#1 Ranking Objective for CROs: Cracking into New Accounts
Cracking into new accounts is the top challenge of sales leaders in the current environment. Sales Mastery just released new data after asking 200+ sales leaders for their top sales objective moving forward. While new accounts topped the list, selling more in existing accounts, optimizing lead generation and conversion, and decreasing churn rounded out the top challenges for sales leaders and managers. as they plan to hit their numbers in 2020. At the same time, these challenges are driving key sales enablement priorities. Below are the top three sales enablement initiatives CROs are using to move the needle, according to Sales Mastery, and how to use them to right the course in your sales organization.
Top 3 Sales Enablement Priorities:
What we're hearing from our customers aligns well with Sales Mastery's research. The sales leaders we’ve been working with are moving forward with initiatives to align their sales teams around what’s needed to succeed.
1. Launching a Value-based Sales Message:
About 55% of the sales leaders questioned in the Sales Mastery study stated that their top sales enablement priority for the rest of 2020 is to operationalize a value-based sales message.
Buyers need a valuable business case to keep the conversation going, especially with a shift in marketplace challenges, possible budget cutbacks and higher-level, sign-off requirements from executive leaders. If your salespeople can’t articulate the business value of your solutions in a way that urges the buyer to act, they’ll continue to struggle to sell at a premium and lose late to competition, “no-decisions” and “do-nothings”.
Commit to developing a consistent, buyer-focused sales message for your sellers. Developing a consistent sales message that truly speaks to your solution's business value and differentiation requires customization and cross-functional alignment with other departments. Without alignment on the high-level business value of your solutions, your salespeople will be left to share technical features or demos that may lose the interest from high-level buyers or cause their deals to stall or lessen in value.
Where to start: If you’re considering launching a sales messaging transformation, you may need to build alignment internally on the fact that you need to make a change. Also, you may want to consider how greatly your buyers needs have changed. Your upcoming SKO may be your best opportunity to launch a sales initiative that sticks. Review this article to see how you can make a lasting impact by launching your sales messaging initiative during the time of your SKO.
2. Optimizing Sales Processes:
More than a third of the 200+ sales leaders and managers in the study stated that they’re moving forward with sales process shifts to improve their organization’s ability to qualify, advance and close high-value opportunities.
We’ve seen this push for faster and better deal qualification in our data as well. Our MEDDICC offering has always been one of our most viewed pages on the website. Yet this year we’ve seen a consistent spike in website traffic across all of our MEDDICC content. This information screams to us that sales leaders are looking to implement a tool to quickly build and maintain healthy pipelines, while increasing deal velocity.
Where to start: If you’re looking to drive fast results by implementing MEDDICC, it’s important to keep in mind that simply building MEDDICC or another proven qualification tool into your sales process won’t achieve your desired outcomes. As a sales leader, you have to commit to making MEDDICC work for your sales organization by ensuring the qualification criteria becomes a common language throughout your entire sales organization.
Organizations that have the most success with MEDDICC or any of its variants, when they customize it to their buyers and their organization. They also ensure their managers and sales reps understand how they can apply the custom criteria to impact the success of every deal in the pipeline. We just released a podcast covering key insights on how successful companies implement MEDDICC, it may be worth a listen.
3. Investing in Result-driven Sales Coaching:
We often say there’s no harder job in a sales organization than a front-line sales manager. Which is why it’s no surprise that sales coaching hits within the top three sales enablement priorities for CROs looking to improve quotas throughout the end of 2020 and into 2021.
Your salespeople may be struggling to move deals forward and be tempted to take shortcuts in the sales process or lean too far into a discount. Your managers are your first line of defense and prevention against salespeople side-stepping your critical processes. How have your managers equipped them to provide result-driven support? Are your managers regularly checking in (more than once a month) to perform deal reviews and test the strength of high-value committed deals? When deals are taking too long, do they have a process for mapping out deals, aligning solutions and coaching on exactly how their sales reps can execute?
It’s a challenging feat to enable an entire sales team of high-performers, especially right now. Your sales managers feel this weight. Support them by equipping them with the processes, coaching and skills they require to make a valuable impact on their quotas.
Where to start: Every elite sales manager has a process for staying in sync with each of their sales reps around the critical areas impacting their numbers. Consider how you can provide an effective management operating rhythm to ensure your managers are providing the right coaching to keep pipelines moving at a high value.
To instill an effective management cadence for your sales teams, you may first have to get a clearer picture of what a good operating rhythm looks like for your sales organization. Implementing a management cadence is a good first step, but to be effective, your front-line managers should be experts in your processes, methodology and basic (yet, critical) sales fundamentals.
Although we know the importance of having great sales coaching, many companies still don’t understand how to support their front-line managers in a way that truly drives success. Here are our best resources on enabling front-line managers to drive results.
Move Forward With Your Strategic Sales Initiatives, Virtually
The impacts of the pandemic have left many sales leaders to shift their priorities and find new ways to equip their sales teams to succeed.
To solve sales execution challenges and/or take advantage of new opportunities, the sales leaders we’ve worked with are either; (1) launching something new, (2) pivoting current processes or messaging, and/or (3) growing existing capabilities to maintain their competitive edge.
As you weigh your sales objectives and priorities, how will you operationalize your plan to either launch, pivot or grow? Consider how you can use your upcoming SKO to launch your sales enablement initiative virtually, in a way that drives results.