Whether you need a short refresher, validation on what you’re already doing well or you need new ideas to get amped for the year to come, it’s closing time.
HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report reveals 70% want to close more deals as their top sales priority. There will always be tactics and processes you can improve on or adopt altogether, so check out these five tips for techniques you can try in 2019.
1. Burn the black book
Read the report and you’ll find ‘converting leads to customers’ to be the top marketing priority for companies this year (and into next). You know what makes that difficult? Keeping information about your leads to yourself.
Your CRM is your company’s single source of truth. No one knows about your Post-it notes and spreadsheets saved on your desktop. Do this and you run the risk of, say, the marketing team reaching out to a lead at the wrong time, with the wrong content. It’s simple – input information about your leads into the CRM. This way, the entire company will be aware of how and when to communicate with leads and marketing can create content that anticipates their problems and addresses their needs.
Pro tip: Input gems into the CRM, such as people’s favourite [pick a major sport] team. When you next contact a lead, commiserate or celebrate their sport team’s performance.
2. Close the loop
It’s golden to figure out which of your marketing channels and web pages are best contributing to sales. Closed-loop reporting allows you to identify what is bringing in most revenue, so you can focus your sales efforts. This HubSpot article on closed-loop reporting will show you how to shorten Your Sales Cycle and keep your cost-per-lead low.
Pro tip: Delve into your prospects’ form data and the content they’re downloading from your site to understand their pain points. Determine which topics appeal most to leads from certain industries, locations, etc., and use these insights when building your sales plan.
3. Draw valuable content from the archive
Still using your sent items to find that old email that works? If you’re not using a sales library of pre-populated content, 2019 is your chance to start. The marketing team may create and archive content, but the salespeople need to be able to quickly locate these assets and use them to build relationships, solve problems and add value for the prospect.
Pro tip: Spark a romance between sales and marketing and turn cold leads into hot-to-buy leads.
4. Review your sales compensation plan
HubSpot reviews their sales compensation formula as the business evolves. So should you. Mark Roberge, former Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot, has three tips to get you started on your own review.
- Simplicity: Uncomplicated sales compensation. Cut the multitude of variables in your plan. And, ugh, throw out the spreadsheet. Make it extremely clear what outcomes are rewarded and take away the guesswork for salespeople.
- Alignment: Think forward to 2019. What’s the most important goal you need to achieve? And how will you align the sales compensation plan to this goal? When salespeople are your company’s breadwinners, aligning the goal and compensation plan will have a large impact.
- Immediacy: Remove lag time. Salespeople should see immediate rewards when they succeed (and when they fail, it will be clear in their next payslip). Keep the compensation plan consistent.
Discover more insights like this from his book, The Sales Acceleration Formula.
Pro tip: The sales team must be involved in the compensation plan redesign. Ownership is key.
5. Gamify sales
Create a monthly challenge – competition is in salespeople’s DNA. But know – the prize matters and the motivation will be different for different teams. Maybe a Burning Man ticket is a greater incentive than a few nights’ stay in a countryside cottage – maybe not. There’s no harm in asking salespeople what they'd like to compete for. Inc.com will word you up on the benefits of sales gamification.
Pro tip: Keep the fun going with smaller milestones and incentives tied to national or world events. The Academy Awards is coming up? Microwave some popcorn and reward winners with movie tickets.
Determine Your SMART Marketing Goals
Prepare for SMART Marketing with this Goal-Setting Excel Template