Earning Sales

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Earning Sales

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
Thomas Edison
American Inventor

Selling In A Ceaseless Change Environment!

The more things change, the more things stays the same. For example, your SaaS business seeks to:

  • Improve lead generation
  • Capture new accounts
  • Expand account penetration
  • Increase win rates.

These objectives are common to most businesses over decades but especially now going forward with ever higher expectations. Check out related evidence to these bullets with Sales Mastery’ Sales Performance Briefings.  What’s new is that your SaaS business also must provide:

  • Differentiated and consistent customer experience across all of your business functions
  • While also taking advantage of all channels and routes to market to interact with your customers.

These higher expectations are based on today’s customers, who are constantly moving, always connected and more informed than ever before; the purchase experience is now dynamic, accessible and continuous. By the time buyers meet sales representatives for the first time, they are often more than 50 percent through the buying process.  So what do you do, sign up to our newsletter to get ideas, templates and more.

To keep pace, companies must move their marketing, sales and service functions from an analog front-office to a digital one. They also need to understand the myriad of ways in which customers want to interact with their organization. It suggest a nimble selling approach integrated into marketing and service, as well as employs all enterprise assets and channels to the customer.  If your SaaS business does so, it will help differentiate and propel your SaaS business to the top.

Nimble selling is fundamentally about three things:

  1. using connected customer insights to differentiate the buying process,
  2. providing a consistent customer experience across all channels, and
  3. taking advantage of social, mobile, analytics and cloud capabilities to reduce time to market and meet customers where they want to transact.

Therefore,  to successfully achieve your SaaS business’ revenue growth methodology. Part of what bEffective can do for your SaaS business is help improve your selling effectiveness, not just within the sales function, but across your SaaS business.

Note that the top three areas we initially target for increasing sales effectiveness are related to:

  1. improving immature sales methodologies and processes,
  2. increasing the ability to attract, retain and grow sales talent, and
  3. driving tangible business outcomes from sales technology
"Change before you have to."
Jack Welch
Famous or infamous former CEO and Chairman of GE

Beware of Sales 'False Positives!'

The ‘Good’ news

Is up until 2020 most businesses reported revenue attainment on an uptrend, moving from approximately 88.9% to 93.9%. Source: CSO Insight Sales Performance Research.

The ‘Bad’ news is all that glitters is not gold. For instance, a growth trend across the board was not present in the leading KPIs used to measure sales productivity:

  • Quota attainment has increased only slightly from, moving from 53.0% to 54.3%. However, this modest growth is not large enough nor consistent enough to be considered a trend. Rates are still below the 2014 rate of 63%.
  • Win rates have stayed the same as the previous year at 47.3%. Sellers are still closing less than half of what they forecast to close.
  • The report also checked in on 16 different activities undertaken by sellers, from needs analysis to cross-sale/upsell, prioritizing prospects and more. Sales leaders considered their teams to be less effective at 15 of the 16 than they were five years ago.

Kuddos to majority of sales leaders for finding a way to make their respective numbers regardless on the above KPI’s, which is critical to survival. But they are not doing so by improving the productivity and effectiveness of their sellers and sales leaders.

The ‘Ugly’ news is the findings outline very little improvement in sales effectiveness long before the pandemic arrived: for instance, less than 30% of businesses achieved ‘Trusted Partner ‘status with their customers. Customer retention, Customer Relationships, seller retention were all down. Source: Miller Heiman Group’ Sales Performance Report.

It matters because every percentage point improvement in plan attainment, quota attainment, win rates through to lower turnover pays huge dividends.  If you want the dividends and less of the bad and ugly then opt in to our newsletter for help.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Calvin Coolidge
30th US President, from 1923

Improving Your Sales Effectiveness

To improve sales effectiveness, bEffective helps your SaaS business realize that the market indicators outline a need for a holistic approach. For instance, bEffective can help your SaaS business develop a framework where the silos between the marketing, sales and service functions altogether promote sales effectiveness. A brief excerpts of a business case to do so follows:

Merging Silos

On the front end, the data shows that almost 60 percent of companies surveyed still lack a common definition of a qualified lead, which leads to a lack of marketing return and sales frustrated. Both functions will better integrate when marketing and sales work together to define a qualified lead. Using social listening further reinforces the integration between functions as marketing passes on what customers are saying about them to sales.

On the back end, integrating sales with service will further enable revenue growth and uncover new opportunities particularly when sales is pursuing cross-selling and up-selling. A majority of SaaS business take advantage of this vital channel for untapped opportunities. Improving integration between sales and service leads to a better customer experience and less customer churn thus avoiding the impact of negative experiences especially with digitally savvy customers.

Customer Touch Points

In between marketing and service functions is sales.  It is the lead function to take point for leading your SaaS business’ customer relationship versus internal processes. Clearly customer needs are changing quickly. They are “digital savvies”, constantly connected and in control of the buying process, as well as have unprecedented expectations. This new reality demands every touch point in your SaaS business must be aligned and integrated with sales.

For example, another challenge the sales function must face is that customer loyalty is getting more complex to measure and obtain. This remains despite customers level of satisfaction in the buying process. The lack or abundance of referrals from satisfied and loyal customers is a hallmark metric of customer satisfaction for sales to review.

Why does it matter? Simply, it takes longer to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing customer. Therefore, by driving a consistent customer experience that reduces churn, your SaaS business can enjoy shorter sales cycles, more productive sales representatives and a faster path to revenue attainment and growth. If your SaaS business wants and edge against the competition, then consider that approximately 70 percent of firms have yet to develop strong relationships with customers. This is related to the perception of your SaaS business as a ‘Trusted Partner.’

Sales Workflows

Strongly-performing sales organizations find a way to balance the art of selling effectively with the science of structured workflow and related methodologies. However, they are in the minority for doing so. bEffective helps your SaaS business engage your representatives to adopt and managed against a structured sales methodology. As a result they will be the ones who close their deals the quickest — accelerating revenue, and making or exceeding their quotas along the way. Additionally, your sales managers will have better visibility throughout the sales process and are more effective coaches along the way.

Sales Talent

Sometimes you just need some oomph! Your SaaS business may be ready for more sales representatives. As is the process of fulfilling the role of sales representatives is one of the hardest to do (find, recruit and on-board). Surprisingly, unsophisticated hiring practices continue to be the bottleneck for creating a robust team structure. The increase in involuntary turnover rate adds to this dilemma. bEffective is here to help your SaaS business employ innovative methods for hiring, on-boarding through to coaching and training them. And it begins with confirming or adding a sales rep based on your capacity ratio which is the best indicator to establish when to hire. The ratio is necessary since it takes months before a new sales representative is ready to contribute. Of course this estimate is usually based on presume lack of selling approach or focus on sales activities.

Technology Enablement

You SaaS business likely has technology tools, such as tablets, mobile and social CRM, and sales intelligence systems. But many businesses are hard press to gain ROI from their technology investments. For instance, most have implemented some kind of CRM system to streamline the forecasting process, improve sales organization communications or reduce administrative burden, yet most still face low CRM tool adoption rates. Worst the majority are not using sales intelligence systems to mine key customer and prospect information from the use of these tools. bEffective’s expertise in this area will  help your SaaS business gain the tools to work the way you do.

“Well Done Is Better, Than Well Said.”
Benjamin Franklin
One of the founding fathers of the U.S.

Action Step

You’ve read our promise, for the challenge you may be facing along with the ‘how to’ solve it.

bEffective offers services to help your SaaS business establish its revenue growth methodology in whole or for the module you need help to improve upon.

Should you wish to do it for yourself, then check out our resources menu for ‘how-to’ solve the challenge mentioned above as well as others in this area of our website. Keep in mind the research and science dictates the ‘right’ revenue growth approach needs to be built in sequence, integrated and more for achieving the promise percentage, dollars through to consistent cash flow.

Alternatively, please do opt-in to our newsletter for relevant daily and tactical daily aids (see link in the footer).

Or simply begin with a comment about the article. We would appreciate it. Everything we’ve mentioned on our website requires leaderships which makes bold and decisive action. Be bold, decisive and insightful with your comments. We will appreciate it.

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