As many companies round the halfway point of their sales year, sales metrics are under increasing scrutiny. Pipeline coverage, close rates, deal timing and size have become the primary (or only) subject for sales leadership...always followed by the question "what should we do?"
The usual response is to place
on the sales reps in the field.
Unfortunately, the problem is rarely lack of motivation on the part of the sales rep. Instead, the weakness in the sales numbers results from ineffective early stage, top of funnel activities. And the
is driven by how reps are engaging with their prospects and customers early in the sales cycle (at the top of the funnel.)
In short...it's not their fault! The organization has failed to properly prepare them for early stage engagement -- identifying and aligning with their customers' key business issues. Without this alignment, pipeline coverage and velocity are lower, close rates are down, and deal size and profitability are affected.
The evidence is in your SFA system
Reps or teams that align with key business issues -- speaking the
language of value
of their customers -- have higher early stage funnel velocity. They connect higher in their customers' organizations. They close larger, more profitable deals. They have higher renewal rates. Their customers follow them from one vendor to the next. They are considered "trusted advisors."
I've worked with many of these sales professionals. They have fun at work. They care about their accounts and the individuals in those accounts. They are personally invested in the success of their customers. And they do indeed sweat the details.
They are truly
Savvy organizations study these reps and design sales enablement processes to assist their B and C reps to perform similarly, to be able to engage with customers powerfully and effectively. These organizations identify the early warning signals of declining sales productivity, frequently driven by external market forces, and address them before they become problematic.