The Sales Acceleration Formula – Mark Roberge
A useful book to figure out a framework for the sales process.
Sales is in a strategic spotlight
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Sales face unprecedented challenges for organisations and salespeople.
One reason is the massive increase in competition. The average company today has twice as many competitors as five years ago.
The other reason is that relying on innovation to beat competition has a diminishing window of opportunity.
That is why many leading companies focus on organic growth by using sales and marketing. However, the trick is how to pull it off successfully.
The four components of making sales scalable
“Hire the same successful salesperson every time.” (The Sales Hiring Formula)
“Train every salesperson in the same way.” (The Sales Training Formula)
“Hold our salespeople accountable to the same sales process.” (The Sales Management Formula)
“Provide our salespeople with the same quality and quantity of leads every month.” (The Demand Generation Formula)
The sales hiring formula
- Create a theory of the ideal sales characteristics, then score every candidate for each characteristic on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Define an evaluation strategy for each characteristic. Consider what behavioral questions to ask.
- Score candidates against the ideal sales characteristics. For example, fill out the interview scorecards after each interview.
- Learn from and iterate on the model while engineering the sales hiring formula. Which characteristics do top performers have in common, and will they predict success at your company?
The five traits great salespeople have
Coachability: The ability to absorb and apply coaching.
Curiosity: Understanding a potential customer’s context through effective questioning and listening.
Prior Success: Does the candidate have a history of top performance or remarkable achievement?
Intelligence: The ability to learn complex concepts quickly and to easily communicate those concepts.
Work ethic: Pursuing the company mission with a high degree of energy and activity.
How to find top-performing salespeople
Find quality passive sales candidates on LinkedIn. Use filters to improve search results, such as zip code, job title, school, and company. Screen the search results using the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Look at the longevity of their employers, alignment between the prospect’s current buyer context and our buyer context, school and major, and quality of the LinkedIn profile.
Engage with the pre-screened candidates.
Understand the sales talent pool in your area. Find all the companies with inside sales teams in your area. Interview at least one person from each team.
Sales training formula
Three elements of the sales methodology are:
The buyer journey: It increases the likelihood that the buyer’s needs will remain central during all aspects of the selling process.
Sales process: The sales team can step back and reflect on how to accelerate the buying journey.
Qualifying matrix: It defines the information you need from a potential buyer to understand if you can help the prospective buyer. Use the BANT matrix (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing)
Create a training curriculum
Sales coaching is vital to drive sales productivity.
- Start with the buying journey. Look into examples of the questions buyers ask at each stage of the buying journey.
- Add exams that focus on factual information, such as product knowledge and certifications to the training process.
- When a hire is on the job for six months, ask him to complete a review of the sales training program.
- Give salespeople an in-depth understanding of your buyer’s day-to-day existence.
- Salespeople should take some time to engage in social media.
The sales management formula
Metrics-driven sales coaching: Pick one skill at a time to focus on. Use metrics to find which skill will have the biggest impact on a salesperson’s performance.
Motivate through sales compensation plans and contests. There are many ways you can develop your commission plan. However, it is best to let it evolve as your business grows. To keep salespeople motivated, run monthly contests.
The demand generation formula
Convert from cold calling to inbound. To make this transition, salespeople should position themselves as thought leaders using blogs and social media.
Once the leads come in, do not send every lead to sales. Instead, create a buyer matrix to understand who is interested in your product and how they travel before purchasing. When you understand your buyer’s journey, you can create a customized experience.
Marketing and Sales Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Marketing and sales can measure their performance and hold each other accountable.
Marketing teams should define how many leads in each buyer persona they are passing on to sales and should be able to calculate the implied value.
The sales team must decide how to follow up with each lead and work toward the conversion goal.