Mark Roberge, the Chief Revenue Officer of the HubSpot Sales Division, recently released his book entitled “The Sales Acceleration Formula” highlighting the lessons and best practices he has learned as a sales leader throughout his career. After reading Roberge’s book, I was able to gain a heightened perspective on how premier sales teams can function at a high level. From the hiring process to closing a deal, for the sales leader and the field rep, Roberge gives an end to end look at how to optimize a sales team’s performance. Here are some of the key takeaways:
Hire salespeople with skill sets that complement your selling situation
Hiring the best sales people doesn’t always mean hiring the person with the most impressive resume. No two salespeople have the exact same approach to selling, and each salesperson has their own specific strengths. Assembling the right sales team means hiring the people whose distinctive strengths match the selling style of your company. Some people are great at creating long term relationships with customers in a complex sales cycle, others are exceptional at prospecting and getting meetings. Roberge makes it clear that understanding who the right person for the job is makes your sales team’s engine run much better.
Sales reps should be trained thoroughly in their customer’s job
Traditional sales training involves shadowing a sales manager, sitting in and running demos and walk-throughs of your product, written assessments, etc. Sales reps are taught to understand the product they are selling and how their colleagues are selling, but what is even more useful is understanding the customer’s situation. As a sales leader you should ensure that your reps understand the ins and outs of the industry they are selling to, the roles of decision makers, and what their job is like daily. Training salespeople in this manner makes it easier for them to utilize their own selling style (rather than an imparted style) to more efficiently uncover customer needs and support those needs throughout the process.
Defined and measurable agreements help sales and marketing get along
Roberge details his implementation of Sales and Marketing “Service Level Agreements” at HubSpot. The agreements laid down quantifiable expectations that marketing teams owed to sales and what sales owed to marketing. Sales always wants more leads, and marketing wants sales to use the right content and support their leads properly. Creating a framework to address when leads will be passed to sales, how many are expected to be passed, when sales will interact with inbound leads, and what content they will use to support these qualified leads is essential to aligning sales and marketing efforts.
Leveraging sales technologies improves efficiency and effectiveness of sales reps
Typical technology platforms used by sales teams, CRM for example, mainly benefit sales leaders and executives. They have also traditionally created more busywork for sales reps. Sales technologies today, however, can be leveraged to optimize the average sales person’s time and efficiency. These tools allow sales people to see what content leads have engaged with, what specific slides prospects view the most, whether or not a prospect has opened an email or a link to content- all allowing the sales person to engage with the customer and support their needs in context and at the right time.
Overall, Roberge stresses the importance of aligning sales and marketing, and making sure these two teams have the training and processes in place to work productively and collaboratively towards success.