This presentation defines the 5 keys to Sales 2.0 Management success in terms of technology, customer value, and sales team empowerment, and provides a practical blueprint for building and managing high performance Sales 2.0 Machine.
Sales Management 2.0• The 5 Keys to Building a High Performance Sales 2.0 Team with the right combination of technology, customer value, and sales team empowerment. By Bryan Ferguson www.linkedin.com/in/bryanrferguson
What is Sales 2.0? Sales 2.0 isn’t a new high-tech weapon in the escalating arms race between buyer and seller – it defines a completely new, non-adversarial, value-driven relationship built on collaboration, integrity and value. Sales 2.0 fundamentally changes how and why buyers and sellers interact. Additionally, Sales 2.0 isn’t simply a sales phenomenon, it’s a transformative shift that requires fundamental infrastructure and cultural changes on all fronts, including sales, marketing, management, finance and customer service. Most organizations, however, fail to grasp the scope of this transformation as they rush to incorporate Sales 2.0 tools and processes. They are still treating customers as commodities and wondering why their product is still being commoditized. This presentation defines the 5 keys to Sales 2.0 Management success in terms of technology, customer value, and sales team empowerment, and provides a practical blueprint for building and managing high performance Sales 2.0 Machine.
Sales 1.0 Management Do you remember your Sales 1.0 boss? “Here’s a stack of our best leads! Figure out how to close them by the end of the quarter or we’ll find someone else who can.” A bit exaggerated but the toolkit of the traditional sales manager was limited. The old manager was stifled by sales 1.0 – unable to understand or influence his sales funnel, forced into instinct driven decisions, compelled to micro-manage activity, and hyper-focused on the few deals his team brings him in on. The Sales 1.0 manager was detached from the real needs and challenges of his team. He couldn’t give his team what they need most: accurate insight and tools to provide value clarity to their prospects, clear success objectives based on accurate performance metrics, and next-generation tools for working faster and smarter.
Sales 2.0 Management The Sales 2.0 manager is a different breed, a hybrid mix of sales talent, system smarts, and goal-oriented leadership. The Sales 2.0 manager has broad toolkit designed to empower his team, maximize sales revenue, improve pipeline predictability, and position his team to excel. 5 Keys to Sales 2.0 Management Success 1. Develop Business Experts 2. Connect with Customers 3. Leverage Marketing 2.0 4. Embrace Sales Automation and Funnel Visibility 5. Commit to Team Empowerment
Key 1: Develop Business Experts One of the biggest challenges of Sales Management 2.0 is elevating the sales team from traditional product peddlers into LOB experts that provide value and relevance at every interaction. Product salespeople are of little importance to today’s buyers seeking collaborative value and guidance on mission critical decisions. Buying decisions are actually happening much sooner than most salespeople realize, well before formal presentations or price negotiations. Buyers are increasingly selecting vendors that provide business expertise and value clarity early, that provide real guidance on complex challenges and a roadmap for long term success. Today’s buyers have plenty of information – they don’t need to be overloaded with more. They do need help connecting the dots. If the salesperson can connect complex value with a complex business challenge, they’ve ascended to trusted business advisor – and their product is no longer a commodity. As a reliable business guide, the salesperson must also assist the customer drive the sale internally, overseeing multiple interests and decisions, quantifying business impact, aligning organizational initiatives, designing a custom solution, and measuring results.
Key 1: Develop Business Experts Traditional product salespeople – that cannot provide value clarity – cannot defend thevalue or price of their product. Their presentations are usually too early, to the wrongpeople, and too self-centered to provide real value to the prospects. Furthermore, theirtactics come across insincere, confrontational, and even predatory. Sales 2.0 requires open-minded, LOB experts with a P2P consultative style. Thesalesperson needs to provide value and relevance and a focus on customer success atevery interaction. They also need coordinated efforts from marketing and managementto make the Sales 2.0 business guidance model successful.
Key 1: Develop Business ExpertsSales Management 2.0 Toolkit for Developing Business Experts:1. Cultivate business experts through training, hiring, and coaching on the business guidance paradigm. Ensure team has the right guidance to become LOB experts and are able to build rapport, trust and credibility by providing business expertise and relevant value to a wide variety of personas.2. Provide pre-contact sales intelligence tools integrated into your CRM. Ensure the sales team can leverage these tools so they can provide sufficient relevance and differentiation at each point of contact.3. Ensure your sales team is able to build brand integrity and professionalism – using value as a source of competitive advantage.4. Focus sales presentations on the unique situation of your prospects, covering pain, risk, and success objectives. Avoid premature presentations focused on generic features and benefits.
Key 2: Connect with Customers With today’s web 2.0 technology customers now have access to a vast supply of onlineinformation and experts (product videos, reviews, demos, podcasts, webinars, socialreferences, best practice forums, blogs, subject matter guides, etc.) and are becomingmore sophisticated and are increasingly using technology to empower their decisionmaking. A recent survey suggests that 53% of C-level executives do their own researchonline, well before they delegate a project or contact vendors. Salespeople that don’t understand their customers have lost control – and havecommoditized their product. They end up pitching their product to the wrong people,with the wrong message, and forcing customers into an ill-fitting sales process. Today’ssophisticated and knowledgeable buyers are keen to avoid slow, contentious salesprocesses that with low-value sales reps.
Key 2: Connect with CustomersSales Management 2.0 Toolkit: 1) Build Your Ideal Customer Profile Survey your prospects and clients, find out their role, industry, location, size of company, what they read, if they are innovators or late adopters, what motivates them, why they purchased, what are their greatest challenges, what is their vision, etc. Once you know everything about your best customers you can build and focus your marketing and sales processes around them, provide messaging and collateral that is value infused and highly relevant. 2) Map Out Your Personas In enterprise sales you are juggling multiple stakeholders, from senior “C-level” executives to hands-on technical buyers, and dealing with many personalities – decisive, skeptical, social, analytical, collaborative, etc. Define your personas, identify what’s important, motivating, inspiring, what is causing them pain, then develop your messaging and collateral to speak their language – in an engaging and relevant format – to maximize the success of every interaction.
Key 2: Connect with Customers 3) Adjust to Your Customer’s Buying Process Another significant source of differentiation is understanding your customer’s buying process. To the buyer your sales process (schedule a meeting, demonstrate your product, send of a proposal, negotiate pricing, etc.) is irrelevant – what’s important is where your buyer is starting from and where he is going – and aligning your mutual goals. The key is asking the right questions of the right people, at the right time. It is important to thoroughly define, early on, the range of problems and what the ideal solution looks like to the customer.
Key 3: Leverage Marketing 2.0 As with product sales, Web 2.0 self-education has made pure lead generation ineffective and ended the days in which marketing and sales worked as adversaries. In the face of the abundance of Web 2.0 product data, efforts to withhold information as a lead generation tactic have become both insincere and ineffective – the worst way to start a trust relationship between buyer and seller. With leads expecting fresh value from sales and marketing at every interaction, the days in which leads are treated as a commodity are over. Commoditize your prospects and your prospects will commoditize your product and company. Marketing 2.0 is no longer providing run of the mill feature sheets and canned demos, it is providing success pieces such as industry trends, buying guides, product success roadmaps, and business analysis tools. They are no longer providing one dimensional whitepapers, but offering a multi-media blitz of captivating Infographics, SlideShares, social communities, interactive eBooks, expert webinars, podcasts, how to guides, etc. Your website exudes “just-in-time selling,” giving visitor exactly what they want, when they want – and your visitors are raising their hands, quickly. They see you as a trusted advisor and thought leader, exactly where you want to start the sales engagement.
Key 3: Leverage Marketing 2.0 Marketing is now running a masterful first leg in your funnel: 1) capturing a wealth of demographics and behavioral data points to identify through scoring your best prospects, 2) nurturing your prospects though multi-media, multi-touch, multi-channel campaigns so they are engaged, trusting and exposed to your value propositions, and 3) encouraging prospects to self-select – a quick, first-line lead qualification function that frees sales to focus on the hottest, “sales-ready” leads. Now sales are contacting leads when the leads are ready and ripe, not when you are ready to contact them. The final piece to completing your Marketing 2.0 powerhouse is visibility, accountability, and teamwork. Marketing is no longer measured on the quantity of raw leads, it is responsible for engaged, contactable, marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that sales will be contacting. Sales and marketing will take the next leg together, as sales converts MQL leads into sales qualified leads (SQLs), working closely together to fine-tune the messaging, resources, and algorithms that surface more MQL leads and best prepare them for an optimal conversion rate and velocity. Your synchronized sales and marketing activities will become “SMarketing,” a high performance duo that will expand the top of your funnel.
Key 4: Sales Automation & Visibility Sales CRMs blossomed in sophistication along with Web 2.0 technology yet most arestill a burden on those they are designed to help with a misguided Sale 1.0 architecture.The traditional CRM is based on high-volume, low-efficiency, and low-touch interactionwith all leads. Without any insight into the quality of individual leads, sales applies aone-size fits all strategy to lead management, typically calling all leads a set number oftimes over a set time period. Leads that aren’t sales ready – that should never havereached sales – are called as eagerly as the hot leads. Without focus, conversion ratesare typically low at the point in the funnel where you need velocity and high conversion. Sales 2.0 automation harnesses best in class technology (sales automation and web 2.0sales intelligence) to focus ONLY on the best leads and efficiently deliver a highly tailoredmessage to the right prospects at the right time.
Key 4: Sales Automation & VisibilitySales 2.0 Automation Checklist: 1) Lead Scoring & Activity Tracking Use a marketing automation system like Marketo, Eloqua, or Genuis to automate lead drip campaigns, lead nurturing, social media tracking, and lead scoring. Lead scoring will be based on demographic information (matching your ideal customer profile) and leads activities (website visits, email opens, and additional requests) giving you a process for determining the sales readiness of your leads using a pre- determined scoring methodology and ranking. You now have your Sales-Ready Leads (SRLs) – a lead that is ready for sales interaction. 2) Sales Process Automation Automating your sales process is important to 1) minimize cumbersome and time- consuming administrative effort by your sales team and 2) to ensure standardization of sales actives around best practices. Make sure call prioritization, activity tracking, email generation, proposal and contract generation, reporting, order fulfillment, and opportunity tracking is automated so your sales team is focusing on revenue generating activities.
Key 4: Sales Automation & Visibility 3) Sales Intelligence Tools such as Data.com, InsideView, RainKing, LinkedIn, etc, provide sales reps the context they need to improve connection rates, better engage prospects, focus sales efforts on the right prospects, and improve conversion rates by providing additional relevance and value to each conversation. 4) Data Hygiene Use tools like Data.com to cleans and backfill leads to ensure the right information is available (company size, revenue, industry, corporate headquarters, etc.) to score and distribute leads correctly. 5) Call Automation Lead management and power dialing technology such as InsideSales helps ensure outbound calls are efficient, prioritized and aligned to your sales process.
Key 4: Sales Automation & Visibility 6) Expose Your Funnel Ensure your sales and marketing funnel is aligned to buying process, you are tracking the shape of your pipeline, and you can see conversion velocity and percentages. Measure your major sales stages, raw leads, MQLs, SQLs, SALs, opportunities, BANT qualified opportunities, and sales on multiple data points: lead date, lead source, marketing budget, outbound calls, sales rep, industry, company size, company location, etc. Leverage this data to expose problems in your funnel and focus marketing and sales on the prospect profiles with the highest conversion rates. 7) Visibility Providing dashboards with up to the minute performance to give salespeople real- time status of how any given sale would impact their compensation. This isn’t just some courtesy to the rep; it’s a motivator and incentive and huge credibility and time saver for the entire sales team. Also publishing a daily scorecard to management and the entire sales force is a great was to incentivize the sales team. Numbers that are monitored and highly visible generally get better.
Key 5: Sales Management’s CommitmentThe Sales 2.0 manager is an involved, intelligence sharing, metric driven, process andgoal-oriented leader in touch with the needs of his team.The Sales 2.0 manager flourishes by making the following commitments to his team. 1) Clear Goals and Expectation Provides a clear vision, objectives, expectations, priorities, processes, and demonstration management’s involvement. 2) Salesperson Empowerment Provides best in class sales automation, sales intelligence and marketing automation; provides strong balance of business, systems, and sales training; makes knowledge and best practices easily accessible; prepares process and persona driven sales collateral; and provides s best practice playbook for success. 3) Focus on Metrics Ensures salespeople have real-time access to their key metrics; can see their shortcomings and success – and management is able to set baselines for improvement. 4) Commitment to Team Focuses on team goals, attitude, motivation, sharing of knowledge, and dedication to company.