How to Boost Sales with Ten Small Changes that Make a Big Impact

How to Boost Sales with Ten Small Changes that Make a Big Impact

Categories: Sales Negotiation  |  Sales Productivity

It's the age-old question. How can you get your sales teams selling more, faster? We have spent countless hours helping some of the most successful sales organizations do just that. So, today on the blog, we're sharing a short list of ten small changes you can make with your sales team that will help boost sales.

1. Essential Questions

One of the most basic things you can do as a sales organization is to ensure that you are aligned on the key value and differentiation of your solution. You can't boost sales or even grow without having organizational alignment around the answers to:

  • What problems do you solve?
  • How do you solve those problems?
  • How do you do it differently and/or better than the competition?
  • What's your proof?

When there are clear answers to these questions and everyone in your organization agrees on them, sales teams are effectively equipped to execute repeatedly where it matters most – in front of the customer.

2. Keep the Customer at the Forefront

Your meetings, your brainstorming sessions, your sales kickoffs, everything you do - needs to revolve around the customer. Your buyers need to be at the forefront of every conversation. Otherwise, why does it matter? We call this having an outside-in approach to your organization. It's critical in your sales organization. Your salespeople need to speak the language of your customers and understand what's important to them. Shifting conversation from features and functions to solving their problems can make the difference between boosting sales and lackluster quarters.

3. Pre-call Planning

Executing basic sales fundamentals can be the one thing missing in your sales organization that can boost sales. Ensure your managers are reinforcing the need to do pre-call planning before critical meetings and the reps are doing it. What positive business outcomes is the prospect looking to achieve? What are the required capabilities for success? How are you structuring the conversation to execute effective discovery? To what next step are your pushing?

4. Role Plays

Similar to pre-call planning, role plays allow your teams to practice in a safe place. No sales leader wants reps trying something out on a customer. Your account teams should be role-playing important conversations and your managers should be equipped with the ability to provide actionable feedback based on them.

5. Train on Asking Better Questions

Opportunities are won and lost on discovery. If your account teams don't have the ability, or haven't been taught how to ask tough questions in the sales discovery process, they're missing opportunities to sell larger and broader in prospect organizations. Too often, sales leaders scream at the scoreboard. They complain about the revenue number without looking at how they got there, or providing salespeople with the training that enables higher revenue numbers.

If you want to sell larger deals across the company,  your reps need to be able to execute an effective discovery process that enables you them to drill down on a business issue and demonstrate positive business intent. You need solid questions, if you want to effectively map your value to their business problems. Give your reps a framework that provides them with discovery and trap-setting questions that help move an opportunity forward.

6. Customer Verifiable Outcomes

Your sales process needs to be focused on what a customer/buyer is doing at any given stage. Customer Verifiable Outcomes (CVOs) build qualification into the sales process, and allow sellers to qualify opportunities based on what the customer is doing at a particular buying stage. In your organization, what are the factors that indicate a buyer is ready to proceed to the next stage of the sales process? CVOs indicate the “buying” state-of-mind. They may include things like:

  • Documented pain points 
  • Implications of the customer’s current situation
  • Knowledge the organization is ready to invest resources

Developing them for your organization ensures that the customer participates in the selling process. They also earn your sellers the right to advance the opportunity to the next stage of the buying process. As a result, sellers are better able to verify areas where they would otherwise be guessing.

7. Treat Sales Negotiation as a Process, not an Event

Top sales organizations have teams that treat negotiation as an integral part of the sales process, not an event that happens at the end of the sales cycle. From the first conversation, they're articulating anchors and value that will eventually become pivotal in the later stages of the deal.

Viewing negotiation as a tactical event won’t help you execute a broader organizational strategy that’s based on value. Not to mention, it creates a fire drill with every account. Sellers end up losing margins and important revenue. The short-term impact means your organization loses money. In the long-term, sellers lose price integrity, forcing them to lower prices on future deals with the same customers.

A defined negotiation strategy is a critical component to an organization’s success. It creates alignment across departments and defines what constitutes a “great deal” for your company. Take the time to develop a sales negotiation strategy that leverages your customer's value drivers, your differentiators and your sales process.

8. Teach Your Reps to Walk Away

Have you defined what makes an ideal buyer and customer company for your organization? Do you know what problems you solve for them? How you do it? Do you have proof of success? If you have a clearly defined target customer, your reps should have the confidence and conviction to disqualify opportunities that don't hit the mark. Remember, the time reps spend trying to turn around a dwindling deal is valuable time that you aren’t spending on qualifying better opportunities. Ensure they're not spending too much time on a deal that won’t happen, and don’t waste time on delays that could have been prevented with a better qualification process.

9. Accountability

If you're looking to boost sales, you may want to start with assessing the level of accountability within your sales teams. Even some of the most veteran sales managers out there don’t have an effective way to extend the accountability of the forecast to the rep level. As a sales leader, you shouldn't be the only person accountable for the forecast. That accountability needs to carry down to the rep level. We call that having a franchise mindset. It's critical when maximizing territory revenue.

10. Communicate the Why and the How

Do your account teams know why they're doing something? Do they know the purpose? It's not enough to tell them what to do, you need to enable them with why they're doing it and how to do it. Keep the why and the how at the forefront. If they understand those two, the what will follow.

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