Did Your Sales Team Hit Quota in 2015? What’s Your Plan for 2016?
So… did your team hit quota in 2015? Did they work the same old sales processes that they worked in 1980…1990… even 2000? Well… it’s time for a change. Research from SiriusDecision found 54% of sales professionals won’t meet quota this year. If you are leading a sales team or a sales professional, this is bad news.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges most sales teams are facing:
- Outdated processes.
“Technology is a double edge sword. Just as salespeople are moving into the future, the buyers are already ahead of us” -Koka Sexton, Content and Social Team, LinkedIn,
As a leader, it is our responsibility to invest in the training and programs available for sales teams today. Social Selling is not a fad. It’s not going away. It’s going to have more scalable results as we go into the next decade. It’s time to make the investment.
- SME-less. SME, or Subject Matter Expertise, is crucial today. If your team is not on social and don’t know who the industry thought leaders are, then you lack credibility and authority. They have to know what’s happening and who’s doing and where advancements are taking place.
- “Would you like fries with that”? Order takers. Sales people can be categorized into 4 basic roles: Order Takers, Navigators, Explainers, and Consultants. Order Takers are simply being replaced by self-service portals. Navigators will be replaced with new tools and integrations that streamline procurement. Explainers simply convey information and they are no longer required. Consultants are really the only position that will see an upswing. That means your sales team must have the ability to consult with the prospect based on their needs, and not based on the sale of the product or service. 1Million B2B Sales Jobs will go extinct by 2020:
- Order Takers are looking at 33% job loss by 2020
- Navigators are looking at 15% job loss by 2020
- Explainers are looking at 25% job loss by 2020
- Consultants are expected to grow 10% by 2020
- Marketing blames Sales. Sales blames Marketing. Social Selling involves both sides of the coin. Get your team on the same page and integrate Social Selling programs together.
- 60-70% of content in B2B Organizations goes unused.
- Lack of digital interaction. Remember that 57% of the buying decision is completed before the buyer is willing to talk to a sales rep. That means that you have to be available, searchable, and active digitally. This is your opportunity to influence their purchase decision.
- 65% of buyers feel that the vendor’s content had an impact on the final purchase decision.
- 80% of buyers know what they want before they even contact a vendor
2016 is the time for the evolution of the Modern Sales Person. This is what the Modern sales person looks like (Source: Forrester and Sales for Life):
- They embrace technology
- They share new ideas
- They exhibit business acumen
- They communicate effectively
- They seek collaboration
- They leverage data
Here are some tips for your sales team.
- Curate relevant content that can be shared across social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Engage in meaningful conversations with your target audience. Be authentic and show your SME!
- Publish original content, which can be accomplished easily with LinkedIn’s Publisher tool. Once published, use the share buttons to post to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Don’t forget those targeted LinkedIn Groups, FB Groups, etc.
- Review ‘Who Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile” and “Who Viewed Your Posts”. Reach out and engage them in conversation. If you can, convert that into a live call or perhaps a meeting.
- Connect with your prospects, referral partners, and centers-of-influence on LinkedIn, stay top of mind, and be a resource for them.
- Check for alerts and updates about your network. Birthdays and Anniversaries are 2 touch points over the course of the year where you may be able to rekindle a past conversation.
- Keep track of the prospects that don’t connect on LinkedIn by saving them to your contacts and tagging them with the appropriate tag.
- Start 3-5 new conversations a day.
- Check your LinkedIn inbox regularly
- Check your LinkedIn notifications flag regularly.
- Check your home page for updates about your network and the companies you are following
- Groups, groups, groups! Get involved in discussions in your LinkedIn groups. Choose groups where your prospects are and start some conversations!
If you invest in anything for your sales team this year, Social Selling is your best bet.
References include CMOCouncil.org, CBE Global, Business2Community, Sales Benchmark Index, CEB, Social Media and Sales Quota, Aberdeen Group, Social Media and The Sales Organization, Salesforce.com, Forrester Research, SAP, Cisco, SalesforLife
- Be the first to give to your new business relationships
- Always pay it forward
- Network with purpose.
Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.