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Sales Ops Tips to Drive Revenue

grapevine6 logoToday’s customer is driving the buying process, thanks to the internet. Buyer behavior had done a 180. Has your Sales organization evolved to adapt? The modern buyer uses search engines and social media to self educate about products and services. Industry Analysts predict prospects are over 58% through the buying process before ever engaging with a Salesperson.  For publicly traded companies, the scrutiny over missing analyst revenue expectations is a death knell.

And most Salespeople sell products and service that have multiple competitors making margin erosion an ongoing threat. The pressure to perform, i.e. drive revenue, has never been this intense.

Over the last 30 years, tech vendors have relied on quarter-end and year-end special pricing, upgrade options and enterprise license agreements to accelerate the Sale. Unfortunately, these predictable Sales tactics don’t work in today’s customer-driven market.

CRM Fails to Drive Sales

From a Sales Operations perspective, CRM enables Sales Managers to manage the funnel. CRM rocks as a Management tool, but fails as a Selling tool because of the time-sucking data entry requirements. Salespeople are motivated and measured on generating revenue, not data entry – The disconnect is a recipe for disaster in terms of driving Sales.

Most Sales reps have all been subjected to formal Sales methodologies such as Challenger, Miller Heiman and MEDDIC in the quest to better understand the prospect’s behavior and close business. Sadly, most of these methodologies lack something that is staring us in the face: Social Media and Digital Brand Engagement.

Assessing Credibility

Senior IT prospects are inundated by vendors wanting “a few minutes of their time” to demo a solution. It is not that they don’t want to meet; it is the sheer volume of the requests that cannot be accommodated in a reasonable timeframe.

Voicemail is ignored and emails that don’t go to spam elicit a negative response without an established relationship. Potential buyers are increasingly checking out Salespeople on social media, specifically their LinkedIn profiles, to Assess Credibility.

Are You Easy to Find?

You must be easy to find when the prospective client reaches that magic 59% point in their buying cycle. When a prospect searches you on LinkedIn, is your phone number and work email address contained in the contact info section?

Your LinkedIn photo is your first digital brand impression and it has huge and lasting implications. Is your photo professional versus one taken in a bar in Ft. Lauderdale?

It is vital to have a genuine connection with your contacts. 500+ is the magic number of contacts that shows you have a large relationship base and have a sizable network. You may have 501 or 50,000 contacts, but this 500+ number is a key metric in your digital brand. More important than the number however is the quality of your contacts. Don’t rush to get to 500+ by adding random contacts who have no relationship with you or your personal brand.

Are you actively posting content on LinkedIn? This humanizes you so that clients see you are more than just the solution you represent. A prospect who shares your passion for motorcycles or guitars creates topics for discussion that can naturally grow your relationship to the next level.

Marketing is hard pressed to curate enough quality corporate content. That said, it is vital to only post content that is compliant, especially if you are in a regulated marketplace such as financial services. A great rule of thumb is to post no more than 30% of your content about your firm.

Embracing Social Media

Have you embraced Social Engagement as a critical part of your selling DNA? Email and Voicemail are old school for millennials and Gen Z who live and breathe on social media sites.

Do you know how to make yourself shown as anonymous on LinkedIn? This takes two minutes to set up and protects your privacy when you are prospecting on LinkedIn. If not figure it out so you can prospect privately, without being intrusive. Contact me if you need help!

These are a few of the tips that Sales Operations can implement to empower Sales teams who are driven by revenue and commissions. Consider it giving back to the teams who have had CRM hoisted on them.

If you are in Sales Management, in a few minutes you can verify if your Sales reps have taken the above steps to ensure they have digital brand in social media. SSI scores (Social Selling Index) demonstrate the maturity of your Sales team leveraging social media as a prospecting tool.

Revenue Generation           

FACT: Having more qualified prospects in the funnel increases your chances of achieving your revenue target.  There is endless science that has been applied to this. Historically trade shows, seminars, cold calling, proof of concepts, pilots and email campaigns have filled the funnel. Because of changes in buyer behavior,Social Engagement is proving to be a far more effective method for growing relationships, filling the funnel and driving revenue.

Read more: How to Align Your Organization’s Customer Success to Drive Sales