Sales excellence is maximizing the performance of your sales reps by giving them the tools, training, and content they need to continuously improve and add value to every customer engagement. Organizations achieve this by iterating on their successes and scaling best practices to increase sales efficiency and revenue generation.
Businesses that have digitally transformed have a distinct advantage and smart enablement is a key contributor to success. In our experience, organizations that achieve sales excellence do three things well:
- Enable their sales teams with the skills, knowledge and tools to be more productive faster.
- Engage with their buyers across the entire journey, meeting them where they are, with a story that’s personalized and stands out from the competition.
- Use data to continuously improve every aspect of their go-to-market (GTM) efforts, from content to process, as well as people.
How can you achieve sales excellence and sales success?
Sales success starts with sales training and coaching. The right tools and technology give organizations the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills their sales reps need to be successful. A learning management system (LMS) allows sales leaders to create lessons, measure seller performance, and optimize based on performance.
Digital-first selling gives sales reps the flexibility to engage buyers on their terms. Whether a buyer prefers to engage on social media, email, or in a digital sales room, sales reps can personalize content experiences based on their preferences.
Measuring content performance allows sales reps to understand what works and what doesn’t. Content analytics generate insights that sales organizations can use to identify and replicate best practices at scale.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning give organizations deeper insights into the how’s and why’s of their successes. AI-guided selling uses machine learning to help organizations identify and share the right content with the right buyer, at the right time. By identifying the patterns in winning deals, AI allows sales organizations to scale best practices and close more deals, faster.
How is sales excellence measured?
Data and insights are the driving force behind a culture of sales excellence. Data-mature organizations win because they analyze performance across the complete deal cycle – from seller onboarding to closed-won deals.
Using data to understand sellers strengths and weaknesses, or which content generates the most revenue, organizations can optimize their go-to-market strategy. In particular, there are XX metrics your organization can use to achieve sales excellence:
Average ramp time: It’s important to understand how quickly sales reps develop the skills and knowledge they need in order to be successful. By understanding where each individual seller is in terms of knowledge and awareness, enablement leadership can personalize training and coaching tracks based on each seller’s individual needs.
Engagement by content: Understanding which content resonates with buyers helps marketers create more of what works. It also helps sellers identify what to share based on past performance. When an asset generates opportunities and helps close deals, its use should become a best practice.
Content-influenced opportunities: After a deal cycle ends, take a moment to identify which content the buyer engaged with and whether it led to a closed-won or closed-lost opportunity. Understanding where buyers engage with content during their purchasing journey helps determine when content is most effective and how it helps advance conversations.
How to achieve sales excellence and sales success?
It starts with enablement. Effective enablement helps sales and marketing teams align in pursuit of shared go-to-market objectives.
Sales and marketing alignment allows GTM leadership to set revenue targets and determine the best strategy to achieve them. For example, if an organization wants to book $20M in new revenue this quarter, marketing needs to convert XX new leads, sales needs to book XX calls and meetings, and so on.
This level of coordination allows GTM teams to measure their efforts over time. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your go-to-market strategy, your organization can do more of what works and spend more time fine-tuning what needs improvement.
In order to do this effectively, GTM teams need:
- Sales training and coaching
- Enablement technology
- Buyer engagement
- Artificial intelligence
Each of these tools are foundational to achieving sales excellence. Let’s take a look at how each of these tools help GTM teams enable, engage, and improve.
Ramp sellers quickly and efficiently
Success starts with the right skills and knowledge for the job. For example, your sales reps may need to establish proficiency in 10 unique skills before they can sell effectively. In order to ramp new sellers and upskill experienced reps, you need tools for training and coaching.
Virtual sales and training coaching allow organizations to train sales reps at scale, without in-person conferences. With simple, interactive sales training programs, learners can develop new skills in 10-15 minute lessons, all from the comfort of their home office.
The data and insights from learning management systems (LMS) allow enablement leaders to tailor lesson plans to the individual learner. If John Smith has developed the skills they need to sell product x, then they can sharpen their skills in selling product y, instead of learning more of the same. This level of personalization allows sales reps to ramp faster and more efficiently so that they can do more selling.
Enable sellers with an easy-to-use platform
You know it, we know it: your sales reps are busy. They’re so busy that the average sales rep only spends 35% of their time selling. We both also know that 35% isn’t enough.
So, how do sales reps spend their time? After meetings, administrative tasks, and lengthy training sessions, sellers are left with too little time to do their real job. As a result, the time they have to plan and engage buyers needs to be efficient and impactful.
Sales enablement software helps sales reps improve productivity. By combining sales tools and content in a single, easy-to-use location, sellers can quickly identify the right content for the right opportunity without needing to jump between multiple systems.
Personalize buyer engagement
76% of buyers say they expect personalized experiences. This can mean tailoring content based on a buyer’s needs, or engagement on their preferred channels. In order to effectively build relationships with buyers, sales reps need to work with them on their terms.
Today, buyers are engaging everywhere. A sales journey that starts on LinkedIn may eventually lead to a google search, then a supplier’s website, and email. Sales reps need to be available to buyers on every channel.
Tools like digital sales rooms help simplify buyer engagement. Instead of creating a fractured content experience for buyers, digital sales rooms give buyers a single location to access deal-related content.
Digital sales rooms are an effective way to achieve sales excellence. By personalizing content for an opportunity, sales reps can leverage content analytics to understand what content works best for different personas throughout every stage of the buyer journey. By understanding which content generates opportunities and revenue, sales organizations can replicate and scale best practices.
Making sales excellence a reality
Sales excellence starts with having a winning sales culture. When sales and marketing teams are aligned, they can develop a strategy in pursuit of shared goals and objectives. Understanding what works, what doesn’t, and how you won or loss allows your organizations to take successes and, over time, turn them into sales excellence. If you’d like to learn more, download our interactive guide to see how you can accelerate seller success.