As we get ready to ring in the New Year here at Velocify, we, like many of you, are looking for ways to ensure our sales bell continues to ring with great rigor. Many of our efforts revolve around strengthening our inside sales team from the core and becoming smarter about our sales prospects. Here are a few tips from our sales team to yours to keep your sales bell ringing in the New Year:
- Consider building out a lead development team – Many sales leaders are moving toward specialized sales roles in 2014. Rather than having one sales rep handle the sales process from lead to close, they implement a lead development team to handle inbound and outbound leads that are earlier in the sales cycle. A lead development team helps drive more efficiency in the sales process in two ways. First, it ensures sales leads and opportunities that are either smaller in size or at earlier stages in the sales funnel are not ignored and vulnerable to the influence of competitors. Second, it frees more senior sales reps to focus on working and closing deals.
- Optimize the top of the sales funnel – In a high-velocity sales environment, earlier stage funnel metrics are important indicators of performance, yet are often overlooked in favor of later stage pipeline analysis and impact on near term revenue targets. For a healthy long-term pipeline, it is recommended that sales leaders focus on early funnel insights, from lead to opportunity.
- Improve Selling Speed and Discipline – The trick to hitting your New Years sales numbers in 2014 is quick lead response and selling discipline. Previous Velocify research has shown that leads called within 60 seconds of being received have a 391 percent better chance of converting. By getting in touch with prospects quicker, you can spend more time on new leads rather than trying to get a hold of aged leads. Teams must also have an automated guided selling process in place to ensure that there are no missed opportunities. Even the most disciplined sales reps can lose focus on the bigger picture during quota crunch time. By automatically prioritizing sales activities for their teams, organizations can ensure that the most valuable leads are pushed to the top of sales reps’ queues to drive more deals into the pipeline.
- Use the Bell Curve – Learning from the best is a great way to train your “average” employees to attain better quota results. By using the bell curve method, managers can see the few who have surpassed their quotas, the majority who are in the middle and the few who are under performing. The question is, how do you convert the “average” employees into the excellent/surpassing quota category? If you can observe the sales processes, activities and behaviors of the top sales performers and implement those practices across the organization, you have the opportunity to shift the performance curve and greatly increase revenue.
For more information about 2014 sales trends and benchmarks view our latest infographic. Happy selling in the New Year!