Often times we judge the success of something based on its’ outcome. This makes sense. The outcome is our goal. But what about how we get to the desired outcome? How can we measure the success of the actions we take to achieve our goals?
In sales, we judge salespeople on how many deals they close in a quarter, whether or not they hit their quota, and how many leads they have in their pipeline. These are tangible measurements of success based on outcomes. But something else you should be measuring is how your sales team operates. What actions do they take to achieve these goals? How do they prepare themselves to be better sales leaders?
There are many traits that make up a good salesperson: convincing, persuasive, likeable, aggressive, knowledgeable, helpful, etc. What strategies do top-performing salespeople employ?
Here are the 3 most important things that effective sales leaders can do to optimize growth and close more deals.
1. They conduct detailed research of decision makers
You know who your prospects are. You may even know their top 5 objections. But how much do you know about their sales process? Do you know where they find information? Do they use LinkedIn? Or Twitter?
If you don’t have the answers to these questions, you don’t know Jack. And Jack might be your next big deal. So study up. Do your homework. Find out exactly what makes decision makers tick. Do your research and see what interests them. Maybe it’s a Twitter chat around productivity solutions for medical practices. Or a LinkedIn Group for medical management. Wherever they are, you need to be. Interact with prospects where they are interacting. This gives you more credibility and your prospects will find you more relatable than the average Joe Shmoe sales guy that’s cold-calling them every other day.
2. They understand how (and why) Marketing works
To conduct an effective sales process these days, Sales has to speak the Marketing lingo.
The long-standing battle between these two teams (who are on the same side for Pete’s sake!) is simmering. Soon enough, the fire will be out and the dust will have settled. That is when true smarketing will come to fruition. Smarketing, the alignment between Sales and Marketing, has quickly become one of the top priorities for most companies. CMOs and VPs of Sales recognize the need for both sides to work together and leverage each other’s talents to optimize growth.
Sales does this by leveraging content marketing to use during their sales process. That content is created from marketing and sales insights that indicate everything from where a prospect is in the sales cycle to what type of content converts the most leads. Armed with these insights, Marketing creates content for Sales to use for different steps of the buyer’s journey—Awareness, Consideration, and Decision Stage offers.
The collaboration between Sales and Marketing works to convert Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). MQLs come in and are nurtured with different types of content until they are ready to passed on as SQLs. Then it is Sales’ job to convert their SQLs into opportunities, and eventually customers.
3. They set-up killer workflows
This one is huge. Every sales rep has a process; a cycle they go through that they have mastered over years of experience. But if you’re not using a killer workflow to manage it all, you’re shooting yourself in the foot (not to mention losing opportunities to engage with prospects).
One workflow that is quite arguably the most important is your email sequence. Your sequence of prospecting emails should include an introduction/exploratory email, a follow-up, and a break-up. That’s three opportunities to engage the prospect and hopefully convert them into a lead.
To make sure your emails are effective, create multiple drafts and compare with other reps. This provides great insights into what worked for one rep over another. Don’t forget to personalize your emails! Use automation software for email sequencing to save your team a lot of time and effort.
Effective sales leaders should be measured by more than their numbers. Because those numbers can always be improved. There’s no such thing as too much growth. Measure sales leaders based on the strategies they use to get the job done. This is your opportunity to discover what works, what doesn’t, and what you need to change to help your sales reps knock it out of the park.