Turn Up The Heat

How’s your 2015 going? What can be improved? Need more pipeline? Need to mature pipeline faster? Improve win rates? What will it take to grow your business faster in 2015?

Here’s a suggestion: Pick one problem to solve and solve it well.

Whatever area is most important right now, ”turn up the heat” and create an intensive program with weekly or even daily huddles to refresh skills, share best practices, and celebrate successes. Spending anywhere from 60-90 minutes a week (or 30 minutes a day) as a team with structured peer coaching and best practice sharing will achieve results. It’s proven.

We’ve analyzed hundreds of thousands of sales team activities and proved a positive correlation between the intensity and frequency of sales team engagement and higher sales attainment. This means when sales teams consistently share best practices and coach each other, they generate more pipeline and close more deals.

To do this efficiently and at scale requires a plan that’s owned and executed by first-line sales managers.

When we arm first-line sales managers with prescriptive and personalized sales coaching tools and templates mapped to their go-to-market, performance is accelerated. We know a “one-size fits all” approach to sales enablement doesn’t work because sales managers have unique reps, with different skills and tenure. Territories are different too with industry and prospect nuances.

The challenge is where to focus and how to find the time. Here are three scenarios to consider: Which one is you?

Scenario #1: More Pipeline Now

Having at least 3X ratio of open pipeline to quota is the least amount needed to run a healthy business.

  • Discuss best practices and tips on prospecting research and cadence
  • Share prospecting success stories

Here is a two-week prospecting and pipeline development program for sales managers to run:

Scenario #2: Qualify Deals Faster

Deals get stuck because we don’t invest the time to uncover compelling events and discover real business issues and impact.

  • Refresh skills around asking questions and executing discovery
  • Peer score deal qualification
  • Uncover deal blind spots as a team
  • Create new deal strategies

Here is a two-week qualification skills refresher for sales managers to run:

Scenario #3: Close Deals With Certainty

After a deal is qualified, the actions communicated and validated define how quickly a deal will close.

  • Creating a mutual success plan (aka close plan) to check champion and executive sponsor propensity to move forward now
  • Practice executive pitches
  • Score executive pitch presentations

Here is a two-week closing best practices program for sales managers to run:

These three paths are intended to inspire intensity and focus. You might be thinking – this is too much. It’s crazy. Who does this? Practice, repetition, and focus are the keys to greatness. Sales teams earn their spots on the top of leaderboards through action not chance.

With six months left in the year, the time is now to take action that can still be material to securing your spot on the beach in Hawaii. The entire SalesHood is here to help you “turn up the heat” right now.

What’s scenario closely maps to your business reality?

About the Author

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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