3 Behaviors That Can Impact Your Sales Numbers This Quarter
This blog is part of our Mission Critical Success Series, where we dive into the strategies leaders are using to execute on mission critical sales objectives during times of economic change. Each week, we will cover a different essential area of sales effectiveness. Check our blog next week for the newest installment, or subscribe for updates straight to your inbox.
Changes in the economy mean that most sales leaders are looking to make a shift in strategy right now. No strategic pivot is immediate – many sales initiatives can take at least a full sales cycle to reach full adoption and have visible impact on revenue numbers. If you’re looking to supplement your strategy with something that can affect revenue as soon as this quarter, consider adding qualification training into your initiative.By implementing a robust qualification system that is specific to your product’s value, you can immediately improve forecasting and ensure that resources are being devoted to deals that will bring in wins this quarter. Here are three behaviors that leaders are using to amplify their sales strategy and get a head start on results:
Implement a Custom Qualification Framework
A customized qualification process is key to confident and accurate forecasting during economic uncertainty. To get there, define what a great deal looks like for your company.
Most sellers are familiar with a qualification system like MEDDICC, but it’s crucial to ensure that the entire sales team is aligned on a process that follows how your ideal customer wants to buy. Your buyer's decision criteria and process are likely changing right now due to shifts in the market, so customizing your qualification approach to those needs can have an immediate impact on the pipeline. Your qualification process should focus on answering these four questions:
- Is this a great deal for our company?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of this deal?
- What is our plan to address the weaknesses and who do we need to reach?
- Are we going to win this deal and when is it going to happen?
Equip your team to answer these questions by: (1) identifying what’s important to buyers right now; (2) clearly defining your organization’s goals and customer profiles and (3) providing managers with the tools and knowledge to implement qualification standards.
Great opportunity management is key to a successful implementation. Create a framework for reps to actively map out deals with their managers and fill in the gaps in their qualification. These meetings should provide coaching opportunities as well as increased visibility into the forecast, meaning sellers can stop wasting valuable time and resources on deals that ultimately end up stalling or falling apart at the eleventh hour.
Instill Value Early and Often
A great qualification standard can change the way sellers approach the sales process. In addition to uncovering decision criteria, they can influence decision criteria by instilling value and differentiation from the very first conversation. At a time when many buyers are making price-based decisions, ensure your sales team is able to secure a fair trade. Equip them with the ability to build value conversations, so they never have to discount to save the deal.
Great value selling is rooted in a strong value framework and elite execution of fundamentals like discovery and listening. Reinforce these skills so sellers are able to incorporate value in the conversation before the customer realizes negotiation has even started. Encourage sellers to identify all stakeholders early on through thorough discovery. The earlier the seller gets clear insight into the full decision-making process, the more accurate the forecast. This resource goes in depth on strategies leaders can use to improve seller proficiency in value selling skills and drive great qualification.
Stop Chasing the Forecast
Empower your sales team to identify deals of consequence early, so they can chase deals more selectively. When reps stretch themselves too thin and devote too much time to non-ICP prospects, the forecast ends up fluctuating throughout the quarter. Conserve and maximize resources by developing a process that allows your sales team to define the forecast, rather than chase the forecast.
Rather than projecting a hopeful forecast and chipping away at it throughout the quarter, encourage reps to focus on deals they have confidence in. Early on, establish a concrete forecast made up of qualified leads. Then, as sellers continue to prospect throughout the quarter, attribute new early-stage deals to next quarter’s forecast to provide time for thorough qualification. This way, the deal size and timeline are confident by the time it’s locked in for revenue projections. No scrambling or last-minute discounting to save a deal.
Support your sales team in a more confident forecasting approach by providing a framework for forecasting check-ins and clearly defining indicators of each stage within the deal. Coach your managers to establish a meeting cadence founded in these indicators, enabling their reps to efficiently progress deals forward while prioritizing qualification. By rethinking the forecast in the lens of qualification, leaders can take the guesswork out of hitting numbers, create repeatable revenue and drive a consistent pipeline.
Forecast Confidently and Hit Numbers Consistently
Launching a new qualification process is by no means simple. Elite companies are getting a head start on securing consistent revenue for next year by implementing processes now that ensure success. Take the guesswork out of forecasting. Identify how your sales team can spend more time on high-value deals, even during economic change. This eBook shares the strategies leaders are using right now to get started.