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Revenue Velocity: 7 Methodical Approaches

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Definition: Velocity is a measurement of the rate and direction-of-motion of an object. To increase revenue velocity, you must therefore, increase both the speed at which you book revenue and the …

Definition: Velocity is a measurement of the rate and direction-of-motion of an object. To increase revenue velocity, you must therefore, increase both the speed at which you book revenue and the amount of revenue booked–and, of course, you need to ensure that revenue is headed in the right direction…that is, up. Sales leaders use numerous methods for increasing the velocity of revenue, including sales training, sales coaching, and sales process improvement.

In this ebook, we’ll be talking about 7 methodical approaches to increasing revenue velocity. At first glance, you might draw a conclusion that we’re throwing technology at the problem. Indeed, six of the 7 methodical approaches are centered on cloud-based sales solutions. On the contrary technology, in a vacuum, is never the answer. Technology is the platform that supports the processes that in turn increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your people. In other words technology does not stand on its own. And neither do the other two categories.

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  • 1. Revenue Velocity Seven Special Report
  • 2. Revenue Velocity:Seven Methodical ApproachesTable of ContentsIntroduction.….……………………………………………………………………..….………. 3Method 1: Quantify the Upside.………….…………….……………………………..… 4Method 2: Implement the 3W’s of Powerful Prospecting…………………….. 6Method 3: Eliminate Friction in the Sales Process……………………………… 9Method 4: Transform Under-Achievers into Over-Performers………………. 12Method 5: Tweak the Dials Using Gamification.……….…………………………. 15Method 6: Overcome Pipeline & Forecast Challenges.….…………………….. 18Method 7: Shorten the Sales Cycle..…………………………….…………………….. 21 Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 2 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 3. IntroductionDefinition: Velocity is a measurement of the rate and direction-of-motion of an object.To increase revenue velocity, you must therefore, increase both the speed at which youbook revenue and the amount of revenue booked–and, of course, you need to ensure thatrevenue is headed in the right direction…that is, up.Sales leaders use numerous methods for increasing the velocity of revenue, including salestraining, sales coaching, and sales process improvement. We can classify these and otherendeavors into three foundational categories that are the underpinnings of any greatmanagement initiative:1. People: Staffing decisions, sales skill development, training, territory assignments, coaching,2. Process: Best practices, sales process methodologies, operational workflow.3. Technology: Tools—both hardware and software—used to execute on the processes.In this ebook, we’ll be talking about 7 methodical approaches to increasing revenue velocity.At first glance, you might draw a conclusion that we’re throwing technology at the problem.Indeed, six of the 7 methodical approaches are centered on cloud-based sales solutions.On the contrary technology, in a vacuum, is never the answer. Technology is the platformthat supports the processes that in turn increase the efficiency and effectiveness of yourpeople. In other words technology does not stand on its own. And neither do the other twocategories.It is not enough, to focus on one category at the expense or exclusion of another.As you read through this eBook, think about how these suggested methods will impact eachof the three fundamental elements of your management initiative (to increase revenuevelocity) even though it may appear as if they focus on technology alone.And finally, don’t let the enormity of what’s being proposed prevent you from taking action.Decide which method or methods appear to be the most reasonable approaches for yourunique circumstances, then take one or two of the recommended actions at the end ofeach chapter. Commit to investigating your options. Commit to taking the actions necessaryto increase revenue velocity. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 3 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 4. Quantify the Upside - Method 1It’s hard to argue against the goal of increased revenue velocity. Indeed, it’s a safe betthat everyone in your organization is on-board with its being a primary business objective.But being fully supportive of a goal is different from actually doing something about it. Goodintentions are not enough. If you really want to rally the troops and get an extra side-helpingof motivation for yourself, consider the likely impact your actions will have on revenue.And so the very first method for increasing revenue velocity is to quantify the potentialupside.We’ve all heard the adage “time is money” and for no profession could this be more truethan it is for the sales profession. Here’s the interesting part. You can actually quantify justhow much money time is worth by considering your over-all sales capacity. To determineyour over-all sales capacity, you need to ask yourself two questions:1. How many hours in the day do salespeople have available to accomplish all that’s asked of them – including selling?2. How many available days in the year do they have to sell?When you calculate the answer to those two questions and multiply it timesthe number of reps, you’ll know your overall sales capacity.Now think of your sales organization as a manufacturing plant (manufacturing revenue).Each plant has a maximum capacity for production based on the three raw ingredientsof–you guessed it–people, process and technology. As a plant manager, would you makechanges to any element without first assessing it’s potential impact on overall plantcapacity? Of course not. That’s why it’s critical to evaluate your options based on a clearunderstanding of how it will impact your capacity to produce sales.We refer to the notion of efficient use of sales capacity as the 215 Principle. We estimate,on average, there are just 215 days in the year to sell once you account for sick days,holidays, vacation days, weekends and other non-working days. That means a rep’s“sales-manufacturing” capacity is 215 days. Nothing you can do will change that (short ofthe obvious, like eliminating vacation time or demanding longer work-days). If you thenassume an 8 hour work-day, you can quickly calculate a sales capacity of 1720 hours ayear.If you want to get more production (revenue) from the same number of reps, then nodecision should be made until you’ve fully considered its affect on how those hours of salescapacity will be used. Will your decision, or action free more of those 1720 hours for repsto spend with prospects or will it consume precious selling time needlessly? If you wantgreater revenue velocity, you’ll need to spend more of those hours with prospects. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 4 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 5. If you ask reps to do more “x,” without adjusting the processes or providingthe technological tools that enable them to do “x” in less time, then yourrequest will have a negative impact on your sales capacity.The time needed to complete additional tasks has to come at the expense of somethingelse and often that “something” is time in front of prospects. The opposite is also true. Ifyou remove a task, or lessen the time it takes to accomplish it, you free up more time forrevenue producing tasks. Basic efficiency principles come into play when you recognizethat your team’s selling time is finite.Using the figure of 215 selling days, you can calculate the impact that using selling timemore efficiently has on revenue. Here’s an example: ü If your reps average 1 Million in annual revenue, ü and by virtue of the right tools and processes you can recover 60 minutes a day of inefficient use of time, ü your expected increase in revenue will be $125,000. Per rep. (to see more detail on these calculations email us)In this example, you can deliver a 12.5 % growth in revenue on average, by making betteruse of just 60 minutes each day. The methods that you’ll read about on the following pagesall lead to more efficient use of sales capacity and therefore, revenue velocity. They willhelp your reps: Ÿ Find needed prospect background and contact information quicker Ÿ Conduct better pre-call research and prepare more effectively Ÿ Find and utilize the most effective and relevant sales content for each prospect Ÿ Create winning proposals in less time Ÿ Get contracts signed faster and manage the entire contract process more efficiently Ÿ Run more effective, and less problematic online meetings with prospects Ÿ Allocate time and attention to the right deals Ÿ Benefit by the enhanced use of Salesforce CRM Ÿ Stay focused on and motivated by what matters mostAnd a whole lot more. Efficiency is at the heart of increased productivity. Demanding (orcommanding) more from your reps will only get you slight improvements and only for solong. Remember, there is such a thing as sales capacity. Consider the next 6 methodsfor driving the greatest revenue velocity from yours. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 5 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 6. Implement the 3 W’s of Powerful Prospecting - Method 2Your sales team has a bounty of prospect information available to them on the Internet.They can find information on nearly anything they need, whether it’s about companies,prospects, industries, or news. Pre-call research has become an essential part ofprospecting. According to CSO Insights, the average salesperson spends 17% of his or herweek conducting research. That represents nearly one full business day every week thatis no longer available for selling.Using the 215 Principle discussed in chapter one, we can do the calculations to determinehow the time lost to research activities negatively impacts revenue. A sales rep with1,000,000 in annual sales can theoretically increase their revenue by $170,833 just byrecapturing the 17% of “lost” time.The solution for increasing revenue is not, however, to eliminate the research. Researchis conducted because it helps reps to sell more effectively. They conduct research todiscover potential prospects, learn about the prospect’s industry, understand thechallenges the prospect faces, and prepare sufficiently for calls. If you simply eliminate theresearch, you no longer have the valuable information that helps reps move prospectsthrough the sales process and close deals.Instead of eliminating the research, you’ll want to implement solutions that make it possiblefor reps to conduct research more efficiently.Ask yourself, “How can our reps get the information they need, when theyneed it, while using less valuable selling time?Revenue velocity slows when you require reps to mine the vast amounts of data on theWeb instead of deploying tools that help get the job done in a fraction of the time.So the second methodical approach for increasing revenue velocity is to enact a salesprospecting enablement solution like iSell by Onesource. iSell speeds the process offinding three crucial types of information that reps need to sell more, faster: 1. Who to sell to 2. When to contact 3. What to sayThese are the 3 W’s of prospecting.If your reps don’t have an efficient means of obtaining the 3 W’s, their productivity willsuffer along with your revenue velocity. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 6 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 7. Let’s take a look at each of the 3 W’s in more detail.Who to Sell to:Who to sell to may be different for each rep depending on their territory or target market.Whether their target market is a specific industry, company size, geographic location, jobtitle, or a combination of traits, the first step is to build a list of potential targets. When repsfirst log into iSell they’re prompted to configure a profile of their target prospects—fullycustomized to the way they sell. They select from multiple criteria such as geography,company size, company, and contact type, to build a laser-focused profile that iSell will useto target the most impactful universe of companies and contacts.As users learn more about their sweet spot, they can fine-tune these settings. iSell willcontinually look for more prospects that fit this profile and include them in the listautomatically. Users can build up to 25 unique lists to suit their varying needs and targetcustomer profiles.An important note: having too many “prospects” can be as harmful to revenue velocity ashaving too few prospects. That’s because it is counter-productive to contact prospectswhere the potential is weak. The best case scenario is for reps to spend time with prospectsthat meet an ideal buyer profile and therefore have the highest propensity to buy. Andthat’s what iSell helps them do.When to ContactThe ideal method of prioritizing calls is to contact each prospect at the right time based onkey trigger events. A sales trigger event is anything that might cause a prospect to desire—orbecome more open—to change (and a need for your products and services). In other words,trigger events indicate when the “timing is right.” What are the trigger events that indicategood timing for your products? Are your prospect companies more open to change whennew executives are hired? How about when new products are launched or when new plantsare announced?Determine what those key trigger events are. Then iSell will proactively alert your reps whento make contact. The system is powerful enough to: Ÿ Automatically prioritize the most relevant, and timely prospects Ÿ Send trigger alerts that indicate selling opportunities and reasons to call Ÿ Show the hottest prospects for each rep in order of “prospectability”Prospects with sales trigger events are up to 8X more likely to buy. To increaserevenue velocity, make sure your reps know when these trigger events occurbefore your competition does. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 7 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 8. What to SayWith the right tools, reps can know who to call and when. The remaining question (and the3rd W) is, “What can reps say to get the prospect’s attention when they make the call?”The common wisdom used to be that a caller had only 20 seconds to make an impression.Now the number is pegged at between 5-10 seconds. If a rep survives those first fewseconds what will he or she say? It’s an opportunity that must not be squandered.Whether or not the call is successful depends mostly on how well-prepared the caller is. Itis simply no longer acceptable for a rep to pick up the phone and wing it. Prospects don’twant to hear about your solutions. They want to know why the rep is calling them. It’s crucialthat each rep has the “what’s in it for me” answer nailed before making the call.iSell gives each rep an understanding of: § The prospects’ business - what the company (or contact) does. § The specific challenges he or she faces especially if these challenges have been noted in the press. § The common challenges of the industry and how your solutions have helped similar companies. § The family-tree structure of the prospect’s organization.What would the impact on revenue velocity be if reps called more of the rightpeople at the right time and were prepared to say the right things to engagethe prospect?There is no question that research is critical for effective prospecting. The key to increasingrevenue velocity is to ensure that your prospect research is sufficiently achieved in the leastamount of time with the greatest outcome.Consider the following actions to discover whether iSell can increase your revenue velocity: Request Free Trial Watch a Demo Learn More Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 8 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 9. Eliminate Friction in the Sales Process - Method 3Above all else, sales reps are tasked with one thing, generating as much revenue as possiblein the shortest amount of time–the very definition of “revenue velocity.” They learn quitequickly to eliminate friction in the sales process–anything that diverts their time, energy,or focus, away from closing deals and optimizing revenue. But there is one area of frictionwhere they have had little or no ability to control…the friction created when they “sell”remotely and cannot meet with a prospect in person.Today, more and more sales communication is done by phone. Telephone, email, andon-line meetings must often suffice because prospects are stressed to the limits with anover-abundance of activities and demands, and an over-crowded schedule. In short–they’rejust too darn busy to meet in person. For sales reps who communicate with prospectsprimarily by telephone, friction is a daily occurrence.Therefore, the third methodical approach to increasing revenue velocity is to deploy areliable, friction-free online video meeting solution like iMeet.Thankfully, on-line meeting technology has given salespeople a way to share informationvisually by showing documents or sharing their screen—removing a significant cause offriction compared to the telephone.But one element has still been missing—and it’s critical to the profession ofsales. The missing element is the ability to see the prospect, and for theprospect to see you.This is problematic because, according to industry experts, anywhere from 50-80% of allcommunication is nonverbal. In sales calls, both the salesperson and the prospect sendnonverbal cues including postures, facial expressions, eye gaze, and gestures. Savvysalespeople understand how to read and react to these important cues. Prospects alsoread cues. They decide whether they should trust you, whether they are truly being heard,and whether they like you, based mostly on nonverbal communication.These cues go unseen when reps can’t meet with the prospect in person. Given theimportance of nonverbal communication, you can see how the absence of these cues canhave a negative impact on call outcomes and the pace at which a deal progresses. iMeetprovides reps with a personal online meeting room for sales presentations where they andtheir prospect can see each other through video and engage just as they would in a "real"meeting. It’s a friction-free solution that helps to ensure reps establish a more powerful,trusted relationship with their prospects even when they can’t meet in person.75% of enterprises are predicted to use video conferencing by 2013 (CDW, April 2011) Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 9 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 10. iMeet gives sellers and buyers the ability to interact, engage, and connectas they would in person, meeting face-to-face. Because video is face-to-face.Imagine that each salesperson has their own online meeting room, always available,whenever and wherever they want to meet with a prospect, and however they need toconnect. The prospect simply types the URL of the reps private online meeting room intotheir Web browser. All guests join the meeting room for free and the system even dials theprospects phone or computer. That’s how iMeet works.The iMeet video meeting solution helps reps eliminate friction in the sales process fiveways:I. Building TrustWe all know that salespeople can be viewed with suspicion. Being visible to prospects is agreat way to show that your reps are real people, sincere, and honest. When prospects talkwith reps face-to-face, they overcome the resistance to building rapport and ultimately,trust.II. Relating on the same levelEvery sales interaction is a negotiation. That’s why it’s important that reps engage withprospect as equals. Being visible makes a rep human and elevates them in the eyes of theprospect from being “just a salesperson” to someone that is deserving of their time.III. Tuning inBe assured! Prospects are not giving reps their full attention on the phone. They’reresponding to email, or tending to over-due tasks. It’s difficult to pay attention with nothingto focus their eyes. Give prospects a reason–and a way–to pay attention, so reps can makethe most of every opportunity to engage.IV. Connecting EmotionallyThere are lots of personality tests that identify an individual’s communication style. But youwon’t get prospects to take personality tests. Instead, reps need to rely on visual clues forhow prospects feel, and react. Visual clues are necessary for both sides to hold an effectiveconversation and make a real connection.V. Being Top-of-MindIt’s not who you know, it’s who knows you! You want prospects and customers to think ofyour reps whenever they have a need. Being visible to prospects on each call makes repsmore memorable. Make sure that your reps are the ones that prospects remember insteadof your competitor’s. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 10 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 11. Already have a video meeting solution? Ask your reps whether they are experiencing anyof these common problems–problems that are more than mere nuisances.These three areas of friction will have a negative impact on revenue velocity, possiblywithout you ever knowing it, which is why you’ll want to ask your reps about it: 1. Wasted time For salespeople, time really is money. How many online meetings do your reps conduct each week? How many of those meetings begin late because prospects have to download software to join the meeting? How many total hours does that add up to? 2. Problematic technology Products that are problematic to use, hijack reps’ time, energy and focus, away from selling. Technology either increases friction or reduces it. It either makes selling easier or harder. If your reps don’t make use of your current online meeting solution it could be they experience too much trouble when using it. 3. Negative prospect perceptions cause friction Prospects look for signs that your company is easy to work with, that your products will be easy to deploy, and that they will successfully realize the benefits. Every interaction prospects have with your reps either moves them closer to, or further away from, a ‘yes’ decision.The inability to see and respond to non-verbal cues along with problematic log-in proceduresfor popular on-line meeting solutions are two significant areas of friction that can cause adamaging slow-down in revenue velocity.See for yourself whether iMeet can increase your revenue velocity: Take a Free Tour of iMeet Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 11 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 12. Transform under-performers into over-achievers - Method 4The Pareto principle states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from20% of the causes. When applied to sales teams, the principle would posit that 20% ofreps produce 80% of the revenue and indeed, that is the common wisdom. The remaining80% of reps would be considered under-performers. Imagine…what would happen to yourrevenue velocity if you could elevate a fraction of those under-performers into over-achievers?What does it take to raise sales performance across the board? It certainly requires a closeexamination of the underlying causes of poor performance. But holding even more meritthan that, is the close examination of the underlying causes of peak performance!What do your top performing reps do that your under-performing reps do not?If you can crack the code on that, then you’ll have the fourth methodical approach toincreasing revenue velocity down. And that’s where Qvidian comes in. Qvidian’s softwareapplications enable sales teams to accelerate the sales cycle and close more deals–precisely what is required to increase revenue velocity.The key to overcoming the Pareto principle for sales rep performance is to institutionalizethe habits and best practices of the top reps. A good place to start is to ask yourself thefollowing questions: Ÿ Can all of your salespeople engage prospects in meaningful conversations? Ÿ Do salespeople know where to find information they need, when they need it? Ÿ Do high-achieving reps have knowledge that can and should be shared with others? Ÿ Are you drawing insights from high-achieving reps pertaining to real-life sales processes? Ÿ Do you have a process for collaboration and continuous improvement? Ÿ Do your low-achieving salespeople have access to proven sales playbooks?There can be a wide assortment of causes for sales reps to under-perform their peers.While you probably recognize that some reps will never “make the cut,” it really is yourobligation to ensure all reps have the best chance at achieving peak performance. Only aslight shift in the ratio of under-performers to over-performers is required, however, tosignificantly improve revenue velocity across the board. Transforming under-performersinto over-achievers is therefore, one of the best methodical approaches for increasingrevenue velocity. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 12 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 13. Common traits of high-performing reps are; the ability to leverage the right content foreach stage of the sales-cycle, the ability and knowledge to hold contextual conversationsthat align with each type of contact or prospect, the ability to leverage internal resourcesneeded to answer questions, and the skill and insight to create persuasive proposals.Qvidian’s cloud-based applications allow customers to accomplish 4 tasksthat are crucial for increasing revenue velocity: 1. Deploy Sales Playbooks that guide under-performing or up-and-coming reps to use best-practices throughout the sales-cycle. 2. Accelerate the production of winning proposals, RFP responses, and sales presentations. 3. Close more deals by having the right content at your reps’ finger tips, at the right time, for each specific deal and each type of prospect. 4. Leverage internal experts so reps can answer customer questions faster and package the right solution for the buyer.Increasing revenue velocity by improving rep performance means you’ll need to replicateand make easier, the activities and habits of high-performing reps. That’s what Qvidian’ssales playbooks and proposal automation solutions provide.The following is a checklist you can use to see whether you would benefit from a solutionlike Qvidian’s. Do high-performing reps use proven sales processes and tools that can and should be institutionalized across the sales team? Are you providing new reps with proven techniques and tools and the coaching they need to ensure early and significant success? Do reps have the right content and tools at their fingertips, at the right time, relevant and applicable to specific prospects so they can close deals quicker? Do you have the tools in place to collaborate with marketing and to analyze real data around buyer personas and messaging/tools/coaching and other sales activities? Has your marketing team mapped your collateral and materials to opportunity characteristics such as vertical, buyer role, or application? Are you creating a sales dynasty by having more successful sales reps that are empowered with an automated, systematic approach to selling? Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 13 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 14. Do reps know how to leverage internal experts to answer customer questions faster, and package the right solution for the buyer? Are you confident that reps are using accurate, approved, and compliant sales materials? Are you able to compare sales pipeline to activities, historically proven to be necessary at each stage in the pipeline, for more predictable forecasting? Can your reps easily share best practices by systematically integrating coaching tips, video clips and other tools into the sales process at the right time? Do you know which sales materials are working, and what content was used to win deals? Are reps using Salesforce CRM regularly and experiencing benefit so that you are getting a good return on your investment?In order to improve the performance of under-achieving reps, look for the habits, activities,and techniques that over-performing reps use then deploy a solution like Qvidian’s toinstitutionalize these best practices. By systematically providing the right content, tools andcoaching to sales reps at every stage of the buying cycle you’ll improve the percentage ofclosed deals and ultimately, your revenue velocity as well.To turn Pareto’s principle on it’s head you need a system and a platform thatwill affect performance across the board in a methodical, and disciplinedmanner.Attempting to improve performance by ad-hoc, one-on-one coaching, and through occasionaltraining will not get the job done (and thus the Pareto principle is so easily attributable tosales). There’s only one way to transform the over-all performance of an entire sales teamand that is with the universal application of best-practice tools and techniques.Consider taking these actions to discover whether Qvidian can increase your revenue velocity: Request a Demo Learn More Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 14 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 15. Tweak the Dials Using Gamification - Method 5There’s a reason why salespeople are paid with variable compensation. Salespeople arecompetitive by nature. Tying compensation to quota achievement taps into that behavioraltrait and results in greater revenue. In many ways, salespeople consider quota attainmentto be a contest. If they meet or exceed quota, they win. If they achieve higher quotaperformance than their peers, it’s an even bigger and better win! People that are not drivenby competition do not typically succeed in the sales profession.The fifth methodical approach to increasing revenue velocity is to draw on the inherentcompetitive nature of your sales force through gamification techniques using solutionslike Sales Contest Builder by ePrize.Gamification is a new word in the business lexicon. It is not new, however, as a businessconcept (and incentive compensation plans are proof of that). More and more sales leadersare using gamification to encourage reps to engage in desired behaviors by tapping intotheir psychological predisposition for competition and the desire to win (or conversely, thedesire not to lose).Sales Contest Builder by ePrize is rated as the number one gamification solution on theAppExchange. The solution makes it possible to encourage reps to perform just about anytask that they might ordinarily consider tedious as may be the case with logging call notes,updating forecasts on a timely basis, or following up on trade-show leads.With a gamification solution like Sales Contest Builder, you can interject the thrill of winningthroughout the spectrum of sales activities, not just to the end-result of making quota.That’s important because it’s the hundreds of activities and behaviors along the way thatultimately determine whether the rep wins the most business possible from their territory.For gamification to affect behaviors, it needs to be tightly integrated to thesystems that reps use to conduct business.For many sales organizations, that means it needs to be integrated with Salesforce CRM.Ideally, you would use gamification to drive any activity that’s important to increasingrevenue velocity–or activities, without which, you can’t get an early measurement of howrevenue velocity is changing. The later point is notably the case if reps are not enteringdata into the CRM system.Numerous studies repeatedly show that sales rep adoption–or consistent use–of CRMsystems is dismally low. This is a huge issue because CRM systems are expensive–a100-person sales team is likely spending $200,000+ for their sales CRM tool and thesurrounding needs. When salespeople arent using it, or arent using it correctly, that moneyheads right for the drain. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 15 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 16. When that happens, it’s tempting to resort to the "stick" approach to driving adoption…use it or else! Unfortunately, that approach rarely rallies the sales team. Injectingcompetition and a reward system is a great way to motivate reps to use your CRM system.Sales Contest Builder, makes that easy to do. Just identify the key behaviors you want tomotivate or the information you need for reps to enter into the system, then create a littlecompetition around it (e.g., 1 point for every meeting logged, 3 points every time youprogress the sales stage of an opportunity), and suddenly salespeople get behind it.Applying gamification keeps reps inside of Salesforce.com. Since the contest is trackedbased on data found in Salesforce, sales reps will be motivated to keep their data updated.If they do not, everyone will know about it by way of their poor showing on the contestleaderboard.Inaccurate sales pipeline data jeopardizes revenue velocityGetting reps to consistently update their opportunities is one of the biggest struggles forsales leaders. Without current opportunity data, it is impossible to have a solid view of thesales pipeline and a measurement of revenue velocity. The problem occurs becausesalespeople tend to do one of two things: either they put opportunities into the systemand then do not update them again until the deal is won or lost, or they enter opportunitieslate in the sales cycle just before the deal is about to close.Either scenario results in an inaccurate view of your business and prevents you from takingaction when needed. So apply a little gamification to the problem–every time someoneupdates the close date or sales stage, give them a point. You can make every point be anentry to win, or you can set it up so that the rep with the most points at the end of themonth wins.The greater number of reps that consistently use Salesforce the more youcan measure activities and outcomes. Any data that you measure withinSalesforce you can motivate reps to enter using gamificationCompetition can also drive collaborationTodays sales organizations are more separated than ever before, with reps working fromhome or remote offices. By creating competition centered on a key initiative, you rallyeveryone around a specific, unified objective. The important considerations are to makeit fun, interesting, and competitive and most critically, to keep the contest energizedthrough the use of leaderboards that display real-time results.When reps can follow a real-time leaderboard showing who’s ahead, it motivates them toreach out to their peers to learn what they are doing differently, and gives you a reason totalk about it in team meetings and in one-on-one sessions. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 16 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 17. While sales contests are the oldest idea in the book, they are known to be a huge pain tomanage. Even companies that use CRM systems still often keep track of contest resultson whiteboards and in spreadsheets they must update and email to people manually.Sales Contest Builder removes this obtrusive burden making it simple to set up, and run,as many contests as you’d like, as often as you’d like. You tell the software the behavioryou want to motivate, and the rewarding and status updates will happen automatically. Nomore creating custom reports, exporting to spreadsheets, and manually sending updatesto your team.Now you can easily build, launch, and manage a sales contest with a real-time leaderboardand automated, pre-scheduled updates via email or Chatter.To lead a sales team that hits revenue goals and stays highly motivated tosucceed, sales managers must first establish a winning sales culture.No doubt that you design your annual comp plans in a way that focuses reps’ attention onclosing sales and hitting their sales quotas–exactly what they should be focused on.However, as I’ve pointed out, there are numerous activities that together, determinewhether quota will be attained or missed, and by how much. Why not motivate those veryactivities throughout the year? It’s one of the best methods for increasing revenue velocity.Using gamification techniques, you can draw upon the inherent competitive nature of yoursales force and: Ÿ Create a sales culture that promotes achievement Ÿ Coach more effectively Ÿ Promote individual behaviors that drive team success Ÿ Execute motivational initiatives successfullyConsider taking one or more of the following actions to discover whether Sales ContestBuilder can increase your revenue velocity: Request Free Trial Watch a Demo Learn More Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 17 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 18. Overcome Pipeline Visibility and Forecast Reliability Challenges - Method 6According to CSO Insights’ 2011 Sales Management Optimization Benchmark Report, lessthan 50% of forecasted deals result in a win. In other words, all the resources, selling time,and marketing dollars spent to move nearly half of your deals through the forecast havedisappeared down the drain without driving a nickel of revenue.For all of the possible causes of missed forecasts, it comes down to two things. Either yourreps’ forecasts were wrong to begin with, or they failed to do the right things to close thedeals they forecasted. Both scenarios put you at risk of delivering less revenue than youpredicted. Can you determine which deals are afflicted in time to take action and changethe outcome? If you cannot, then your revenue velocity will be in jeopardy.Therefore, overcoming pipeline visibility and forecast reliability challenges is the sixthmethodical approach we recommend for increasing revenue velocity and to do that,you’ll need a solution like Cloud9 Analytics.Closing a higher percentage of forecasted deals is dependent on discoveringwhich deals are at risk and then taking steps to eliminate those risks.Unless you have a way to know which deals in your pipeline are for real, what deals are atrisk, and what you can do to close at-risk deals, you can’t do much to ensure forecastedrevenue comes in.Without a tool like Cloud9, you’ll likely continue to struggle with 3 critical challenges: 1. A hampered ability to know which deals are at risk of not closing as forecasted. 2. Spending an inordinate amount of time (both yours and the reps) reviewing current deal status. 3. A crippling inability to spot opportunities for pro-active coaching intervention in time to make a difference in outcome.Cloud9 informs you of the true health of the pipeline and specifically, which deals in thepipeline may not close as forecasted. The key is to uncover what has changed in theforecast and why, rather than to rely on a snapshot view of the forecast at any one time.Turning to your CRM, you can see current deal stages, and forecast probabilities. But CRMsystems like Salesforce.com don’t show you how, why ,or which opportunities changed–notfrom last week, or any prior period. This is a very important point. Without the ability toknow what pipeline and forecast changes have taken place you must resort to conductingextensive deal-by-deal reviews with each sales rep. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 18 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 19. Conducting deal-by-deal reviews is a horribly inefficient method for gaining atrue picture of your pipeline health.The deal review process consumes a hefty amount of valuable selling time which onlycompounds the problem of closing too few forecasted deals and puts a drag on revenuevelocity.It might lead you to discover the risk in the forecast, but it will leave little time for you tocoach and collaborate with reps on an action plan or for your reps to put the action plansinto place. Meanwhile, time is ticking by. And the passing of time is never a good thingwhen it comes to the probability that a deal will close.Sales forecasts are, by their very nature, imprecise. They are a rep’s bestguess at which deals will close, when they will close, and for what amount.Once reps enter their opportunities into the CRM system, you can of course create aforecast. In most organizations that use CRM, this process is done automatically withinthe system by applying percentages to deal amounts based on the sales-stage of theopportunity.This method has had to suffice because there were no better solutions that any company–but the largest–could afford. So companies have continued to make due with the standardfunctionality built-into CRM systems. But CRM systems, as mentioned earlier, can only giveyou a snapshot-in-time of current opportunities and a snapshot view will not tell you whethera deal is progressing at a rapid pace or whether its momentum has slowed to a crawl.Having an understanding of a deal’s history can.Now, solutions like Cloud9 make it possible to understand the cadence of each deal andto predict the likelihood or predictability of the deal closing as forecasted. How many timeshas the customer pushed the decision out? Has the value of the deal changed repeatedlyand in what direction?Without the ability to analyze the history of a forecasted deal, there is no wayto confidently determine when to take action or what action to take.Cloud9 captures and analyzes sales data over time enabling you to understand what haschanged and to then make logical decisions based on the true nature of the deal. Plus, itallows you to garner a greater ability to spot when the pipeline and the forecast are out ofbalance. Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 19 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 20. Cloud9 can help you overcome pipeline visibility and forecast reliability challenges by givingyou answers to important questions like the following: Ÿ How many deals does a typical quota breaking rep have in the pipeline at each stage of the pipeline? This is know-able using Cloud9 to capture deal data from your CRM system and then to perform the analytics. Ÿ How long before a stalled deal goes dormant and will not close? Historic data that is now hidden in your CRM system holds the answer and Cloud9 will unbury it. Using history, it will even identify the probability of a given number of bluebirds in a given period of time. Ÿ Which deals need coaching intervention? A quick look at deal history analysis enables you to understand what has changed in a deal before your one-on-one meeting with a rep. Coaching time can be used less to catch up on status, and more to strategize and guide activity and actions.Deal history and analysis can impact revenue velocity by making it possibleto manage and coach effectively and consistently over time, no matter howmany reps you manage.With Cloud9 you’ll have a way to record each rep’s commitments for advancing deals intheir pipeline, thus enabling you to review commitments and status with regularity andprecision. If you juggle hundreds of deals through your direct reports this capability isessential.Standard pipeline management and forecasting functionality in CRM systems are no longersufficient for identifying at-risk deals or for assessing the probability that you will makethe number. Fortunately, you can implement a solution like Cloud9. If you tap into the datathat is already embedded–but currently buried–in your CRM system to comparedifferences in deal status over time, you can then take action that will accelerate yourrevenue velocity.Consider taking one or more of the following actions to discover whether Cloud9 canprovide the insight you need to increase your revenue velocity: Watch a Demo Learn More Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 20 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 21. Shorten the Sales Cycle - Method 7The amount of time it takes to move a prospect through the sales cycle and close the dealis an important business metric. A shorter sales cycle sets into motion an entire chain ofevents. The sooner you can close a deal, the sooner you can ship a product, the faster youcan turn inventory, the quicker you can invoice, the earlier you will get paid, and the soonerreps can begin working other deals. The speed of your sales cycle is a key method ofmeasuring your revenue velocity. After all, speed is one of the factors in the velocityequation.For those reasons, shortening the sales cycle is the seventh methodical approach forincreasing revenue velocity. The sales cycle encompasses the entire sales process andtherefore, there are many inflection points at which you can take action to improve uponthe metric. You have likely assessed more than once, how and where improvements inyour processes can help you keep the sales funnel full, or help reps to be more effective,or increase the efficiency of the myriad of activities required to propel a deal to a close.Indeed each of the methods we’ve previously mentioned facilitate in shortening the salescycle. However…The last step in every sales process, the point at which a deal is signed-and-sealed or declined-and-repealed, is perhaps the most critical inflection pointwhere speed and efficiency are paramount.All other activities up until this point are for naught if the signed paperwork nevermaterializes. Shorten the signature process with an eSignature solution like DocuSign.DocuSign’s eSignature solution is a system for sending, tracking, routing, filing, signingdocuments, and having documents signed electronically–without the drudgery or timedelays of manual paperwork, printing, scanning, faxing, over-nighting and paper chasing.You can see how DocuSign remedies multiple problems inherent in a manual, paper-basedsignature process, problems that typically slow the speed of business and the velocity ofrevenue. You should also know that using DocuSign is not complicated, either for yoursales reps or for your customers. The printing, faxing, scanning, manual routing, over-nighting, and copying reps now do to obtain a signature manually, is far more complex andconsumes far more time and money than obtaining a signature electronically consumes.97 % of DocuSign contracts are returned within 48 hours–and over 40% inless than 1 hour! Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 21 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 22. More than 20 million people have used DocuSign for more than 160 million documents inmore than 50 different countries.The main reasons why so many people use eSignatures are that it simplifies the typicalworkflow process, lessens the chances of errors or missing signatures, and decreases thenumber of steps reps must go through to get a signature on a deal. All of these factors leadto a shortened time-to-signature and accelerated revenue velocity.A typical signature workflow process looks like this: 1. Email, fax, or overnight contract to client for signature 2. Communicate with prospect to verify contract was received 3. Wait for prospect to manually print, scan, route and return contract 4. Wonder where it is in the signing process – in an inbox, lost in the mail? 5. Chase prospect (several times) then wait some more 6. Finally receive signed document via fax 7. Review document, discover fax isn’t legible. Follow up with customer to resend. 8. Adjust forecast to reflect delay 9. RepeatIt’s a lengthy signature process fraught with risk. And this is just the typical signatureworkflow. How much longer does the process take when deals require signatures ondocuments throughout the sales cycle like perhaps an NDA, or terms and conditions, ordesign approvals? And what if multiple people need to sign the same agreement? Howmuch time does that typically add to the signature process?The time saved results in shorter sales cycles, and lowered risk of deals gettingderailed at the last hour.Deploying DocuSign for your sales team speeds revenue velocity because there will be: Ÿ No more printing, faxing, scanning or overnighting Ÿ No need to verify the prospect received the contract Ÿ No delays while the prospect prints, routes and signs Ÿ No starting over due to missed signatures or initials Ÿ No forecast delays from glitches in the signature process Ÿ No wasted time routing and filing signed contracts Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 22 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 23. DocuSign for SalesForce allows reps to send documents for signature from any SalesForcescreen. Reps can send virtually any type of document requiring signature from withinaccounts, contacts, opportunities, or any other standard or custom object. You can evenleverage your account contact information and update your Salesforce records withDocuSign information.Sending documents for signature through DocuSign provides a real-time audittrail which shows whether or not a document has been reviewed or forwardedand when.Integrated with a CRM or SFA system, the audit trail data can provide you withunprecedented pipeline visibility and negate the need for reps to spend their time chasingpaperwork.eSignatures are legal and secureElectronic signatures have the same legal effect as pen-and-ink, as long as they are executedthrough a process that clearly establishes intent to sign and ensures all legal elements ofproof, thus complying with the federal Electronic Signature In Global and National CommerceAct (ESIGN), as well as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). In the eSignatureindustry, only DocuSign has passed an SSAE 16 Type II audit – with no exceptions noted.These controls cover Operations and Change Management, as well as Governance, Security,and Development. So there is no reason not to implement an eSignature solution to shortenyour sales cycle.If you want to accelerate revenue velocity, you must expedite all elements ofthe sales cycle, especially important is the time-to-signature metric.Shortening the time-to-signature process is imperative. Time delays introduce risks that adeal will go south. A longer time-to-signature process results in a longer time-to-invoice andconsequently, a longer time-to-receivables process. In short, eSignature solutions make itpossible for reps to work more deals, give greater attention to prospects, and close morebusiness, faster.Consider taking these actions to discover whether DocuSign can increase your revenuevelocity: Request Free Trial Try a Demo Learn More Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 23 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It
  • 24. About the Author: Nancy Nardin, President, Smart Selling ToolsBacked by nearly 30 years of sales and marketing experience, Nancy is a pioneer in salesprospecting technology – first as a service provider and now as an evangelist and expert.She is a frequent speaker and writer on using technology to drive revenue throughout thesales pipeline.Before launching Smart Selling Tools in 2006, Nancy served in sales leadership roles atleading analyst firms such as Gartner Group and IDC. She worked closely with many ofSilicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms and the portfolio companies in their charge.She has, at one point or another, worked with more than 30 of the largest high-tech, andtelecom firms in the country.Nancy has consulted executives at leading marketing automation, pipeline management,lead management, and forecast analytics firms. She also designed a Sales ToolsAssessment questionnaire to guide end-user sales and marketing organizations determinethe right tools for them.Named one of 50 Top Sales and Marketing Influencers of 2012.Named “One of 20 Women to Watch in 2012” by the Sales Lead Management Association(SLMA)Named as one of the top 25 Influential Leaders in Sales 2012 by InsideViewFeatured Presenter on Inside Sales Tools at the AA-ISP SummitContributor to SalesGuru Forum, CustomerThink, Top Sales World, and more.Top Sales & Marketing Resource Site 2011 – Silver Medal WinnerTop Sales eBook 2011 – Silver Medal Winner Revenue Velocity: Seven Methodical Approaches Page 24 © 2012 Smart Selling Tools Like This? Tweet It