Three Key Metrics for Your 2015 Selling Effectiveness

As you launch 2015 kick-offs and budget for training / enablement investments, there are three key metrics you should consider when shaping your 2015 Sales Enablement strategy:

1) More Stakeholders: IDC reports a significant 43% increase in number of buyers involved in each B2B purchase over the past three years, growing to more than 8 decision makers involved in the average review / approval process. Each stakeholder may be at a different point in the decision making process – some early: just getting a handle on the issues, and some late: already with a clear solution in mind. Each decision maker also has a unique set of priority challenges they would like to address, of potential risks, and a distinct view of the value you can provide to them.

Advice: Sales reps need to be empowered to engage all stakeholders no matter what the “Point of Value” or where they are in the decision making process. Based on who is being engaged, Sales reps should be guided, based intelligently on the prospect’s role, industry, location, size and challenges, to the right value messaging, storytelling, insights, case studies and financial justification.

Because each stakeholder could be different, the guidance should be interactive and flexible – used live with customers to aid in the discovery questioning as well as fueling the conversation / engagement.

Because the sales rep may not be afforded the opportunity to meet many stakeholders involved in the decision, it is important that the value storytelling and justification be provided in a format that can easily be shared with the advocates – to continue selling long after the initial in-person conversation.

2) Training Effectiveness: In the US, companies will spend more than $5B on sales training last year (SPI). At the same time, only 59% of sales reps achieved their quota in 2014, down sharply from 67% last year (Accenture). Unfortunately, according to the psychologist and a pioneer in the study of memory and learning, Ebbinghouse, 87% of this training will be forgotten within weeks according to. Your training investments will likely fall victim to the Ebbinghouse’s Forgetting Curve – squandered in short order.

Advice: Training by itself is not enough to achieve effectiveness.  Training needs to include demonstration AND practice in order to get sales reps comfortable with the material and customer conversation. Sales tools can be used to guide sales conversations interactively when they are in meetings with clients, assuring that the right value messaging, insights, justification and case studies are provided. And on-going coaching and sharing of best practices by the community is key. A combination of demonstration, practice, sales tools, coaching and community can increase retention from a paltry 13% to almost 90% (SBI).

3) Value Articulation: The focus of the training also needs to refocus - transcending from product centric to value focused. According to SiriusDecisions, the #1 sales quota issue is not a lack of enough training, leads, product knowledge, social selling, instead “a lack of sales reps ability to connect with client business issues and effectively articulate value.” This issue has persisted as the number one challenge for the past 4 years, reported by a whopping 71% of sales executives as the top issue.

So as training is improved to include demonstration, practice, coaching and community, the content and sales tools needs to shift to enable sales reps to have more value-focused conversations. This means arming sales reps with better value-focused fuel for their customer engagements and tools to help the sales rep customize / personalize the interactions. Customer facing sales tools can be implemented to guide better three foot and on-line meetings -providing sales reps and channel partners with the right value messaging, insights, storytelling, insights, case studies and financial justification for each unique prospect and selling situation.


Sources: SPI -  https://www.trainingindustry.com/media/3203836/spi%20thefutureofsalestraining.pdf

Comments

SamuelSPerkins said…
Lacking an ability to connect to your client's needs is devastating. Great article. Thank you!

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