The estimated reading time for this post is 5 minutes
If you’re a revenue leader or sales professional seeking to maximize your team’s performance, you understand the critical need to continuously adapt and improve your sales approach. However, the challenge lies in identifying and addressing the weakest parts of your sales process, those detrimental behaviors that hinder results. In this article, I’ll share a proven methodology for systematically sharpening your sales approach, leaving no room for soft spots.
Uncover the data-driven approach that top sales professionals use to skyrocket their win rates, deal sizes, and sales cycle speed. Say goodbye to detrimental behaviors and hello to a more efficient and lucrative sales process.
The Need for a Methodical Approach
In the ever-evolving landscape of sales, success hinges on the ability to adapt and continually optimize your approach. Market dynamics, competition, and product offerings are in a constant state of flux, demanding that we stay agile and responsive. But here’s the question: why do so few sales leaders have a systematic method for identifying and addressing the weakest links in their sales processes?
Proven Methodology for Sharpening Your Sales Approach
After years of collaborating with Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) and Heads of Sales, I’ve devised a methodology that will help you maintain a laser-focused, data-driven approach to fine-tuning your sales strategy. The first step is recognizing that, like all processes, your sales funnel has its weak spots.
Identifying Weak Spots in Your Sales Process
Pulling Data for Insight
Begin the process by delving into your CRM data. Your CRM is a treasure trove of insights that can reveal exactly where your sales funnel is most blocked. Look for stages in your sales process that exhibit a relatively low conversion rate. These stages are often glaringly obvious when you analyze the right reports.
Use Root Cause Analysis to Find Your Why
Now, let’s delve into the innovative side of solving this issue. It’s time to unearth the “why” behind your weak spots. Start by identifying the behaviors within the problematic stage – in this case, the discovery stage – that correlate with both closed-won and closed-lost deals. These behaviors hold the key to understanding how to improve your conversion rates in this stage.
I like to use the Five Whys approach to root cause analysis because it’s both intuitive and easy to execute. For each situation ask yourself or a colleague “why” this is the outcome from something, they’ll give you an answer, then ask “why” on this answer and you’ll get another answer. Keep doing this until you’ve either exhausted all answers or you’ve gotten to the fifth “why”. Either way, you’ll have a much clearer understanding as to why you’re receiving the original outcome.
Data Drives Insight
Pull a report that shows specific behaviors, which should occur at some point during the sales process and manifest themselves in the discovery stage. Examine how each of these behaviors aligns with successful and unsuccessful outcomes. Although it may seem complex, the process is straightforward. BTW If you’re not tracking the work done before a discovery or introduction call then start there.
Behaviors that Matter
The behaviors aforementioned above must be customized to suit your organization, but they serve as illustrative examples. Be sure to include behaviors and talk tracks relevant to the entire sales process, not just the specific stage. The critical aspect to identify is where your team is engaging in the right behaviors but at the wrong times, a common pitfall.
For instance, “Duration” relates to the average length of a discovery call, while “Implementation” refers to discussing product implementation – a potentially great topic but usually not at the right stage. “Presentation” focuses on the amount of time spent on presentation during the discovery call, and so on.
This data is invaluable, highlighting significant differences in behaviors between successful and unsuccessful deals.
Prioritizing and Collaborating
Focus on the Behaviors that Matter Most
Once you know what behaviors matters most to influencing prospects to convert into revenue generating clients, prioritize the activities with the most significant impact on conversion. For example, if your team’s discovery call duration doesn’t differ significantly, but there are substantial variations in the discussion of “Deal Execution.” and the Deal Execution discussion appears more frequently in lost deals, then you’ve likely got a challenge with this messaging in your discovery calls.
Conversely, if there is a “Strategic Narrative” that ensures ample time to create enrollment for “Next Steps” with prospects that create more closed-won transactions then you know how to modify discovery call messaging.
It’s crucial to remember that addressing the weakest stage in your sales process, such as the discovery stage in this case, requires increasing beneficial behaviors and decreasing detrimental ones. As with everything, a balanced approach is key, but you’ll only know what to correct if you make the effort to listen to calls, review CRM notes and talk to your team
Talk with Trusted Leaders & Review Research
With your list of prioritized behaviors in hand, initiate conversations with trusted leaders and team members within your organization. Lean on the insights of those who are deeply familiar with your sales processes and customer interactions. Look for third-party sources to help you understand further challenges in sales cycles such as Mark Hunter, The Bridge Group or Gong.
Data-Driven and Qualitative Insights
Anchor the discussion in data but don’t hesitate to ask questions that tap into the qualitative aspect of the challenge. For example, inquire about why a specific behavior might be happening or if it’s the right one to address. Engage in discussions about the changes needed to encourage more of the winning behaviors you’ve identified.
After prioritizing and collaborating, you’re ready to put solutions into action. In my next post, I’ll delve into the best approaches for addressing these weak spots. I’ll discuss replicating the right behaviors and deprecating the wrong ones, shedding light on how to transform your sales organization and enhance results for individual representatives. Spoiler Alert: Join the calls or listen/watch the recordings (I know.. It’s kinda hard work).
Don’t bury your head in the sand
The journey to mastering sales efficiency begins with recognizing and addressing weak spots in your sales process. It requires a systematic approach that leverages data and insights to uncover the root causes of underperformance. By then prioritizing beneficial behaviors and engaging in conversations with your trusted team members, you’ll be well-prepared to implement solutions that drive efficiency and revenue growth. Stay tuned for the next installment, where we explore the practical steps for tackling these challenges and elevating your sales performance.