Content is no longer king - context is. Today B2B companies must interact with their prospects on a more personalized level, delivering messaging, content and insights that are both highly relevant and valuable. Traditional demand generation does not support this approach, because it targets a large audience, using less personalized messaging and content.
For B2B companies, deploying an account based approach to sales and marketing represents a more strategic and predictable path to revenue growth. Account based sales and marketing is a laser-focused approach to proactively targeting right-fit accounts through highly relevant and personalized interactions.
“Marketing is eating sales.” “Death of a B2B salesman.” We’ve heard this rhetoric again and again, attempting to predict the future of B2B sales and marketing. Whether these statements will come to fruition or not is very difficult to predict. And while the lines between sales and marketing are blurring, one thing I can say with confidence is that the most successful B2B companies will view sales and marketing as one single team, not two separate entities.
Data is the most valuable commodity that a sales development team can have. And the ability to leverage that data, as well as maintain its quality and completeness, lays the foundation of sales development success. It’s what enables greater personalization as well more targeted outreach to the companies that are a better fit.
The rise of sales enablement has led many B2B sales and marketing organizations to build formalized sales enablement programs and increase their investment in sales enablement technologies and resources. As these investments continue to grow, the ability to objectively measure the success and return on investment of sales enablement activities is paramount.
Building a team of high performing sales reps goes beyond good sales enablement and training, and extends to developing a methodical approach to hiring the right individuals. An approach that is data driven and looks at the right personal traits will increase the likelihood of making successful hires.
Effective qualification of a sales opportunity must rely on much more than the old school B.A.N.T. / budget – authority – need – timeline criteria. Instead, sales reps must dig deeper to uncover elements such as organizational alignment, business goals, and the motivations of the 5.4 + stakeholders who will likely be involved in making a decision.
The most successful sales people, and the most successful companies for that matter, are those who seek to find and alleviate pain. Aspirin alleviates an immediate pain; vitamins enhance your health and provide longer term benefits. That’s not to say there isn’t any value in vitamins – there is. But people aren’t running out in the middle of the night because they ran out of vitamins.
Implementing a degree of personalization into your outbound prospecting activity is a critical component of building a strong account based sales development program. But it’s the ability to deliver personalization, and do so at scale, that creates a true growth machine.
urrent pipeline is a sales metric that is widely viewed as a leading indicator, and as a predictor of revenue, it is. But when used as a tool to measure and forecast the probability of meeting your sales targets over the course of a month or a quarter, it’s a lagging indicator.
It goes without saying that one of the most important elements of sales development and outbound prospecting is the ability to craft impactful messaging that will resonate with your prospects. However, the path to achieving that is not always easy.
Personalization is a critical component of any successful sales development campaign. It’s what separates effective and engaging outreach efforts from spam. There are many ways personalization can be achieved, all of which require some level of legwork and initial research, but all payoff in the long run.
The B2B technology landscape has dramatically changed. The barrier to entry is lower and the level of competition has become significantly higher. This increased level of competition has driven many companies (and sales people) to rely on price and features to win deals. This commoditization means that companies risk lower win rates, lower deals sizes, thinner margins, and ultimately a race to the bottom.
Sales development, when done right, can be a true science and the engine that drives the growth machine. But getting to that level of predictability requires a maniacal focus on testing and measuring various elements of your sales development and cold outreach efforts in order to optimize performance.
Anyone who is dedicated to getting in shape and working out can attest to the fact that one of the things you quickly learn is that building strength and muscle requires the right balance of weight and repetitions. Maximum gains in fitness come not from a large number of repetitions with low weight, or through the opposite, trying to lift extremely heavy weight with few repetitions. Maximum gains come from a balanced mix of both.
Modern sales and the B2B buyer journey have magnified the need for information, data, and insights. B2B buyers are demanding information, and are doing so long before they engage with any vendor. Because of this vendors must build a wealth of insight to not just satisfy the needs of buyers, but also increase the effectiveness of both sales and marketing.
There is a striking similarity between the typical B2B technology sales process and the world of project management. Not only do they share a lot of similarities from a process perspective, but there is also a lot in common between the attributes required to successfully manage a project and the sales evaluation process.
The demo is a critical component of any SaaS sales process. And the unfortunate truth is that many companies don’t do a good job of building and running effective demos. In doing so they commoditize their product offering, invite competition, and see lower ACVs.
In a prior post, I outlined the five key traits of the modern sales rep. Those traits are mostly inherent and rely less on training and coaching and more on good talent selection. There are however four critical knowledge and skill areas that through effective training programs and coaching can be developed to subsequently build a high performing rep.
The evolution of B2B sales and the expectations of today’s B2B buyer is demanding a significantly different approach to hiring and developing sales talent. The “sales rock stars” of the past are a dying breed. These shifts mean that sales leaders must rethink the profile of their ideal candidate.