Definitive Guide to Making Quota (Sales)


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Definitive Guide to Making Quota (Sales)

  1. 1. The Definitive Guide to Making Quota Presented by Find New Customers By The Fearless Competitor Jeff Ogden, President Find New Customers Follow me on Twitter @fearlesscomp
  2. 2. Contents ● Section 1 - Executive Summary 3 ● Section 2 - Introduction 5 The Slow Death of Interruption Customer Engagement 5 Key Sales Challenges 6 ● Section 3 - Problem Assessment 7 ● Section 4 – Recommended course of action 9 ● Section 5 – Case Study 12 ● Section 6 – About the Sponsor 13 THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 2
  3. 3. Section 1 - Executive Summary CSO Insights, experts on the world of sales and marketing, recently surveyed over 2,800 companies. They found most were raising quotas, despite low quota attainment the prior year. In fact, quota attainment has been steadily declining for years and CSO Insights expects it to drop even more. Undoubtedly, you’ve experienced these kinds of challenges firsthand. Top executives ask for more and more, looking for revenue growth, however: • Lead flow has dried up • Decisions are delayed • Budgets are tight “It’s like you’re a high school track coach. 1⁄2 of your high jumpers can’t clear 6 feet. Yet • No one returns calls we move the bar up to 6’ 3’. One way to look at this is to compare sales quotas to How’s that going to help? If most of our jumpers can’t a high jump competition. You used to clear 6 feet, clear the first height, why will but it’s getting harder and harder. Now the bar’s raising it help?” going up. Jim Dickie, Managing Partner, If it was tough before, now it’s nearly impossible. CSO Insights What’s a sales leader to do? In this white paper, we’ll examine the root causes of these challenges and explore how the best companies have adapted to deliver superior results. Our goal is to provide you with a road map you can use to put steps in place today for improved fiscal results. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 3
  4. 4. Fortunately, you don’t just get ideas from Find New Customers, Our All-Star cast: but also from some of the brightest minds in sales and marketing. Many top sales experts contributed to this white Jill Konrath, Selling to Big paper. Companies In this paper, you’ll learn how smart companies are rethinking Kevin Temple, Enterprise Selling the whole approach to sales. Dave Stein said “Companies need to start running sales as a business, rather than as a weekend Jim Dickie, pickup football game.” And you’ll learn how the best are using CSO Insights technology to deepen relationships, empower sales Dave Stein, conversations, increase forecast accuracy and more. ES Research Kendra Lee, Best of all, you’ll find a series of concrete steps you can begin KLA Group today. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 4
  5. 5. Section 2 - Introduction A phenomenon happened in sales. Almost since the telephone was invented, salespeople have cold-called prospects – interrupting them with a sales story. After the advent of email, another form emerged. Email “blasts” became the cost effective cold calling method. Other outbound marketing channels included Pay per Click and TV/Radio ads. But if you were among the truly ambitious, you could blow your entire marketing budget on the Super Bowl. THE SLOW DEATH OF INTERRUPTION CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT The advent of high speed internet connections and technology like Caller-ID, CAN-SPAM, and DVRs slowly but surely are rendering so called “interruption” engagement obsolete. It’s not that it never works – after all, even a blind squirrel can find a nut – but rather than it’s become so easy to stop, its effectiveness drops lower and lower. To illustrate let’s look at a classic interruption marketing approach – credit card solititations. Look at the increased mailing of credit card solicitations (dotted line) and what happened to responses (solid line). As the number of mailings grew over the years, the response rate dropped lower and lower. The law of diminishing returns is in full force. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 5
  6. 6. Businesses that rely on salespeople to cold call prospective clients are experiencing sales rep churn and missing their numbers. It’s clear something needs to change. KEY SALES CHALLENGES Here are the things that experts are seeing today: • Can’t get that elusive first and second meeting • Deals are shrinking, decisions are delayed, and discounting is rampant • In the eyes of the prospect, all options look the same. There is little differentiation. • Salespeople today meet a prospect better informed than ever. Prospects know your product, your customers and probably your pricing. • Buyers are tougher than ever. With shrinking staff, each person needs to do the job of multiple people and companies can get top talent for key roles like Strategic Purchasing Manager. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 6
  7. 7. Section 3 - Problem Assessment CSO Insights does a comprehensive study of B2B sellers each year and compiles a remarkable analysis of findings. The Sales Performance Optimization Study is their flagship offering – now in its 16th year – long experience means they not only know what is happening now, but what the key trends are. (You can purchase this study by clicking the link above.) Jim Dickie, Managing Partner of CSO Insights recently shared some key data in a webinar that shows just how ugly the world of sales has become. Jim showed what he calls the “Formula for Disaster:” • Only 59% of salespeople made quota (the lowest ever recorded) • 86% of companies raised quotas (with poor performance, how does raising quotas help?) • 67% froze or reduced lead generation budgets (fewer leads + higher quotas = disaster) • 13% reduction in sales training • >25% invested in sales tools (Less training and less tools leads to lower performance.) Higher quotas, less investment, fewer dollars for new leads – it’s clear something’s got to give. In order to get more detail of where companies are falling down today, I asked each of our experts for the top 3 or 4 problems they see in sales organizations today. Let’s look at what each had to say. ● Jill Konrath, Selling to Big Companies 1. There’s a large chasm between marketing and sales. Marketing is not providing what Sales really needs to close business. 2. Sales pipelines are shrinking, which results in fewer deals to work. 3. Lack of differentiation. To prospects -- all options sound the same. It’s hard to win when everyone is alike. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 7
  8. 8. ● Kevin Temple, Enterprise Selling 1. Salespeople are working on fewer deals. So they need to get more from each by cross selling and up-selling. 2. Improve qualification. Spending time on engagements that can’t close robs from those that can. 3. Motivate to take action. Stop losing to “no decision” by building motivation and justification. 4. Businesses need to redo the selling process to better align with the way buyers buy. ● Dave Stein, ES Research 1. Buyers are tougher than ever. They’re more experienced and highly trained, with titles such as Strategic Sourcing -- rather than Purchasing. 2. Companies need to do a better job of salesperson selection. We tend to hire those good at interviewing but not skilled at sales. 3. We’re teaching the wrong skills when we do teach. Few salespeople are in formal sales training and most sales training is tactical, rather than focusing on needs of buyers. 4. Too many businesses lack a sales methodology. Most is product-oriented, but Sales really needs understanding of how and why buyers buy. ● Kendra Lee, KLA Group 1. Sales lost the ability to sell new customers. We’re so focused on the base, we forgot. 2. Companies rely on Marketing to create and nurture leads, but the ball is dropped on handoff. 3. Inability to engage in selling with new leads drives up sales costs, lengthens sales cycles, and lowers our win rates. With those challenges cited, what can companies do to improve the success rates of their sales people? THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 8
  9. 9. Section 4 – Recommended course of action The goal of this white paper is to provide the sales executive with clear and actionable information he or she can use today. So let’s plan a course of action with steps in a particular order. Keep in mind that all sales begin with a qualified sales-ready lead, so you have to start at the beginning. After all, Jill Konrath’s “Bold Prediction #2 is ‘Sellers must become better marketers.’ STEP 1 – HOLD THE PRESSES If you are going to effect change, you cannot simply flip a switch and expect it to happen. After all, a sales team engaged in ineffective cold calling and email blasts cannot be changed overnight. Stop! Not everyone. Just you. You need to clear your mind and dedicate yourself to changing direction in a responsible manner. STEP 2 – GAIN INSIGHTS Before you begin re-organizing your processes, collect information and ideas from the best. A good place to start is the five experts who contributed to this white paper. The other experts offer a great deal of good content too. Another good way is to read and learn. Since we’re starting at the beginning, here are some highly recommended books, eBooks and white papers to review. • Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin (Why mixing new customer attraction approaches on top of old products doesn’t work.) • How to Find New Customers white paper by Find New Customers (me) • Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing e-book by Marketo • eMarketing for the Complex Sale book by Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 9
  10. 10. STEP 3: DEVELOP CUSTOMER PERSONAS AND PROVOCATIVE SALES/ MARKETING CONVERSATIONS Your goal in this step is to learn what makes buyers tick. What are their problems and concerns? Where do they turn for information? Whom do they trust? What are their personal goals and wishes? These are called personas. For more on personas, read this blog article by David Meerman Scott of WebInkNow How well do you know your buyer personas? Your personas will become invaluable in everything you do – your website, your marketing content, sales conversations and more. And a deep understanding of prospective buyers will enable you to clearly understand how best to talk to buyers – using provocative language that drives behavior. Document everything you learn you learn in Step 3. STEP 4 – RE-ENGINEER THE SALES AND MARKETING PROCESS With the information gathered in Steps 1-3, you are well-equipped to work back from buyer personas to buying process to sales engagement to marketing and so forth. In our case study, you’ll learn about a company that experienced great results from this approach. A customer-based go to market approach is something that few companies have considered, but a handful has enjoyed great results. Only 45% of companies have a customer engagement strategy. 1 1 “Online Customer Engagement Report 2009” e-Consultancey with CScape, December 2008. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 10
  11. 11. STEP 5 – AUTOMATE THE PROCESS WITH SOFTWARE TOOLS Once the re-engineered process is in place, it’s time to look for software and tools to automate the new process. You might wish to consider software to identify trigger events like InsideView, marketing automation like Marketo or HubSpot, or a tool to monitor online conversations like Radian6. One fundamental application that every organization needs is Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). There are many fine CRM offerings on the market. One of the reasons CRM is so important is that that’s where you keep the information about customers, prospects, etc. and enable those provocative conversations. Kendra Lee of the KLA Group told us salespeople today have lost the ability to manage new relationships. CRM can help new reps get up to speed quickly and empower experienced reps to use the right words at the right time with the right people. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 11
  12. 12. Section 5 – Case Study (Please note that much of the content below appeared in Ardath Albee’s book eMarketing for the Complex Sale on pages 164-166. We apologize for this misunderstanding.) Jon Miller, VP of Marketing and co-founder at Marketo used these concepts to create their “secret sauce” for lead generation. In just two years, Marketo has signed up their 400th client, which makes them one of the fastest growing companies in history, second only to The company involved the sales force from the start. They started small and continually improved the process, holding weekly meetings, reviewing reports and discussing ideas for improvement. They developed a 30 touch campaign with four different tracks based on role. Marketo also asks for information incrementally, allowing the earning of trust before they start asking for more information. Nurtured prospects showed a conversion to lead rate of 4 percent per month compared to 1 percent per month for those who only received the monthly newsletter. They also learned that over time, only 8 percent of non-nurturing prospects would become sales-ready vs. 25% of those in a nurturing program. And their sales team enjoys a win rate of 30-40% of marketing supplied leads. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 12
  13. 13. Section 6 – About Us Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple” has a very basic idea. We wish to improve the performance of business by helping companies learn how to better acquire new customers. We do with with an unusual approach – we’re YOUR advocate. As I like to say, we act as your VP, Marketing for a period of time. Your VP of Marketing would a trusted advisor. That’s our approach too. More can be learned by visiting If you wish to contact us, please send an email to or call (516) 284-4930. By The Fearless Competitor, Jeff Ogden (516) 284-4930 office THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING QUOTA 13