The old days of strong-arm sales tactics are long past. Consumer expectations have risen as prospects are armed with more product knowledge than ever before, and consequently, sales teams need to be smarter and more agile.
With data-driven, sales acceleration technology, companies bridge the gap between marketing and sales and increase productivity across the board. Improving sales effectiveness is about taking a continual process, not event-based approach. To do this, some aggressive sales teams are using the Sales Velocity Equation as a benchmark to cut costs, focus resources, and boost ROI.
According to the TAS Group, in the Sales Velocity Equation, #Deals represents the number of sales opportunities that are won or lost in a given time period, $Value represents the average value of those deals that you won, Win Rate represents the ratio of deals won to the total number of deals, and Length of Sales Cycle is the average length of time resources are being applied to a deal before that deal is won or lost.
In this sales acceleration model, length of sales cycle is the most important lever to adjust. Businesses can suffer in one of the top factors and still do well. Merely decreasing sales cycle length by 10 percent, while increasing each other variable by 10 percent, can increase sales by 47 percent.
So how are sales teams using this model? TAS offers best practices for each factor.
Increase the number of deals.
Successful selling organizations only work the right opportunities, and disqualify deals that don’t fit. Businesses should look to increase the number of deals by:
- Profiling the highest mutual value customers, answering their critical questions and offering solutions that uniquely address their challenges.
- Providing superior account management, thereby locking out the competition.
- Using eLearning to increase sales acumen, and reporting tools to point to areas of missed or under-exploited opportunities.
Increase the deal size.
Successful selling organizations maximize each deal by thoroughly understanding customers’ needs so they offer every applicable product and service. To increase average deal size, maximize account penetration and guide sales people, businesses should look to:
- Segment customers and develop a thorough understanding of their business challenges.
- Clearly articulate unique business value, and maximize marketing and partner resources to convey it to the market.
- Increase visibility and collaboration, and use ‘White Space’ analysis to uncover and expose new areas of potential revenue.
Increase the win rate.
An effective sales process is one where a defined set of steps aligns with how your customers like to communicate, how they want to buy, and the necessary sales steps along the way. And it's paired with knowing where a business is in a deal compared to the competition. Businesses can improve their win rate by:
- Testing and improving deal position and aligning and evangelizing your solution to your prospect's key players.
- Adopting the correct relationship strategies, and encouraging sales people to follow a proven process to control the sale.
- Working on high value opportunities where mutual value exists, and knowing when they’re at risk for loss.
Shorten the sales cycle.
Achieving this relies on opportunity management methodology concepts to ensure a business' team is working on deals they can win. Organizations should look to shorten your sales cycle through:
- A consistent, objective method for sales teams to identify the ‘real’ opportunities that have.
- Aligning your customers’ buying process to your selling process with little administrative overhead.
- Using playbooks built into the daily workflow and eLearning for guidance in reducing sales time.
This four-lever Sales Velocity Equation model allows businesses to change each variable in the equation, and observe its impact on revenue. A small change in any single variable can make a big difference in sales velocity.