Sales Modernization Frequently Answered Questions2018-05-07T10:23:19-05:00

Does Your Sales Organization Need to be Modernized?

A sales modernization initiative can take on different forms based on where your organization is in the lifecycle.

Sales Modernization sounds like a buzzword, but it’s not. It’s simply a change in the way you do things – the way you communicate to customers, the way you promote products, the way you sell. But, it’s not that you make changes, it’s what you change, and for each business it’s different.

Below are some answers to the questions we most frequently hear.

Who is my ideal customer?2018-05-01T13:04:39-05:00

Many businesses believe any customer is a good customer. While that sounds great, it’s not true. Growth starts with knowing your Ideal Customer Profile, then tailoring your business to meet their needs. Not sure who your ideal customers are?

How do I find and break into new, high value customers?2018-05-01T13:04:57-05:00

It’s probably easier to tell you how not to reach these new ideal customers — cold calls. We’ve developed a number of techniques to not only identify your ideal customers, but also reach out, warm up and deliver leads ready to do business with you.

Should I hire an industry veteran? Or someone younger that can be trained?2018-05-01T13:05:07-05:00

Both questions could be answered with, “yes,” but that depends on your long-term business goals, corporate culture, ideal customer base and more important factors. Your search for the right salesperson begins with developing an Ideal Candidate Profile.

Does my sales team have the expertise needed to win a big customer?2018-05-01T13:05:07-05:00

If you’re asking this question, the answer is probably “no.” In our experience, sales leaders start asking this question when they get a gut feeling that something is wrong – stagnant sales, missed opportunities, lost long-term clients are all signs. Now that you know the answer, what are you going to do about it?

Do I need business development salespeople or account managers?2018-05-01T13:05:15-05:00

In most cases, yes. Oh, sorry, that was an ‘or’ question. No, you don’t need business development salespeople or account managers, you need business development salespeople AND account managers. More importantly, your sales staff should not double as your account managers. We’ve worked with companies to define roles, compensation packages and strategies for both.

Am I paying my sales people too much or too little?2018-05-01T13:05:18-05:00

Compensation should be determined by a number of factors including salesperson performance, position expectations, skills required, travel and more. For most people, pay is a motivation. If you have a well defined sales strategy, rewarding sales and new customer acquisition, your sales staff should be motivated to meet or exceed your goals. Unfortunately, many companies haven’t established a realistic strategy, meaning their sales staff is either over motivated to underperform, or they aren’t motivated enough to perform at all. Is your compensation strategy optimized for performance?

Should I sell direct?2018-05-01T13:05:26-05:00

Yes. Well, no. Actually, maybe. Direct sales make perfect sense for some B2B companies, but not for others. We’ll work with you to determine direct sale opportunities, create sales and marketing strategies, and find the right balance of sales through dealers, distributors reps and online for your business.

How do I manage and grow my dealer network?2018-05-01T13:06:05-05:00

The first step is identifying who those dealers are, then it’s time to get your company noticed. That’s the difficult, and fun part. Ready to get started?

How do I get dealers and reps to focus on selling MY products?2018-05-01T13:06:10-05:00

You know you have great products, but do your dealers know that? Signing a dealer agreement is only the first step, if you want reps to push your product they have to know about it, understand it, and see its value. That’s where we come in.

I’ve invested in new product development. Why aren’t my new products selling?2018-05-01T13:06:15-05:00

Developing a product is one thing, selling it is another. Sales and marketing strategies are just as important as developing a quality product, possibly more. The best time to get started is now.

My customers say I need someone local. How do I make that happen?2018-05-01T13:06:20-05:00

There’s two answers to this: 1. Hire someone local. 2. Explain why they don’t. Either way, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. We can help.

How do I expand my sales and service reach?2018-05-01T13:06:25-05:00

Branching out into new territory takes time, personnel and money, but before you begin you need a well-researched strategic plan. That’s were we come in.

Why am I paying a rep to just take orders?2018-05-01T13:06:31-05:00

If that’s all they’re doing, then good question. However, you should really be asking: How can I get my reps to work harder pushing my products and increase sales?

Is ecommerce right for my business?2018-05-01T13:06:37-05:00

In a word, yes. Online selling in B2B or ecommerce, in some form, is a key piece of a modernized sales model. Ready to get started?

I’ve lost a key customer. Now what do I do?2018-05-01T13:06:42-05:00

First, take a deep breath. Losing a key customer sucks, but it’s rarely fatal. As a leader you need to act with urgency while keeping your team calm, engaged and focused on what needs to be done to stabilize the situation. To drive short term revenue look at opportunities already in  your sales pipeline that are closest to closing. Need help sorting things out in a high-stress situation?

How do I increase inbound leads?2018-05-01T13:06:46-05:00

Wow. Loaded question. Increasing inbound leads is an orchestrated dance between your brand, your ideal customer profile, your differentiated value proposition and your sales & marketing efforts. When these areas are working in sync you earn the initial trust of a prospect and they contact you. If you don’t gain their trust their search for a viable partner continues. Need more quality inbound leads?

I’ve lost faith in my sales leader. What now?2018-05-01T13:06:51-05:00

If you have a panic button, now would be a good time to think about pressing it. You could have the best sales staff in the world, but without great leadership your team could be severely underperforming. If you’re interested in growth, you need great sales leadership, and we can help.

Am I winning more opportunities than I’m losing?2018-05-01T13:06:56-05:00

Close rate with ideal customers is one of the most important sales metrics to track. The reality is most companies don’t know the answer to this question. In complex B2B sales with a long sales cycle (>3 months) a close rate north 0f 30% is solid target. Winning more than 50% is in the rock star range. Don’t know the answer to this question?

How do I set goals for acquiring new customers?2018-05-01T13:07:02-05:00

New customer acquisition goals should be focused on engaging and closing new customers that meet your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Start with forecasting sales for existing customers that meet your ICP. Subtract that number from your revenue target to identify your growth gap. Ok, this gets a little complicated. We’ve put together a quick goal setting calculator you can download here. Need help setting sales goals and hitting them?

What metrics do I use to evaluate the performance of my sales team?2018-05-01T13:07:29-05:00

Trick question! Your company’s individual sales and growth goals should determine the metrics you should be evaluating your team with. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there is an answer.

I bought Salesforce. Why didn’t it work?2018-05-01T13:07:34-05:00

Salesforce is a great, flexible Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, but like all tools it’s not magic. If you buy a chainsaw, do your trees automatically fall down? Will they fall in the right direction and not hit your house? All tools require training, planning, upkeep and consistency, otherwise they are just things you bought. Ask yourself this: Does my team know how to use Saleforce? Have I given them the training they need to get the most out of it?

Why does it take so long for a quote to go out the door?2018-05-01T13:07:37-05:00

Well, this might be hard to hear, but your quote process is probably slow. It might be because it’s overly complex, or the information needed to develop the quote is disorganized, or there are too many people involved in the process, or … you get the picture. No matter what, you need to figure it out before you get another quote request.

How much did I spend at that tradeshow?2018-05-01T13:07:41-05:00

Trade shows can be a great way to put your company’s products or services on display, meet with existing clients and reach out to new ones, and most trade shows have options for every budget. Your trade show budget should be directly influence by the outcomes you hope to achieve. If you didn’t achieve them, it could be because you either spent too much or not enough. Before you go to a tradeshow, you need to have a goal. That’s where we come in.

How many opportunities came through my website last month?2018-05-01T13:07:45-05:00

You don’t know? If that’s the case, there’s a disconnect somewhere. Chances are, you’re getting web leads. Where are those leads going? Who is screening them? What are you doing with them? Are they being added to your CRM? Is anyone following up on them? We can help you answer those questions, and develop a strategy to drive more leads.

If one of my sales people leave, what happens to all their customer information?2018-05-01T13:07:50-05:00

That depends on how this information is stored. If you’re staff is relying on the old rolodex method, or a spreadsheet, that information could be leaving with them – even if it is against company policy. Putting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform in place will ensure a smooth transition and keep all customer information organized and secure in the event of an employee departure. We can get you started.

What does my sales forecast looks like next week, next month, next quarter or next year?2018-05-01T13:07:54-05:00

Without a little more information that’s kind of difficult to answer. Your forecast should be one of growth – with a nice mix of sales to existing and new ideal customers. If it doesn’t, it’s time to get us involved.

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