I was on a great webinar last week presented by Dow Jones and CSO Insights, and I recommend that you listen to the replay. You can click here to watch the "Successful Sales Strategies" replay. We can talk about Sales 2.0, and sales effectiveness, or even sales optimization. But a lot of what is making sales people successful at selling in this economy is a) having good sales intelligence and b) having an effective sales plan or an account plan! Why did I like this so much? First, they based the strategies not only on the sales truths that don't change, but on the completely changed realities of selling today.
As difficult a sales environment it is today, every sales rep needs a good strategy and a good plan. That is why we are excited to bring the newest version of P2W products to the Force.com CRM cloud . We are committed to helping sales people build trusted relationships with their clients and prospects. (See the curve above)
In today's market, I believe that the real consultative sales person will have the lowest expense account on the team. Bringing value to a meeting may mean a Latte or Coffee from Starbuck's, but a nice lunch or dinner only adds a dimension of Dis-trust to the equation. If you can afford to buy a nice dinner, round of golf, or fancy lunch... what does that say about 1) your prices, and 2) your business acumen.
"In today's markets, you win by assiduously building relationships with clients , being willing to stick with them over the long term, and adding value every step of the way. Golf and Lunch are nice, but they no longer represent real value to clients - they can get these from anyone."
In this economy, showing value is about understanding their business and the business challenges that they face. Once you understand that, you work diligently WITH them to help them solve these issues. This will win more sales than any lunch or golf game.So... What is your plan to know as much about your targets and key accounts as possible?
Especially in a turbulent economy, having a strategy and a sales plan is critical for staying focused, staying on track and making the mid-course corrections necessary to succeed. But the basis of any sales plan has to be based on your knowledge of your business. What has worked and what hasn't worked? More importantly, IS THAT STILL TRUE? So do an analysis of your business whether you are the CEO or the Sales rep.
- First, what is your average deal? I really have to laugh when I ask a sales person and they tell me that "there is No average". The dictionary defines "Average" as:
the mean obtained by adding several quantities together and dividing the sum by the number of quantities: the arithmetic mean of 1, 5, 2, and 8 is 4.Now, why is this important? You have to know based on your business, what you need to do to succeed. Knowing that if I closed 20 deals last year and made 110% , with an average deal size of $30,000, that is good information. (Usually what I do is take out the two biggest deals that are not typical) So now I can focus on how many I need. I can now look at my performance YTD and my pipeline and see where I am at, NOT JUST from a dollar amount. So now YTD I have 15 deals and that average is $27,000, I know that the deals are getting smaller, (or that I had a couple of big ones if you didn't take them out) and I need x number of deals based on the average deal in order to make my number. Now I can look at my pipeline and see if I have the deals I need.