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The Sales Rep Checklist: 10 Tips for Accelerating Opportunities and Driving The Bottom Line

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Having a lot of deals is great, but accelerating them can be a problem for many sales teams. But hey, that’s why we have sales enablement – check out these 10 tips for accelerating opportunities and …

Having a lot of deals is great, but accelerating them can be a problem for many sales teams. But hey, that’s why we have sales enablement – check out these 10 tips for accelerating opportunities and driving the bottom line.

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  • 1. CHECKLIST 10 TIPS FOR ACCELERATING OPPORTUNITIES AND DRIVING THE BOTTOM LINE Marketers have traditionally been charged with generating high-quality leads for the sales team. Modern marketing teams are now partnering with sales to move as many opportunities through the pipeline as possible. Alignment between the marketing and sales teams is crucial in ensuring that the investments made in developing leads actually result in revenue. IDC Event Flash reports that 10% of annual revenue is lost to sales and marketing misalignment. Many companies are dealing with new hires, shifting territories and product launches, making it difficult to quickly ramp up to meet revenue initiatives. The average company deploys 2.6 different sales methodologies, according to IDC’s Sales Barometer Survey. And, only 46% of forecast opportunities end up in the win column, 30% go to the competition and 24% result in no decision, according to a CSO Insights survey. with content and resources that address their needs. Marketing departments have to develop trustworthy and unbiased content at all stages of the process. In the B2B 2013 Content Preferences Survey, 61.6% of survey respondents said that “sales heavy” content is a problem. The marketing department has to create content to help salespeople converse with prospects about industry trends and identify situational selling opportunities. 3. Make it easy to find the right resources. With a central hub for all of the content, subject matter experts, sales sheets and other information, marketers can serve up the right information to support the sales team’s efforts to accelerate opportunities. Here are 10 tips for sales teams to utilize when accelerating the sales cycle: In many organizations, salespeople rely on a customer relationship management (CRM) system for all of their daily activities. 1. 4. Prioritize the right leads. All leads are not created equal. According to MarketingSherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales, while only 27% of those leads will be qualified. A lead scoring system jointly developed by marketing and sales can improve lead conversion and accelerate the sales cycle. Meet buyers where they are in the buying journey. A buyer may have attended a webinar, visited the web site and downloaded a white paper before ever talking to a salesperson. Corporate Executive Board estimates that 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even contacts a supplier. Because buyers are coming to the 2. Bring intelligence — not just product conversation more educated than ever, marketers information — to the table. need to prep the sales team to be ready to The sales and marketing teams need to collaborate connect with buyers at whatever point they so that the salesperson is presenting the buyer are in the process. 1
  • 2. 5. Develop processes that can be applied in multiple situations. Flesh out scenarios for different types of buyers and different industries to address key concerns and objections. Groups of buyers and buyers at similar points in the buying journey often behave in similar, predictable ways. SiriusDecisions calls these “observable outcomes,” and defines them as measurable, verifiable actions or responses from a buyer. For example: Has the buyer identified a budget is available? Has the buyer provided decision criteria? Did the buyer schedule a follow-up meeting for a demonstration? 6. Adapt to different selling situations. While being adaptable seems to contradict point No. 5, people still buy from people and every purchase has its own set of requirements. 7. Foster a collaborative relationship between sales and marketing. Communicate efficiently and effectively. The salesperson has just one shot on that first call to capture the attention of the buyer. Marketing and sales have to work together on the right materials to ensure that the first call, and future calls, are productive. Speed of response is also essential. According to research conducted by Dr. James Oldroyd, Ph.D., the chances of entering the lead into the sales cycle increase 21 times if called within five minutes of the sales rep receiving a message from the buyer compared to 30 minutes. 10. Don’t end the interaction once the deal is signed. Check in with current customers to see how their needs have changed and what challenges they are facing. As marketing looks to improve the lead conversion process and sales looks to accelerate the sales cycle, responsibilities are blurring. The goal is more closed deals. 8. 9. When a company’s sales processes, sales tools and sales training are in sync when and where the sales team needs them most, they can accelerate opportunities and drive greater revenue. To learn more about accelerating the sales cycle, visit www.savogroup.com. Become a trusted advisor. Buyers don’t need sales reps to spout the features of their product, as they have already done as much as 70% of their research online before engaging with a salesperson. Buyers are looking for partners who understand their industry and its particular challenges. Vendors who support buyers by providing subject matter experts and other resources will have an edge. Corporate Headquarters 155 N. Wacker Drive Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60606 312.506.1700 877.542.7266 2