Part 2 of Mastering Sales Efficiency: An Innovative Approach
In my last post, I covered the right way to find and assess weak spots in your sales funnel. If you haven’t read it, stop here and go back to it. It’s essential reading before you can understand the solutions below.
If you’ve read it and know which behaviors you need to target in the weakest stage of your sales process, this post is for you.
Below are the data-backed ways you can ensure the right selling behaviors happen at the right times, so your buyers move through a frictionless sales process. These are the final steps in my proven framework for making continuous improvements to your sales process. If you can maximize throughput, you can get higher win rates, larger deals, faster sales cycles, and lower churn.
Let’s dive in.
Replicate the right behaviors and deprecate the wrong ones
With a firm understanding of the issues you want to target in your sales process’s weak spots, you’re ready to drive improvement across your sales organization. To do so, two approaches are in order:
1. Equip the sales organization
Design a learning journey for the organization in partnership with your Enablement team, if you are fortunate enough to have one. If not, the sales leaders can pull it together too.
Discover what great looks like in the specific behaviors that you are looking to replicate by watching game tape of the best reps in the org. Beware: Sometimes the top performers perform aspects of the sales process poorly, but are strong enough in other areas that they overcome their soft spots. To solve for this, use data to find the reps who best perform the behavior you’re targeting, and use game film to ensure that everyone does it with excellence. Here’s a rep-specific report on the behaviors that matter most in this stage:
In this example, Liz and Tim are both exceptional performers. How do we know?
In my last blog post, we determined that a longer strategic narrative (~94 seconds) in discovery was closely associated with deals that were eventually won, while a shorter strategic narrative (~32 seconds) in discovery was associated with closed-lost deals. We can see that Liz and Tim use our strategic narrative for an amount of time that’s associated with closed-won deals in the discovery stage of our sales process. Time to study their game film and talk with their managers to learn what excellent behavior looks like in this area. Which parts of how they approach strategic narrative can other reps emulate?
Use examples like these as a launchpad to design a high-quality, broad-scale learning journey for the organization. Be sure to use the game film when showing what great looks like, as the sales organization will respond well to seeing their peers doing brilliantly in a real scenario.
Remember: Only rally around a few dos and don’ts. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is trying to drive too much behavioral change at once. Fewer things done better is the key.
2. Equip individuals
Now take the momentum of your enablement sessions and turn them into high-quality coaching moments between the manager and rep to be sure the behaviors are firmly embedded with excellence.
To start, both reps and managers will need to individualize data to understand where they need to make improvements. Use the stack ranking chart above.
Managers can then share this data with members of their team and create a plan to address the areas that matter most (Strategic Narrative, for example). With this data-backed understanding of what needs to change, why, and for whom, managers can review game film for each individual and coach accordingly.
Another hugely successful practice is to do team call reviews in your weekly team meeting. To do so, have each rep tag a moment in a call in which they incorporated the new behavior. Those snippets are then shared in the weekly call review and the team is invited to comment or what went well and what could have been improved. More important that the actual call review is that each team member will keep the behavior top-of-mind on every call because they know they will have to share a snippet in front of the team. You’ll be blown away by the power of these sessions to bring change, and the ways in which they make learning safe and fun.
Continue to track your changes over time
Finally, run your reports again in a month, and celebrate the reps who changed their behavior in the targeted areas. Have managers focus on those who haven’t adopted new behaviors, regardless of whether their deals have shown up yet as closed-won. It’s absolutely critical that you close the loop by showing the team where the hard work of making improvements paid off!
It’s also imperative that you celebrate managers who moved their team’s behavior and address managers who haven’t made that happen. A manager’s ability to move their team’s skill set using high-quality coaching is non-negotiable.
This is a process that can be used over and again to remove friction from the sales process. What works well today may not work so well tomorrow, so we need to keep running analysis to show which behaviors lead to more wins and losses.
Do it again. Every quarter. Endlessly.
If you’re doing well in every stage but one, it will kill your win rates. The weakest link affects the entire process.
That’s why the best practice in perfecting your sales process is methodically refining it every quarter to eliminate friction and maximize revenue growth. Always go back to the beginning of this improvement cycle to identify the next stickiest spot in your sales process.
In summary, use the data to find the behavior you need to change, use your teams to run amazing enablement sessions based on those doing the behaviors best, and embed the behaviors using high-quality coaching cycles, then hit repeat.
Your win rates will be sky high in no time.Want to share this entire framework — parts one and two — with your RevOps, sales ops, and enablement teams? Send them this PDF.