Changing economy? Help Your Salespeople Prioritize the Right Opportunities Faster
Categories: Economic Change
Given the current economic downturn, your salespeople may be more inclined to invest time in an unqualified deal or skip important steps in the sales process to keep pipelines moving.
If the current economic landscape is amplifying the pressure your sales team is feeling to hit revenue targets, address this challenge head on and have a direct conversation with your team now. Early action will help to minimize forecast inaccuracy and ensure your salespeople aren’t getting stuck in deals that are more likely to stall out or lose.
Create clarity for your organization on how to quickly qualify deals in and out so your resources don’t go to waste. Put both the processes and qualification methodology in place to help your salespeople become more efficient at seeking the right opportunities and closing them at high margins.
Provide qualification methodology that sets a focus:
When facing revenue pressures, it’s not uncommon for salespeople, including your top performers, to get into deals that they do not belong in. Given the economic headwinds, elite companies are moving quickly to adapt their qualification tools to help reps prioritize the right opportunities faster.
Consider, how can you help your reps ensure each opportunity they’re focused on warrants the investment of time and resources? Review your existing qualification methodology. You may need to update or adjust your current qualification tools for any shifts in your buying audience. Which customers will consider your solutions as mission critical to their business’s success? Focus your reps on the buyers who will have the highest propensity to buy and retain your solutions.
Sales leaders are anchoring on methodologies, like MEDDICC (or its variants), to help their salespeople prioritize the highest-value opportunities. Part of this qualification methodology’s success, when customized to your organization, is it provides sellers with a “litmus test” for gauging the strength of every sales opportunity. Combined with a solid sales process and a strong sales management operating rhythm, MEDDICC can build accountability around qualifying the right opportunities.
While MEDDICC helps reps and managers qualify and focus on the right opportunities, an effective sales process tells reps what they should do at any given time in an opportunity’s lifecycle. When used together, a defined sales process and MEDDICC, create an effective discipline around sales execution.
If you’re seriously considering MEDDICC, evaluate the foundations you have in place. Ensure you’ve got a strong sales process that drives a culture of accountability around prioritizing and progressing high-value deals.
Provide a sales process that drives accountability:
Look at the activities your salespeople and managers are executing every day. How your managers and reps work together to progress opportunities will critically impact revenue predictability.
In a complex selling environment, focus on helping your managers keep their sales teams accountable around critical sales qualification actions. Depending on your current revenue challenges, improving your managers' opportunity coaching skills can drive an immediate impact on your current pipeline.
As you think about the rest of this year, and the next, consider the long game. Some managers may drive results, while others are still unable to make an impact on rep performance, deal velocity and pipeline health. Put a cadence in place that drives accountability across your entire sales organization. Look at your sales process.
An effective sales process provides a vehicle for your sales managers to enforce discipline, repeatability, predictability and validation of progress throughout a sale. Most importantly, it allows for inspection and planning in advance, before deals stall and forecasts are impacted.
Now is a great time to ensure your sales process provides the support sales reps and managers need to drive accountability and accuracy.
Part of the beauty of a predictable, revenue-driving sales process is its simplicity. These five critical components of elite sales processes provide the rigor and support that sales teams need to accurately predict their numbers:
- Alignment with your customer's buying process
- Clearly defined Customer Verifiable Outcomes
- Alignment between specified sales stages and how they're forecasted
- A cadence that equips managers to drive accountability and accuracy
- Qualification criteria that are consistently enforced
Dig deeper into these five critical components and how you can adjust your process accordingly.
Drive Sales Accountability and Predictability, Even In a Complex Selling Environment
To prepare for economic change, we're seeing sales leaders focus on building a strong MEDDICC qualification tool and a company culture that supports it.
Force Management Co-founder, John Kaplan, uses this analogy to explain what MEDDICC is and what it's not:
"Think of MEDDICC as an X-ray. It tells you where you're hurt (where your deals have gaps), but it doesn't tell you how to fix them. You can't fix your deals or solve your forecasting issues without having both the X-ray to identify gaps and the treatment so you can fix them."
If you’re planning to implement or update your MEDDICC methodology to help your salespeople prioritize opportunities faster, assess your foundation. Understand what needs to be present to make MEDDICC successful in your organization. This guide covers how to implement MEDDICC to have an impact on revenue predictability and pipeline health.