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Mastering Your Revenue Objectives – It’s Hard to Hit a Moving Target

Hitting a Moving TargetWhat about Bob?
We all know someone who goes through life with a rainbow overhead. He just does what feels right and makes his quota every month. Somehow, we all wish we could be like him. It would be such bliss, wouldn’t it? Just go out there and sell your socks off and live the life; carefree and bonus-bound. Park that in the category of dreams, because in reality, most of us could use at least some help staying on task in order to make our number. Think about this:

About half of all sales representatives miss their yearly quotas.

How can we get in front of the curve?
Wouldn’t it be awesome every sales professional could be a rockstar? Trust us when we say it doesn’t always happen by chance. In order to make quotas consistently, a solid plan needs to come into play. Once a plan has been established, measure and track execution of the plan. Track progress towards goals and make changes as needed. Sales will ultimately gain confidence in their work when they can effectively manage their time and resources.

Sometimes we are so focused on the design (our relationship with our customer, their needs, their timing, their sense of value) that we hate to leave the “important stuff” to go and figure out what we actually need to be doing next. When we get in “the zone” we get so focused on resonating with our customers that when we are finished talking with them, it’s hard to switch gears and start thinking about what comes next. Where am I now? Where do I need to go next? What do I need to do now?? How can companies automate this process so sales representatives know exactly what to do next?


With this question in mind, our developers here at ShadeTree have made it possible to automate this very process with our product, Incite2. To see how this tool helps sales professionals know what to do next, watch a short video or schedule a demo and process discussion with a sales advisor.

The Power of Call Lists

Human nature is complex and at times counterproductive.  Take our general resistance to change; our innate fear of stepping out of our comfort zone, even when common sense dictates there are easier ways to do things.  We embrace our habits like they are a lifeline.  All too often we will go down with the ship, rather than jump in and swim.  Interestingly enough, it really isn’t fear of change that paralyzes us; it is fear of the unknown. We get braver with preparation and practice.

One item at a time, or a list packed with purpose?
Consider your sales team.  If you turn an introspective eye on them, what do you see?  Are they approaching their day with bad habits, or are they practicing common sense?  How do they line up their calls?  Is it a random, time-consuming hunting and pecking process, or do they build an efficient call list before dialing?

An ounce of preparation nets a wealth of results.
In order to be efficient, you must make it a habit to stay organized. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes a comfort zone.  In Salesforce you should be able to easily find any group of Leads or Contacts that you want to call. If you are having trouble organizing Contacts, try adding a custom Status field with values similar to the Lead Statuses. Use the Status fields in conjunction with other relevant information such as Title, Last Activity, or Mailing State. At the minimum, reps should be able to easily get to a list of open tasks, new leads, leads and contacts that need to be followed-up with, and any responses to marketing campaigns that have been passed to sales. The Sales Team can now generate a call list that eliminates the time and effort it takes to figure out who to call.

It’s Called Power Hour
The beauty of a list is that it allows for momentum in the calling process. Imagine what could get accomplished if you scheduled a few hours a week where reps did nothing but focus on call lists. Scheduled hours that are dedicated to call lists – and that avoid phone calls, inbound emails and meetings can bump up production. Something that should be considered a new best practice.

Supercharge the sales process.
ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 allows sales reps to load any list into the app, see all activities on one page, and with one click they can advance to the next call in seconds.  The workload lightens and suddenly call volume triples and company profits increase.  Make common sense, common practice – and take it to the bank.

 

Moving Conversations Beyond Product and Price

Sales conversations inevitably follow a specific course, down one topical path. It is a well-worn and often quite predictable track called “product and price.”  To improve your chances for a sale, you may try to steer the conversation in other, more intellectual directions. Your intention of course is to engage the buyer in a higher quality discussion that addresses their precise challenges and objectives.

Read more

5 Fundamentals for Turning Low-Performers into Sales Super-Stars

One of the great and productive functionalities of CRM is the ability for sales managers to track the activity levels and performance benchmarks of their team members. If reps are not conducting or managing enough phone calls, follow-ups, and sales meetings, you will know about it-and so will they. Read more

Increase Sales Productivity and Captivate Prospects

Email may not seem like an ideal communications medium when it comes to increasing sales productivity and captivating prospects.  It is, however, how most sellers and buyers communicate today.  More than likely your reps rely on emails as a follow-up to phone conversations and to communicate throughout the sales cycle. 

Because email follow-up, while necessary, takes away from valuable selling time, it’s important to have an email process in place that is time efficient and still effective.   To be effective, the content in a follow-up email needs to captivate your prospects. Read more

3 Critical Elements for Successful CRM Adoption

By estimate, there will be approximately 70,000 people at this week’s spectacular Dreamforce event, Salesforce.com’s annual conference and expo being held in San Francisco. Its impressive agenda is all about how the social revolution is changing the way we do business. The event will impact and illustrate how business trends are adjusting to and dictating emerging technologies. There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that an astounding number of companies use Salesforce. Although the company will not reveal its sales figures or its total customer tally, industry estimates have put the number of clients in the neighborhood of 132,000 organizations and over 4.5M subscribers. Without the risk of overstating the obvious, that is a remarkable amount of customers. Read more

8 Crucial Capabilities Sales Managers Need to Optimize the Revenue Pipeline

Every sales organization has one over-arching objective to which all other activities are in service and that is to meet or exceed its revenue goals. For sales teams, that is how “victory” is defined.

If you run a sales team, odds are pretty high that you’ve been focusing on the following in order to ensure your team is positioned and prepared for success: Read more

9 Capabilities Sales Teams Need to Optimize the Revenue Pipeline

All inspired and resourceful reps that expect or intend to blow past their quota start their day in the same dedicated manner. They ask themselves two fundamental questions:

1. “What should I do today?” (Prioritization)

2. “What do I need in order to do it?” (Execution) Read more

Revenue Pipeline Optimization: Take your Follow-up from Good, to Better, to Best

Would you like your sales pipeline to be optimized, or to operate in a more streamlined fashion? I am not referring to the number of prospects currently in the funnel, or even the number of deals being worked. I am asking whether you would like to guarantee that every prospect and every deal is moving swiftly through the pipeline in the smartest, most efficient, and most effective manner. If you are nodding “yes”, then you are my kind of manager – forward-thinking, and motivated toward finding a practical and sustainable solution.

Optimizing the pipeline is the essential key to unlocking productivity. In the dynamic and constantly evolving world of sales, that is the equivalent to finding “the holy grail” is it not?

[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left”]https://shadetreetechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pipes.jpg[/image_frame]
So how can you begin to approach the strategy of optimizing your pipeline? I suggest laser-focusing on the all-important follow-up process. That is because consistent,persistent, and expedient follow-up is what actually moves deals through the pipeline. This means no hesitations, no hindrances, and no hurdles.  In a recent post, I described follow-up as the single most important element of sales for those precise reasons. In today’s post, I will reveal the steps you can take to transition from good to better, and eventually, from better to best. Read more

How to Have a Brilliant Sales Conversation Every Time (hint: Don’t Break These 4 Rules)

What, does the term “Selling” mean to you? I decided to see how the various dictionaries define Selling–beyond the obvious. Paraphrasing what I found, Selling is “to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something; to bring about or cause to be accepted; to advocate successfully.”

Persuade. Influence. Advocate. To sell-and to do it consistently and successfully-you must communicate ideas to the prospective client. To really draw them into the process, you must first listen, then ask, and answer questions. Communicating is not the same as telling,just as hearing is not the same as listening. Indeed, if you measure a reps performance only by the number of calls they make, you may not adequately be emphasizing the distinction between holding a conversation with someone, and simply speaking with them. That’s becausetalking is not the same as conversing. Read more