An effective sales strategy starts with holding tight to basic sales fundamentals. Creating a dynamic sales team that will dominate the sales cycle starts with taking a step back, determining your key challenges and your fastest path to real impact. To help, we’ve pulled together some expert guidance from the industry’s best sales professionals. They share their thoughts on the top skills sales reps need to master as well as how to boost revenue by aligning sales strategy with value-based messaging.
Learn from their decades of experience and let their thought leadership help you build an unstoppable sales team.
6 Sales Strategy Insights from Top Performing Sales Professionals
1. How To Hire The Best Salespeople
One of the most critical keys to success is hiring the right salespeople. With average annual turnover in sales ranging from 25 to 30%, sales managers have to be strategic about hiring the right people, write GrowthPlay Board of Directors member Frank Cespedes and GrowthPlay CEO Daniel Weinfurter on Harvard Business Review.
This rate of turnover is a huge cost for sales organizations.
“Consider these stats. Direct replacement costs for a telesales employee can range from $75,000 to $90,000, while other sales positions can cost a company as much as $300,000. Moreover, these figures don’t reflect the lost sales while a replacement is found and trained. In sectors like medical devices, big capital equipment, and many professional services, including these opportunity costs can push turnover cost to $1 million or more per event,” Cespedes and Weinfurter write.
“Bottom line: companies typically spend more on hiring in sales than they do anywhere else in the firm. So how do you improve the returns on this investment? Here are four places to start: hire for the task, focus on behaviors, be clear about what you mean by relevant ‘experience’ and on-going talent assessments.”
Jill Konrath, sales thought leader and author, honed her sales skills at Xerox before becoming a sales consultant to firms across the globe. Her best advice on hiring? It’s all about finding reps who can ask the right questions.
“Turns out the ability to ask insightful, thought-provoking questions was the single biggest differentiator between top performers and average reps,” according to Konrath.
2. Why Great Salespeople Make Terrible Sales Managers
To minimize the downtime between hires, many sales organizations will simply promote their best salespeople to sales manager. This is actually a terrible idea because the skills sales reps need to master are vastly different than those of a great sales manager.
“First, only about one out of every six candidates who is a strong fit for a sales role is also a strong fit for a sales management role. Perhaps equally surprisingly, as many as five out of every seven candidates who are poor fits for sales roles are strong fits for sales manager roles. Good fit for sales = bad fit for sales management. Bad fit for sales = good fit for sales management,” writes Bruce Sevy, Managing Director of GrowthPlay Analytics Center on Forbes.com.
3. Leading an Elite Sales Organization