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How Sales Can Get On Track to Accelerated Sales, Productivity & Alignment
Blog / For Sales Pros / Nov 1, 2017 / Posted by Dave Hubbard / 7766

How Sales Can Get On Track to Accelerated Sales, Productivity & Alignment


Are you on the right track to accelerate sales and productivity? It often doesn’t feel that way. You’re working harder every year but you’re not consistently achieving quota expectations. You’re are not alone.

Most companies are on the wrong track. Fewer companies are achieving their revenue plan each year (89.2% achieved plan in 2012 but only 85.5% achieved plan in 2016). Fewer Salespeople are achieving their quota (63% in 2012 but only 53% in 2016). (Miller Heiman/CSO Insights)

Since most companies are feeling this same pain, the cause must be common to all.

The Buyer purchasing journey has dramatically changed in the past 10 years yet we have not dramatically changed our selling process. Fewer salespeople and sales organizations are meeting their goals each year as the gap between the buyer’s evolving purchasing journey and our outdated sales processes continues to widen.

The Buyers are becoming more independent by self-educating potential solutions online throughout their entire buyer journey, even when we’re actively engaged with them! The size of the buyer team is increasing. The buyer purchase cycles are getting longer. B2B buyer journeys can be 6-12 months and longer, yet it is only within the last 3 months of their purchasing process that 63% buyers accept vendor outreach and 72% buyers engage sales reps. (Demand Gen Report).

However, Sales organizations with tight alignment to the entire buyer journey achieve accelerated sales and productivity.

How aligned is your sales organization? If you’re not achieving this level of sales performance, you are NOT tightly aligned with your entire buyer purchasing journey:

  • Revenue Growth: 32% year-over-year revenue growth vs 7% decrease in revenue for competitors (Aberdeen Group)
  • Revenue Growth Rate: 2.2X revenue growth rate versus others (13.3% revenue growth vs 6.2%) (Miller Heiman/CSO Insights).
  • Multi-year Revenue Growth: 24% faster revenue growth over a three-year period (Sirius Decisions)
  • Revenue Plan: 96.5% sales organizations achieve revenue plan vs only 85.5% for average sales organizations,
  • Quota Achievement: 69.8% salespeople achieve quota vs only 53% for average sales organization (Miller Heiman/CSO Insights).
  • Deal Size: 9.9X average deal size growth versus others (7.9% deal size growth vs 0.8%)
  • Sales Cycle: 8.2 % shorter sales cycle. (5.6% sales cycle reduction vs 2.6% sales cycle increase)
  • Win Rate: 53.3% win rate of forecasted deals versus 41.3% win rate for others
  • Loss Rate: 25.4% loss rate of forecasted deals versus 37.1 % loss rate for others (no-decision of forecasted deals were 21% for both)
  • Retention Rate: 36% higher customer retention rates. (MarketingProfs)
  • Leads: 41% leads generated by referral partners converted to customers when the partners were a member of Formal Partner Referral Program, were educated on the target buyers and received active support from sales teams, versus, 0.48% leads generated by ad hoc partners converted to customers). (Amplifinity)

If other sales organizations are achieving this level of performance, so can your sales organization!

We dug into all of the recent third-party research reports cited above to determine common traits that enabled these sales organizations to overachieve their competitors. In addition, we added key traits that helped our clients achieve 25%+ sales growth.

How aligned is your Sales organization to your buyer’s entire purchasing journey? Here are the traits that you must demonstrate to be on the right track to accelerated sales, productivity and alignment.

  • Target Buyer: You actively prospect for potential buyers that fit the company’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for your solution. The ICP represents Product Management’s assessment of the buyer segment that will find the company’s value proposition and solution most compelling.
  • Buyer Journey: You understand your buyer’s preferred purchasing process and decision stages, from problem/opportunity awareness to solution implementation to expanded relationship.
  • Buyer Team: You understand the concerns and expectations of each buyer team member. You have detailed, actionable persona profiles of each member of the ICP buying team. You sell to every member of the buyer team and help them collectively reach a consensus decision in your favor.
  • Sales Process: Your sales organization is guided by a dynamic, formal, sales process that is tightly aligned with the entire purchasing journey of your target buyers. The sales process is documented, reflected in CRM and enforced. Your multi-stage sales process is tightly aligned with the buyer’s preferred multi-stage purchasing journey. The exit criteria for a sales stage is based upon buyer actions, not sales actions (e.g. based upon the buyer team’s decision to seek external assistance in resolving their issue, and not whether you simply met or presented to them). The sales process is continually updated to reflect market changes, buyer concerns, competitive actions, and your field best practices.
  • Opportunity Qualification: You accept that the buyer is always researching online, assessing their business requirements and determining their best next step. Therefore, you are always qualifying, assessing your sales opportunity and determining your best next step. You strive to achieve a trusted partner or strategic contributor relationships with all your prospects/customers.
  • Sales Communications: You demonstrate knowledge of the business landscape and the solution area, and, deliver insights about the buyer company and their needs. You communicate value messages and articulate solutions that are tightly aligned to the customer’s needs. 31% of your sales communications with buyers is via social media and website interactions (Aberdeen Group)
  • Sales Content: You deliver content that speaks directly to the needs of buyer’s industry and expertise, and, to the needs of the buyer’s company. Your content helps the buyer team member show buyer ROI and/or build a buyer business case for the purchase.
  • Sales Effectiveness: Your Sales manager spends more than 20% of their time coaching, not micro-managing. (Sales Readiness Group)
  • Sales Channels: You recruit channel partners that fit the company’s Ideal Partner Profile and actively educate/guide/support them in selling the company’s solutions to the Ideal Customer Profiles.
  • Sales Technology: All SalesTech is tightly integrated with your CRM to form the sales organization’s only system of record.

Sales is in control of their destiny. All of the traits needed to consistently accelerate sales and productivity are within the direct control of the Sales organization.

It’s time for you to get on the right track. Make it a priority, but don’t let yourself get distracted from making this quarter’s quota! Bring in an experienced sales/marketing alignment consultant to quickly get you on the right track to accelerated sales, productivity and alignment.

Pipeliner CRM empowers sales teams to totally track with buyers. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

Dave is a Sales and Marketing Consultant with deep experience leading both Marketing and Sales organizations. He offers a complete portfolio of B2B sales and marketing consulting services designed to increase sales, marketing ROI, and drive increased profits for small and medium-sized B2B companies.


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