Are you setting aggressive individual sales targets and motivating your salespeople to achieve them as a strategy to achieving sales results? We can all admit that this works in the short term, but it’s an ineffective and somewhat wasteful long-term strategy.
So, what is the alternate solution to this issue?
By using these 6 steps tips in combination with the right tools, sales methodologies and staffing best practices, you can dramatically increase in your sales pipeline, with more closed deals, increased customer numbers and markedly better sales results.
6 steps to growing your sales pipeline
1. Specialize your sales team
The single most important thing you can do to improve your lead generation and sales results is to develop specialized, focussed, well-trained salespeople to handle sales efforts. All too often, the people generating the pipeline are also the ones that close the deal and service and manage the client. However, by specializing teams in different roles for the pipeline, you will be able to increase the effectiveness of all your individual salespeople. Specialization of roles along your sales pipeline will also improve collaboration, getting your people away from the “I win – you lose” sales culture and will instead encourage them to approach sales as a team sport where everyone wins.
2. Use dedicated outbound prospectors
Your sales development effort should be split into two distinct teams – outbound prospectors and inbound lead qualifiers. Outbound prospecting is solely dedicated to proactive business development; it involves working through lists of predefined target customers, to develop new sales opportunities from cold or inactive accounts. Your outbound prospectors should be working with customer engagement tools such as CRMs, integrated marketing solutions and lead databases, to effectively target and contact prospects.
3. Build your inbound lead qualifying capability
This is the second and equally important part of your sales team. The inbound lead qualifying team’s primary role is to qualify leads that are generated from your website and marketing activities. Leads should be qualified strategically, using structured, repeatable and measurable processes; allowing you to maximize both the quality of your leads and the productivity of your team members. Your lead qualifying team should be using the same customer management tools as your outbound prospectors for better lead management.
4. Hire the right people for the right roles
You need to hire people with the right attitudes and skills sets for these specific roles. Outbound prospecting and sales roles are best suited to people who are quick thinking and entrepreneurial in their outlook; this is particularly true for newly established sales teams and organizations. On the other hand, strong communicators are crucial to the Inbound team. Individuals with strong management skills and nurturing abilities are well suited to account management and customer success management roles, where they can maintain and grow established relationships with existing clients. Hiring people is only the first step though, you need to maximize your investment in these human resources by coaching them to reach their full potential and maintain that level of performance.
5. Invest in the right tools
It is critical to provide the right blend of technology, process and sales training in order to leverage the capabilities of your specialized teams. A CRM solution is probably the key tool in the quest to organize, synchronize and automate your sales, marketing and customer service efforts. The performance tracking and results capabilities offered by the best CRMs are invaluable when designing repeatable sales processes for your business development team. Your lead database must integrate seamlessly with your CRM and should allow for fine-grained filtering of prospects, as well as two-way data management between systems.
6. Implement an outcome focussed sales process
An outcome focused sales process will equip your people to engage professionally at all stages of the sales pipeline. They should be able to help your customers through a defined process that ensures all their needs are met. The sales process should also guide your salespeople to accomplish their specialized goals in a way that maximizes the use of their time, energy and resources.
If you’re looking for a better sales strategy, feel free to connect with me to find out how we can help you implement an outcome focussed sales process, and develop a winning sales team that delivers sustainable sales results.