team helps ensure that they are selling the value your products and services bring to their buyers rather than simply the features and benefits. Customers buy value. If your team diagnosis buyer needs 1st, then talks about how your solutions will meet those needs and wrap up with the value [in business terms] your solutions will bring they will significantly increase their sales conversion rate. There are many, many sales methods out there [I happen to have written a book explaining mine, “Sell More by Selling Less-Mastering the Conversational Sales Method” https://robmalec.com/the-book/]. Pick the best fit for you and your sale and you will be golden.
CRM is the place where you measure all of your sales inputs and outcomes. Doing so allows you to course correct your sales process towards maximizing revenue generation success. CRM is another extremely crowded space. It’s been my experience that company size/scale and how much of your marketing function you want to integrate into it are the primary drivers for selecting your CRM. Do your homework here. For smaller companies buying into an expensive CRM with many functions that they never end up using is a common mistake [Zoho is great for small enterprise]. For midsize companies the trap seems to be buying into a CRM that is not an exact fit for the needs and ultimately having to pay expensive configuration consultant fees. I’ve seen that large organizations will buy and build out a CRM platform that is so robust it becomes non-user-friendly.
Choosing the toolkit for your sales team is no small task. I’m happy to chat if you would like some help.