It's time to reflect on what brought success this year that you want to continue, as well as what didn’t work that you need to change. Here are some strategies to address sales priorities in 2020.
1. Make value a priority.
Sales organizations that drive value for their buyers are more likely to grow revenue, have higher win rates and retain top sellers. Bring the value, and you’ll generate strong results and sales wins. Making sure your sellers can deliver a core value case, drive ideas and change and win major opportunities based on value will be key.
2. Improve sales team productivity.
Based on productivity research, individuals who are Extremely Productive (The XP) are more likely to be top performers, satisfied with their jobs and happy. How do they do it? To start, they employ productive work habits. In fact, The XP are 5.3 times more likely than The Rest to have productive work habits.
Here’s the good news: Productivity can be learned, and it can have a significant impact on your team’s success.
3. Focus on growing existing accounts.
Eighty-three percent of companies do not believe they have effective sales training for driving account growth. At the same time, 76% believe that they should be growing their strategic accounts by at least 25%. There’s a huge gap here, representing an opportunity for organizations that close it. Make sure you not only have a mature account-management process, but also sellers who have the skills needed to drive account growth.
4. Create a referral and retention machine.
Creating an internal referral and retention machine relies on a multi-pronged strategy. Rely only on sales process or product/service satisfaction and you allow competitors to create inroads. Consider this: 49 percent of buyers who are very satisfied with a product/service would still consider switching to a different provider. What does make a difference in satisfaction? When sellers bring new ideas to their customers. Client satisfaction shoots up when account managers reach out to accounts and proactively create new opportunities with them.
5. Approach sales opportunities differently.
Sellers often treat all pipeline opportunities the same. They define need, qualify, propose, present and wait for a win or loss. A few may bubble to the top for more focus, but it’s not always the right ones. For each opportunity, it’s key to define your pursuit intensity. Take a structured approach to assessing pursuit intensity and a structured approach to winning your sales opportunities, and you’ll gain time to focus on the best sales opportunities and win more of them.
6. Train sellers to inspire with new ideas.
According to What Sales Winners Do Differently research, buyers want sellers who educate them with new ideas and perspectives. However, sellers aren’t delivering.
- Only 22% of buyers agree sellers educate them with new ideas and perspectives.
- Buyers report that 58% of their sales meetings are not valuable.
- About 64% of companies do not believe their sellers have advanced consultative selling skills (i.e. ability to inspire with new ideas).
A lot of sellers don’t bring anything worthwhile to the table. Those who do harness the power of ideas.
7. Perfect your value proposition.
In order to win a sale, you must make your value case to the buyer. A value proposition is the collection of reasons why a buyer buys. There are three key elements to a value proposition:
Resonate: Buyers have to want and need what you’re selling. Make the case for why it’s important and urgent to move forward, connecting with the buyer on both a rational and an emotional level. Help the buyer answer: Why act? Why now?
Differentiate: Buyers have to see why you stand out from other options. Make the case for why you’re the best choice based on your overall distinction and the buyer’s perception of scarcity. Help the buyer answer: Why us?
Substantiate: Buyers have to believe that you can deliver on your promises. Make the case for why the buyer should believe in you, your offering, your company and your ability to achieve the desired results. Help them answer the question: Why trust?
8. Improve sales-manager effectiveness.
Sales management is often a key leverage point in unleashing sales performance. If you want your sellers not only meeting, but also exceeding their sales targets, keep them motivated and held accountable.
9. Win new logos and accounts.
About 75% of purchases are strategic, meaning buyers don’t have to buy, yet sellers proactively bring new ideas to buyers only 14% of the time. At the same time, 82% of buyers say they are willing to accept meetings with sellers. In other words: buyers will accept meetings and they’re looking for new ideas. If you can provide those ideas, you have a better chance of winning.
10. Optimize your sales process.
Organizations with a formally defined sales process have higher proposal win rates and fewer proposals lost to competitors or no-decisions. Top Performers are more likely to:
- Have a sales process that is customer focused and maps to buying processes.
- Assign leads to the people best suited to succeed with them.
- Have an effective process for sellers to manage their pipelines.
- Employ a flexible sales process that applies to buyers’s various roles and situations.