Have you ever been in a Quarterly Business Review (QBR) where the following exchange took place?
The Sales Manager asks, “what must happen between today and the end of the quarter to close this deal?”
The salesperson responds with silence and an empty stare.
I have… too many times! It is these experiences that motivated me to develop SalesPath+.
Over the years, I asked my Salesforce administrators to implement the capabilities of SalesPath+ in the Salesforce CRM. We ultimately realized that developing even a lite version of the solution required specialized programming and cost more than a single company might be willing to invest in software development and ongoing maintenance and enhancements.
I was convinced if the capabilities I imagined in SalesPath+ would be valuable for me, as a frontline sales manager, and my selling team, then they would be valuable for other sales managers as well. So, a partner and I decided to fund the development of SalesPath+ and share the value, risk, and development costs with like-minded sales teams through a commercial SaaS offering.
We built SalesPath+ with the frontline sales manager as the ideal user. SalesPath+ was purpose-built to help frontline sales managers coach, lead, and manage their sellers to maximize sales productivity and success.
In fact, I use SalesPath+ every day to help me execute my company’s revenue plan.
The Convictions Behind SalesPath+
SalesPath+ is based on some deeply held convictions about best practices for winning complex sales. In SalesPath+ we developed the functionality required to execute against the following convictions:
· The most critical position in a sales organization is the frontline sales manager. These sales leaders who directly manage and coach the individual sellers are a force multiplier and exert the most leverage in increasing sales productivity.
· Most companies have under-invested in software that helps frontline sales managers and their teams excel at their jobs. Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) is not a sufficient tool for the frontline sales manager and the frontline sales team.
· Salespeople are more successful and sell more when they have a sales plan for every deal. Years of experience and third-party research support this fact. Harvard Business Review explains that companies with well-defined sales processes sell 28% more than companies that do not.
· It is impossible to accurately forecast a close date without a sales plan. If there is no sales plan; then the close date is, at best, a guess, and worst… a hope. Anactual sales plan details the optimal number of stages, tasks, and time required to close a specific type of sale.
· The sales function must be monitored in real-time, as the time element in sales is critically important. The sales function’s mandate is to “deliver a unit of revenue within a specified time frame.” In order, to consistently deliver on its mandate, Sales must constantly be aware of the time as a crucial element of any sales commitment.
· Sales must use data to optimize its best practices and sales processes. Initially, everyone’s definition of their sales process is a guess, but we must constantly use data to continually improve by comparing what is actually happening in sales engagements, as opposed to what we planned.
· Since up to 70% of the average company’s revenue comes from existing customers, a company should have a unique sales process for at least the four basic types of sales: New Logo, Expansion/Upgrade, Upsell/Cross-sell, and renewals. Each of these sale types has a unique combination of stages, time durations, and tasks.
· Between 30% -50% of the average company’s pipeline, contained in its CRM, is: (1) dormant, (2) has a close date that is past, or (3) has an extremely optimistic, unrealistic close date. According to the Harvard Business Review, this results in companies losing millions of dollars, due to prematurely extending aggressive discounts, using inappropriate sales tactics, and inaccurately forecasting revenue.
SalesPath+, which is available in the Salesforce App Exchange, has specific features to address each of the eight points made here. To see how SalesPath+ would help you execute sales, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a demo and opportunity to qualify for a limited time, no cost, no obligation, test drive of SalesPath+ within your Salesforce environment.
Author: Kevin O’Keefe, CEO, AdvancedSales.ai
Editor: Greg Plum, CMO, AdvancedSales.ai