January 31, 2019

The Science of Modern Selling - Increasing Sales Velocity

Patrick Morrissey | CMO, Altify, GreenFig Instructor
Written by:

Patrick Morrissey | CMO, Altify, GreenFig Instructor

The Science of Modern Selling

In our digital world, how we sell -- or rather, how we should sell -- is undergoing a dramatic transformation.

What hasn’t changed in our modern sales ecosystem is the critical role played by the sales team: develop a deep understanding of a buyer’s problem or needs, and provide value along their decision-making journey. The problem is, sales organizations are struggling to deliver that value.

62% of new sales meetings don't progress to a second meeting.
According to our research at Altify, 62 percent of new sales meetings don’t progress to a second meeting. The reason? Customers don’t see value.

The key trends driving this sales disruption, include:
  • Digital Transformation – With new technology and new competitors, it requires a wholesale change in how nearly every industry competes and goes to market. Digital transformation is also changing what channels companies use to sell and service their customers.
  • The Empowered Customer – With the explosion of data and access to information, customers expect a great experience from their vendors and partners. Often there are many stakeholders involved in the buying decision, which decreases the likelihood that a purchase decision will be made.
  • The Subscription Economy – Companies across all industries are moving from product companies to services companies. This change to the revenue model means companies need extreme precision in their sales execution with new customers, and a maniacal focus on customer success to retain the customer and grow the business.
To compete effectively in the highly competitive world of modern selling, it requires us to apply a combination of methodology, strategy and technology to the process. In other words, to turn sales into a science.

At the core of this approach is to put the customer at the center of the business process, and to align everyone on the team to focus on the customer’s goals, pressures and initiatives. When every player is aligned to the customer and their needs, every touch point is an opportunity to deliver value.

For many organizations, the role of Sales Operations is the answer to ushering in this new sales environment.

Sirius Decision describes Sales Operations as:

“The critical link between the development and the execution of the sales strategy and go-to-market strategy.”


In other words, they work to increase the productivity or effectiveness of the sales team by reducing friction in the sales process.

Through cross-collaboration with Sales, Marketing and Finance, Sales Ops specialists can focus their efforts on sales velocity -- measuring how fast revenue is being generated,  how quickly leads are moving through the pipeline, and how much value new customers provide over a given period.

To improve and optimize revenue requires a detailed execution plan combining methodology, technology and process, a sharp focus on the velocity metrics, and alignment across the team to make sure everyone on the revenue team is deeply focused on producing value for the customer.

This evolution to thinking of sales as science is critical for all companies in order to compete in a time of massive disruption and change in the market.

Companies that can combine the science of selling with customer alignment will win big in the digitally transformed world.

LATEST FROM BLOG

Related Posts.

GreenFig Instructor Teaching AI Technology

We have had a number of conversations recently with founders, CEOs and product leaders who seem to be running into brick walls when selling their artificial intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML)-based platforms and solutions to medium and larger enterprises. Whether the sales cycles extend too long (nine months and beyond) or decision-makers and key influencers aren’t aligned, ultimately, these deals don’t close. And when they do close, they end up closing as very small, limited pilots/POCs without strong internal ownership to get them to next level. At the same time, we also see other AI companies achieving the opposite. Much shorter cycles of three to six months, strong buyer and influencer alignment, and deals close with five, six, or seven-figure contracts, often with multi-year terms and the ability to expand their Annual Run Rates (ARR) significantly. We are seeing a pattern here. In fact, three key go-to-market capabilities play out again and again in the companies that are building category-leading AI businesses. It all comes down to complexity, consensus and connection. First, these leaders manage complexity. Second, they build and sustain consensus. Finally, they enable both rational and emotional connections to the solution and the desired outcome. Here’s how we break it down. Complexity — Manage It, Don’t Sell It We all know that building and delivering AI/ML-based technologies that drive strong, repeatable business results is complicated. In our view, today’s enterprise AI is characterized by three somewhat unique conditions that magnify its complexity:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel With Better Lead Management

GreenFig instructors Sue Hay and Jerine Erice recently taught classes in Marketo, Salesforce and analytics to our lifelong learners in Digital Marketing Science. We share their blog that underscores the value of a well-examined lead management process and provides actionable steps to optimize marketing strategy and increase ROI. Read and learn! Resolved to improve your sales and marketing effectiveness this year? Lead management might be the answer. A good lead management process starts with defining potential customers (or leads) and taking them on an educational and nurturing journey based on their buying persona before ultimately being passed on to the sales team. Lead management measures, tracks and reports on this customer acquisition process, from the first point of contact to the closing of the sale. This allows sales and marketing to work in tandem, with the ultimate goal of increasing conversion rates and ROI while shortening the duration of the process. This process is arguably the most important aspect of marketing. But according to DemandWave’s 2017 State of Digital Marketing Report, many marketers still find that obtaining high-quality leads is their number one challenge. Why do marketers continue struggle with this, and what can you do about it? Here are four lead management tactics that you can adopt now for a more robust lead marketing strategy and better-optimized sales funnel in 2018. 1. Get Sales and Marketing Aligned The alignment of sales and marketing is critical to lay the foundation for an effective lead management process. This ensures that the company as a whole is working toward a similar goal. The responsibility of increasing ROI becomes the responsibility of both teams. This alignment, especially in the case of B2B companies, shortens the sales cycle and makes it more efficient. In order to achieve this alignment, both teams needs to be on the same page -- aware of their responsibilities, as well as the intricacies of the process itself. Call a meeting to go over your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and the lead management process. Make sure everyone knows the different stages a lead goes through as well as the proper way to handle a quality lead. Some key journey points to remember include Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), which is based off of lead scoring, Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), which are identified after a meeting occurs and the lead progresses through the sales cycle. Here is a helpful checklist to get you started. 2. Analyze the Lead Journey Once a lead is created and enters the process, the lead journey is analyzed over time. Tracking can be done through a CRM platform like Salesforce.com, SugerCRM, Hubspot CRM, social media analytical tools and email marketing analytics. Salesforce is one of the major Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to document and keep track of important information. Through Salesforce, marketers are able to take a well-rounded look at their business and manage relationships with the partners and other strategic alliances, existing customers and prospects. With tracking, you learn that lead’s process and behavior. This knowledge proves valuable when developing content and tactics to use during the lead management process. Even if these leads have been passed off to the sales team, they are still important to track. Through monitoring, you can measure sales performance, and calculate marketing and sales ROI. This information is key because it allows you to learn how expensive each lead is and the proper steps to take in order to get more quality leads while reducing cost. You are able to analyze your marketing efforts as a whole, and make any necessary adjustments to save time and money while increasing revenue. 3. Score Your Leads Next, it is crucial to score your leads with lead scoring tools built into platforms like Marketo or Hubspot. Through scoring, you are able to determine not only the lead’s interest in you, but your interest in them as well. This allows the sales team to only spend time on leads that matter since higher scoring leads are more likely to convert. To have an effective lead scoring system, it is important to look at the lead’s persona, level of engagement and timing. 4. Nurture Your Leads Last but not least, it’s important to nurture high scoring leads before passing them to the sales team. According to DemandGen, leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities. It is important to determine the unique preferences of your leads. What drives their attention? From there, you can create targeted content that is relevant and valuable to them. Some of the most effective targeted content includes email nurture campaigns, promotional offers and call-to-action content. For more information on GreenFig’s upcoming courses taught by industry leaders like Jerine and Sue, check us out at www.greenfig.net.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Contact us

Need a quote.