Sales excellence is a concept that is hard to define for good reason, because it is not the same for all companies. It can be described as a smoothly running sales engine, in which a team of high performing sales reps works productively and effectively towards hitting your sales targets. In short, sales excellence is when your sales division does well, and that of course depends on what “doing well” means in your company. We have done some research and found four steps that can help you figure this out and achieve sales excellence in your company.
The key takeaways in this article are:
- Know your sales strategy and make it known in the organization to make sure you are working towards the same objectives and applying relevant metrics.
- Focus on your buyers and get to know their buying journey so you can engage buyers in every interaction.
- Streamline operations by setting roles and decision-making processes straight to boost productivity.
- Choose the right IT systems that support your sales efforts rather than adding heavy costs and a heavy administrative burden to the organization.
#1 Know your strategy
To get on the right path towards sales excellence, you need a solid foundation: Your sales strategy. It is crucial that your sales strategy is integrated to your overall strategy and well-communicated throughout all layers of your sales department. Otherwise you risk having different sales managers working towards different goals, as Lovrenc Kessler points out in an article in Entrepreneur. A sales strategy clarifies matters like target market, ideal customers and more, enabling your sales divisions to prioritize, set the right objectives and apply the right metrics in the evaluation of their efforts.
#2 Focus on your buyers
When you are selling, someone is buying, and it is really that someone you should focus on to boost your sales efforts. Knowing your customers’ buying journey is more important than ever, as Richard Ruff emphasizes in a business2community article. There are multiple touchpoints where buyers engage with your company and you should be aware of approaching them in a relevant way both offline, online and face-to-face. This means your sales reps must be able to adjust their behavior and sales pitch in real time to the prospects and clients in front of them. That calls for closer collaboration with the marketing department, who can arm sales reps with relevant content that engages buyers in all steps on the way to a sale.
#3 Streamline operations
Your sales department must run like a well-oiled engine for you to achieve sales excellence. Bertil Chappuis, senior partner in McKinsey & Company, points out in a Quotable article that the right operating model is crucial. It must be clear who makes decisions on what. What is decided by the HQ and what is decided in the country offices? When processes are in place people become more certain of their areas of responsibility, which strengthens productivity. Streamlining your sales operations ensures that prospects and clients are approached at the right time, in the right way, by the right people.
#4 Choose the right IT systems
IT systems can make the daily life of your sales team a whole lot easier but at the same time they represent significant costs to the company. Therefore, you need to choose carefully when considering purchasing a CRM, ERP or other system that supports sales. EY has made a model for sales excellence with 10 dimensions in which IT systems is a dimension. In the description EY emphasizes that e.g. a CRM system must live up to certain criteria to help you achieve sales excellence: It must be integrated into and support all sales processes, it must have a broad use by internal and external staff, and there must be clear incentives encouraging people to use it. Remembering this enables you to find and choose IT systems that will optimize your workflows and help you achieve sales excellence.
Napp is sales enablement software that helps you fast-track the journey towards sales excellence. Features like content sharing and analytics help you focus on your buyers, and the platform connects your sales and marketing departments to streamline operations. Moreover, Napp complements your CRM and helps your sales reps save time on administrative tasks, so they can spend their time selling instead. Reach out to us to learn more about Napp and what it can do for your business.