Achieving goal doesn’t have to be that hard, if your sales provider has a system in place to consistently achieve your sales goals. Here are 5 things to look for to figure out whether your sales provider is taking the right steps to exceed your sales goals.
Here are 5 things to look for to figure out whether your sales provider is an innovator or an order-taker.
Meeting sales quotas is difficult – taking a sales team to a New 100% is an even greater challenge. At the Vistage Executive Summit in Denver, Colorado, almost 70 Vistage members attended Infinity’s CEO Tom Leidigh’s lunchtime workshop to get tips on how to do it.
“You have an opportunity to transform your sales team into a revenue system,” Leidigh told the audience.
Today, companies need an integrated system that addresses all of the key components that lead to superior sales growth. By integrating strategy, talent, analytics, sales, and marketing together can a company build a revenue system.
Leidigh compared the multi-functional integration to a self-driving car. These new vehicles require many different types of systems to work: GPS, sensing, computing, and mechanical components.
“If you don’t have an integrated system for sales, you might as well be working with a world atlas,” he said.
To help clients achieve a New 100% sales target, Infinity developed the Buyerlytics® revenue system. Buyerlytics® helps clients quickly integrate the components that drive revenue, including strategy & design, data & analytics, human talent, sales execution, and marketing integration.
Since formally launching the Buyerlytics® methodology in 2016, Infinity’s clients have seen tremendous results. One Infinity sales team broke a client’s global sales record; another team delivered 420% return on investment for another client. All clients have seen a 300% ROI and 100%+ revenue increases.
Infinity is an award-winning sales agency and consulting firm that helps b2b companies maximize sales and drive revenue. Infinity implements our proprietary Buyerlytics® revenue system to go beyond current sales targets and achieve a New 100% sales goal.
It Depends on Who You Ask
When sales executives scan the horizon for the next big opportunity, their end-goal is the same: drive revenue.
But when you think about the biggest opportunities to get there, the path forward splits.
Values Determine Opportunities
A recent Infinity survey found that sales executives’ opinions about important opportunities depend on whether they see Growing Market Share or Meeting Sales Quotas as more important.
Sales Quotas and Talent
Executives who saw achieving sales quotas as important were two-times more likely to see talent and culture as the areas of opportunity for improvement.
Market Share and Strategy
Those who thought market share was more important saw developing go-to-market strategy and integrating analytics as key opportunities for improvement.
What They Have in Common
Whiles executives were divided on whether talent/culture or strategy/analytics were the most important, they did agree on some things.
Our respondents were equally likely to think sales execution is an opportunity — to a point.
They voted sales execution concerns, like implementing leading key performance indications and training, as more important than the other group’s hot-button concerns, but less important than their own.
Seeing More Than Opportunity
All of the respondents chose more than one opportunity. Meaning they expect that their ‘biggest opportunity” is addressing multiple issues and areas. No one improvement will achieve goal.
Developing a Priority Roadmap
Whenever you see multiple opportunities in front of you, the next questions is: How can I prioritize and sequence strategies to lead take advantage of these opportunities and ensure I meet my goals?
Infinity Can Help
Contact us to complete a Buyerlytics® SnapShot. In one 20-minute phone call, we can help you to investigate and prioritize high-level opportunities to drive growth.
Survey Finds that Increasing Market Share is More Important than Achieving Sales Quotas
As we get into 2017, sales executives have their eyes on the competitive landscape.
In Infinity’s recent survey, the majority of sales executives surveyed say that increasing market share is more important than achieving sales quotas in 2017.
It’s a surprising result, considering that the most heard phrase in boardrooms is: “We need more sales.”
What’s the Difference between Sales Quotas and Market Share?
Sales quotas are those goals that sales units need to hit to meet company goals. Achieving sales quota means successfully executing on sales campaigns (like acquisition, loyalty, upsell, and bundling).
On the other hand, market share is the percentage of total business that a particular company earns. The idea being that there’s only so much money that will be spent on any particular service, so market share is a company’s portion of that total spend. Market share reflects how much a customer prefers one brand to another. It’s that brand loyalty — and love — that businesses are looking for in 2017.
What’s Behind This Interest in Market Share?
There are several reasons why sales execs might be more interested in market share.
1. Strategic Mindset
One reason sales executives are placing more important on market share could be timing — sales executives are thinking big picture as they go into the new year.
At the time this survey was distributed, most companies were likely planning for 2017, and that could put people in a strategic mindset. And while achieving sales quota is an operational goal that focuses on sales functions, market share is strategic, involving company-wide integration and considering the entire industry landscape.
2. An Improving Economy
Choosing market share over sales quotas also could point to increased confidence in the economy. Companies may feel more confident in their ability to achieve targets and aim for something more difficult to attain—like market share. According to Gallup polls, US Economic Confidence increased 68% over the last four years from August 2011 to August 2016, just before our survey started.
3. Meeting Sales Quota Leads to Market Share
Of course, gaining market share and achieving sales quotas are not mutually exclusive. If a company exceeds sales quotas, they will likely also increase in market share. So to some extent, those surveyed who chose market share covered both bases.
Increasing Market Share Requires More than Sales Execution
Although market share and sales quotas are related, there is more to gaining market share than just sales execution. It involves integrating all of the components of go-to-market strategy that lead to superior sales, including staffing the right people, developing on-going training, supporting technological systems integration, and optimizing the sales process.
Bringing all of these elements together is a big challenge for all companies, but with so many sales execs already in a big-picture mindset, this is the time to do it.
Infinity revolutionizes the art and science of sales. Learn more about how Infinity can help your company achieve a new 100% sales target and increase market share: https://infinitydelivers.com/
Are Your Customers Loyal, or Just Satisfied?
Customers have a choice every day as to where they spend their money. Most people get into a routine; they like to visit the same grocery store, gas station, department stores. They purchase the same brand of ketchup or cereal. Most people are creatures of habit and like to feel comfortable. But just because a customer is satisfied with a product or business, does not necessarily mean that they are loyal. Many people think these phrases are interchangeable, but they are two very different things. So, it’s no wonder that many businesses mistake Customer Satisfaction for Customer Loyalty.
What is the difference between Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty?
A perfectly satisfied customer could choose to purchase elsewhere simply based on convenience or price. Or have one bad experience and turn against you…permanently (and we know how people like to talk about their bad experiences). However, a loyal customer will come back, even after a bad experience or unfriendly phone call. They will return because they are loyal to you, not just simply satisfied. They could probably be satisfied buying their gas from any gas station, but the trick is getting that customer to be loyal to your gas station. That is why Customer Loyalty is so much more important than just Customer Satisfaction. Loyalty has much more permanence than Satisfaction.
How do you build Customer Loyalty?
1. Build Strong Relationships
People like to buy from people they like.
You need to make conversation and create a good rapport with the customer. In inside sales, it’s important to keep good notes on your prospects, and remember what was talked about previously. Use your CRM diligently, and refer back to it before every follow up. For retailers, it’s important to remember them the next time they come in and make a point to acknowledge them.
2. Make the Customer Feel Important
Don’t sound rushed when on the phone with the customer/prospect or at the check-out counter. The customer will notice, and will not remember the experience as a positive one – or a negative one – they simply won’t remember it at all, and at times that can almost be worse. You want the customer to walk away from each interaction feeling good, which in turn will lead them to have positive feelings when thinking about your business or product. Use the customer’s name, smile, and make eye contact. Go above and beyond to answer any questions!
3. Follow Up
Follow up is critical in gaining Customer Loyalty.
If a customer feels like their business is important to you, then you will be more important to them. In the inside sales world this means having good retention or customer support teams in place. Create a follow up cadence to ensure that your customer is satisfied, and make sure they are fully utilizing the service you have provided.
4. Keep the Customer Satisfied
Listen to the customer’s feedback and implement changes for complaints that are heard often. They are not always a bad thing. They can be an opportunity to better your business and gain even more customers.
As you can see, Customer Satisfaction is just a small piece of the puzzle when gaining loyalty.
To gain Customer Loyalty, you can’t just aim for ‘satisfaction’. You need to go above and beyond – every time for every experience. You need to constantly check in with the customers to get their feedback – and you need to do this before they find the competitor that has what you don’t. At Infinity, we build strong loyalty which is why we are able to get customers, and keep customers. Why is this important? Because a loyal customer is your best marketing tool… a loyal customer will share their experience with their peers. And their peers are your next customer.
Increasing Inside Sales in the Auto Sector—Without Upping Budget
When a company in the automotive sector asked Infinity to challenge their current outsourced inside sales provider, we had a feeling we would out-perform the competition. Ten years later, Infinity still leads in acquisition sales for this company—and it all started as a Champion/Challenger test that required no budget increase!
Find out how by downloading our case study Increasing Inside Sales Revenue in the Automotive Sector—Without Increasing Budget.
Using Leading KPIs in Inside Sales to Improve Performance
As a leader, I take pride in giving my team the tools and development they need to reach their inside sales goals. I’ve found that individualized coaching based on leading key performance indicators (KPIs) has been the best way to diagnose sales performance and tailor the feedback I give to my account executives.
KPIs and Inside Sales Performance
Success in sales is a combination of will, skill, and effort. If all of these things align, you position yourself to achieve consistent success. Once you have identified which of these is lacking you can give your account executive (AE) feedback that’s specific and tailored to their needs.
The trick is providing feedback in a way that allows them to become business owners, giving them access to the same information to self-diagnose to take action.
I visualize our goals, will, skill, and effort along a 2×2 grid. Along each side was a yes or no question. On one side: Did the AE meet sales goal? On the other side: Did the AE meet their effort goals (all of those leading KPIs that help us predict success, like contacts and talk time)?
Using AE-level reporting with Infinity’s Buyerlytics™ methodology, we answer those two questions and then see in which box the AE lands. That tells us what kind of coaching and feedback they need.
3 Coaching Conversations Based on KPIs
In general, there are three different types of feedback and conversations that could happen between sales management and AEs, and the type of feedback depend on where they fall on the grid.
Keep Up the Good Work (Yes Goal/Yes Effort Scenario)
If the AE falls into the Yes/Yes part of the grid, they’re meeting or exceeding sales targets and effort goals. This is the gold star—an AE who is doing what they need to do and succeeding! For these top performers, all the feedback they may need is “Keep up the good work!”
Dial It In (Yes/No Scenarios)
If it’s a yes/no situation, it could be a skill or will problem. In these cases, we’d coach the AE to dial it in. They either need to focus on skills to improve their conversion rates or activate their will to make the effort they need to be successful.
A Problem of Skill (Yes Effort/No Goal Scenario)
For example, if the AE is not making sales but meeting the effort goals, it’s a skill issue. Working with AEs we can identify many opportunity areas. Opportunities can be found in many different areas when coaching an AE, 3 Categories of Sales Coaching is a great place to start.
A Problem of Will (Yes Goal/No Effort Scenario)
If an AE is making sales but not meeting the effort goal, it’s an issue of will. They’re meeting goal because their conversion rates are better than average. With added effort, they could increase their sales and commission checks. Just pointing out the target metrics they need to focus on and checking back to celebrate the increases can help pave the path.
Recommit to Yourself (No Goal/No Effort Scenario)
If the AE is meeting neither sales nor effort goals, then it’s time for an honest conversation. What is going on? It could be an issue with will or effort. It could be the AE needs help identifying how to get started in improving their performance. In this case, we ask AEs to recommit to themselves and work with them to lay a plan to turn around their progress. These coaching sessions can be planned using the resources found here 10 Vital Steps to a Successful Coaching Session.
Individualized Coaching for Individual Situations
The bottom line is that all AEs are different, and there’s no single solution for everyone. What this coaching grid does for us is identify how to give the right advice and resources to the right individual at the right time.
With the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and many small businesses having to purchase group insurance for the first time, many companies are now employing company wellness plans. Under the ACA, employers are allowed to “increase cost sharing for health coverage by 30% for employees with health risks and 50% for smokers, if they offer a wellness program.”
There are two main types of programs – but which one saves the most money? Furthermore, how can companies increase employee participation in these wellness plans?
How do the company and employees participate in a way that is cost-effective and mutually beneficial?
There are two main types of wellness plans: lifestyle and disease/condition management.
The lifestyle plan is the most common. These programs are usually structured around physical well-being, involvement in the community, and challenges with incentives: weight loss, for example.
The idea behind these types of programs is to gradually change the company environment by encouraging healthier lifestyles for employees. In the long run, the goal is for the company to save money due to people not calling in sick or developing major health problems due to unhealthy living.
Disease/Condition Management Plans
Disease and condition management plans directly tie into the group insurance program. This concept is based on staying healthy and managing existing conditions like diabetes or heart disease. A team of nurses conducts yearly physicals and reminds people when it may be time to see their physicians.
The incentive is a much lower insurance rate and is based on the “score” of the physical. Those who qualify as “well” receive significantly lower rates than those who don’t, and choose not to get better.
Which Plan is Best?
Disease and condition management plans will save companies the most money in the short-run. The lifestyle plans tend to lead to better outcomes over the long run. Then which one is the best?
Well, combining the two seems to be the right way to go.
Studies have found that comprehensive wellness programs that employ both lifestyle change and disease management lead to higher participation and positive outcomes. This is due in part to the types of incentives and penalties encompassed in a comprehensive plan. It also is due in part to the Herd Mentality. Disease management programs are great for saving money, however, when coupled with a lifestyle plan, it can save a company culture.
Drive Participation By Making a Healthy Competition
People are competitive. This is no clearer then when on a sales floor. Sales people compete with each other, other teams, and themselves. Incentives based on “wellness points” can greatly increase participation in the comprehensive program. When focusing on all types of wellness, the company can design a program with challenges and contests to get employee buy-in.
Employees who are actively challenging themselves and earning points start to see benefits like: water bottles, salad shakers, bags, 1 hour of PTO, lunch, all the way up to tickets to a sporting event or a drawing for a prize at the end of the year.
What they get will not go unnoticed by their colleagues. The “I want what they’ve got” mentality will light a fire.
When employees are receiving a huge break on their insurance premiums and striving to meet the challenges set before them in a well-rounded wellness program, the sky is the limit on what they can accomplish and morale can greatly increase.
When employees believe their company actively cares about their health and well-being, they start to care more as well. When they see their leadership, managers, and colleagues all reaping the same consistent rewards, a sense of belonging won’t be far behind.
Search Google for “What is Business Intelligence (BI)?” and you will receive so many responses that it can make your head swim. The very first definition reads:
“Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting”.
Another definition that I have seen (and the definition that I prefer) is:
“Business Intelligence (BI), in its most basic sense, is delivering meaningful, accurate, and timely information drawn from diverse sources to support an informed decision making process. Recent business trends indicate it must be flexible, fast and collaborative at all levels in a business.”
Business Intelligence (BI)
Let’s break this down and examine each piece in a little more detail.
Timely – The information provided by the BI solution must be delivered in a timeframe that is relevant to any process decisions that it supports. If the decision process is daily, then having the data updated weekly does not support the consumer’s requirements.
Diverse Sources – BI solutions are often (but not always) required to pull data from various places within the business, as well as outside of the business. These sources can come in many formats, such as spreadsheets, text files, other database systems, web services, etc.
Fast – This is a given, and is directly related to Timeliness. No one wants to wait for extended periods of time to get the information they require. If you have time to make a sandwich while you wait, then you’re waiting too long.
Collaborative – Business decisions are rarely made in a vacuum. Decisions made in a silo often leave untapped value behind. End consumers should be able to share findings and make better decisions together.
All Levels in a Business – Nowadays, decisions are made at all levels within a business, with the decision process relevant to any number of job roles. BI solutions need to ensure that Meaningful, Accurate and Timely Information finds its way to the end consumers in the business, regardless of what level they are.
This is the ultimate goal of BI…to provide quality data, gain insight into the information and facilitate better decision making, and align decisions with business goals at all levels of the business.
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