Will this deal close?
When you’re forecasting, that’s the question ... over and over. The CRM shows a close date and an amount. Do you trust it? How do you decide?
Today’s Approach to “Will It Close?”
In most enterprise sales organizations, the top answer — by far — on whether to trust a deal is “What does the rep say?”
Peel back, and it’s usually your rep’s sense of customer engagement and stage in the sales process. These are the visible metrics. In my experience, reps are reasonable judges of their top three or four accounts, but...
2016 is the year we drop the bullshit in sales technology and move to data-driven, no-bullshit execution.
And it's about time.
Sales matters. It’s hard and makes companies grow. But even though we spend millions on sales technology, it’s not doing its job. And when technology isn’t working, sales teams struggle. That’s where the bullshit comes in. How can it be OK that data science picks movies for me and cloud analytics and mobile deliver a car in minutes almost anywhere in the world, but our sales teams feel like they win in spite of their...
Quick question for sales managers: Do you add value in your rep 1:1s?
Let me guess: “Of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t do them!”
But are you sure? It’s so easy to let 1:1s be one-way discussions — reps review deals and we listen. But they should be about strategies to get more wins.
Three tips will make your 1:1s more effective: research before the meeting, decide beforehand which deals to discuss, and offer help that matters.
Your 1:1 starts before the meeting — with four questions about your rep's pipeline:
This past week, I sat in a large networking company’s conference room listening to an irritated sales rep and his sales manager discuss challenges in their current sales process (as an aside, being able to listen in on these sorts of conversations is what makes being a product manager such an awesome job!).
The lively conversation centered around two big challenges:
1. Managers don’t know enough about the real status of their deals. CRM can’t provide it so they resort to spreadsheets and late-night phone calls.
2. Reps hate the inefficient, manual process of documenting their deals. T...
Inaccurate, incomplete sales data is a major headache for any sales team. Sales reps, managers, and executives use CRM data every day to set selling priorities, make program investment decisions, and forecast revenue. And the revenue forecast, in particular, can affect departments all over the company. So poor data leads to poor decisions that keep companies from reaching their goals. At the same time, every sales veteran knows it’s not practical to improve data quality at the expense of revenue.
So, how can you improve data quality while actually improving your sales engine? There are three key approaches ev...
Selling is really about buying. But you knew that, right?
That means we, as sellers, really need to understand our buyers. This can and should inform everything we do as sales professionals. Let’s start with the fundamentals:
Knowing who your buyer is (and isn’t)Understanding how your buyer buys (or stalls)Studying who else is approaching your buyer (and why)Examining what your buyer considers a benefit (or changing how they think about the problem in the first place)Exploring how the buyer measures these benefits (and associated risks)
Building buyer personas can help. Knowing your...