The year is over and 2017 is underway. It’s the best time to gear up the team, put your heads together, and create a plan that will enable you to crush your 2017 sales goals.
Whether you’re a manager handling a stellar sales team, an executive directing a whole sales organization, or an agent toiling day in and out to hit your numbers, the new year is always a fresh start! You get a fresh perspective from last year’s lessons and you get to apply those to do better moving forward.
To get started on a high note for the coming year, use these tips to help you put together a solid plan for the new year.
Embrace social media
One of the most effective approaches in driving the pipeline is to use social media. These sites give you a platform to engage in social selling by connecting with prospects and leads early on in the buying process, staying in touch with your current clientele, and demonstrating your market insight through thought leadership.
A great case for social media and social selling? Buyers who are present in the social sphere have 84% bigger budgets than those who are not!
Attend or watch pre-recorded webinars on social selling and social media business advantages. Social media has long exited its marketing-only reputation. Social selling is the now and the future.
Know your buyer personas
This year, make it a goal to create detailed buyer personas. Dig deep into your ideal customer profiles. Remember that today’s buyers are connected and informed–they do their own research, they ask tough questions, and are adamant about uncovering value from their own probing.
Depending on what customer profile they fit, different approaches will appeal and work for them. It’s best to be prepared and not waste opportunities by knowing what to do with a particular lead as they come in.
Expect buyers to be more informed than ever in 2017.
If they’re doing their homework well before connecting with a rep, they expect reps who they come in contact with to be able to answer their concerns, and ideally know their industry and its challenges in and out. Hit industry blogs, webinars, conferences, and newsletters to keep your team abreast with the latest.
It’s also a great idea to always keep in touch with current clients and pick their minds on the what’s what of their lines of work.
Highlight the value you will deliver
Despite the surge in value-based selling, many sales teams are still caught up on product-centric spiels that alienate buyers. This year, make it a practice to always emphasize benefits over features and to know your buyers more so you can present your product in the context of their business.
You don’t need to wait until the demo before you let your prospects visualize your features at work. Always begin with what you can do for them and not how awesome your product is.
Strengthen, reinforce and follow your sales process
In sales, it’s important to get everyone marching in the same direction. The sales process will ensure that this is the case. Sales leaders need to emphasize the need of following your organization’s sales process.
Reinforce the process in coaching, meetings, and even 1-on-1 performance reviews. Also, ensure that your CRM and CTI like Zoho and RingCentral integration make it easier for reps to follow and stay true to the sales process.
Sure, reps can still sell without following it. But if you have a sales process that helps reps succeed and that supports data capture, following it is the only way you can make better forecasting decisions and performance analysis that help the team succeed. Following the process is crucial in making your teamwork at its best.
Ask better questions
Asking questions is the heartbeat of the sales development.
Lead qualification is crucial in that it saves an organization precious time and resources. It allows businesses to focus on the clients that will bring the initial revenue and revenue potential that fit business strategies.
A lot of companies fail to ask the right questions causing them to get high churn rates because they’ve been selling to the wrong types of customers.
The best way to approach this in 2017 is to finally put together a solid prospect discovery plan that sales reps will take to heart. This includes all the information that you want to know about the prospect and the questions that will uncover these details. This should also be shared with marketing so the two departments can streamline the process and catch bad leads right at the gate.
Get the team on the same page
In B2B sales, it’s very common to need the sign-off of multiple people in a business. Speaking with many internal influencers, gatekeepers, and decision-makers requires that call notes are logged and kept consistent for all accounts.
This way, when other agents need to follow up or connect with other people in the account’s organization, the conversation moves forward instead of being stagnant or, worse, backtracked. Optimize your CRM through a CTI integration like a Zoho and RingCentral CTI so it’s easier to log call notes, assign tasks to other teammates, and keep your records updated.
Promote the success of your clients
Customer testimonials and case studies are more than top of the funnel marketing tools. If anything, they are a great tool to make that final nudge to the buyer to move forward in their buying process.
Customer testimonials and case studies can serve as a guarantee by presenting a similar use case, a stamp of reliability through a known company finding success in your solution, or an assurance that your company champions the success of its clients. Put leads’ reservations at rest by giving them access to these customer testimonials and case studies.
Make 2017 the year you fill up the Case Study section of your website.
Focus on the Big Rocks
Sales leader Lori Richardson of ScoreMoreSales.com says, “There is no substitution for goal setting, then creating plans of action and then taking that action.”
In sales, there’s the biggest rock: contributing to a company’s growth and expanding bottom line.
Then, there are the big rocks, the everyday critical activities that everyone needs to execute. If the team is not focused on getting the big rocks done and polished off, it’s so easy to get sidetracked by small, less critical tasks that can wipe out a week without you noticing.
To do this, discipline and perseverance must be your team’s mantra in 2017. Focus on the big rocks and pound them out until they are done before moving to other less critical things.
Improve everyone by giving better feedback
This one goes out to sales leaders. Your sales reps are toiling day in and out, braving the front lines (the phone lines!) each day working to get the numbers right by filling up the pipeline and keeping leads moving.
From your end, you need to set these reps up for success by ensuring they have access to the resources, coaching, and learning that are essential for them to reach their individual and team goals. Giving constructive and consistent feedback is a cornerstone of this.
You can only build trust with your team if your actions assure them that you’re on their side and are rooting for their success.
Now, go out there, put together a solid plan, and crush those 2017 goals.
Happy New Year from all of us at Tenfold!
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