Sales is not a dirty word nor should be associated with high pressure tactics commonly used in other industries. It is the both the science and art of business development practices. The science is the structure of the sales process from the structured delivery of information, so that everyone in the firms speaks with “one voice” on what services are offered, to the routing which determines who is best to speak on the details of features and benefits (insert the communication triangle diagram). The communication triangle defines all attributes of the conversation from the Lead Source, to the Offer Type that is in play, to the needs-based approach to a structured conversation, to the recommendation, the objection handling, the close and any follow-up processes required. The art is in the delivery. Finding rapport through commonality. Building trust and confidence that ultimately leads to a new or deeper relationship. Structuring both sides, the science and the art is what makes a good sales environment scalable. This is what Relationship Velocity does to improve your sales environment.
Knowing what best-practice is around these elements can be the difference in closing 10% or 40% of developed opportunities. Foreach percentage point differential of closing rate there is an escalating increase on the number of opportunities to achieve the targeted sales goal. Opportunities are extremely expensive between the marketing costs and the sales costs. For example, 100 opportunities at a 40% closing rate produces 40 sales. If the closing rate drops to 10%, 400 opportunities are needed to produce the same 40 sales. That’s a 400% increase in opportunities. A low closing rate will not only have a dramatic effect on the marketing budget but also the sales budget. More sales coverage is needed to properly cover 400 opportunities as compared to 100 opportunities. The point being, sales effectiveness substantially reduces marketing costs for like results. Sales inefficiencies not only increases marketing costs but also the number of salespeople to cover the increased number of opportunities. It’s a double-edged sword. Also, each percentage point saved in incentive compensation is a percentage point to the bottom line since most sales' incentive plans are tied to revenues. Top producing salespeople (those that close in the 30% plus range) reduce both sides, the need for more opportunities and the coverage needed to produce the same results. However, these independent, extraverted people come at a high price and the price isn’t just incentives. Most times its responding to demands, either to the process, product pricing or a hundred other items they believe to be necessary to achieve greatness. Creating a best-practice sales environment eliminates the need for a “top-producer” since everyone becomes a top producer irrespective of character. A sound sales environment allows introverted people to be top producers, without the headache. Being able to create a best-practice sales environment however requires many attributes; from roles/skills needs determination, to recruiting, to incentive/total compensation design, to sales process and tool setup, to marketing and client onboarding. It not just about finding top salespeople. It’s about having a repeatable ecosystem that turns average salespeople into top producers. Structuring these attributes in a scalable system is what Relationship Velocity does as part of its Sales Transformation Services.
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