Sales

7 Tips For Optimizing Your Sales Team

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In B2B sales, you need every advantage possible to close leads. Strategy, technology and an optimized sales team are all part of a recipe for building customer relationships and increasing sales.

Optimizing your sales team an ongoing, iterative process vital to increasing revenue.  The following 7  tips will put you on the right path to accomplishing this:  

1. Track and Analyze Sales Data

Without tracking/trending sales data and analyzing results, optimizing your sales team is a fruitless effort. Tracking B2B sales lead data gives your sales team access to statics on what needs doing and what has already been done as part of the sales process.

Options available to track sales data include B2B tools such as:

  • Anonymous web traffic analysisJust because someone visits your site and does not fill out a form, it doesn’t mean you have lost that lead. Tracking and analysis will show you who they are, where they came from and what company they are with.
  • Mobile access updatesYou don’t need access to a computer to get information. With mobile access from your smart phone, you are able to see the data you would see from your computer screen.
  • Using Sales 2.0 tools – Social selling also means social tracking of prospects and their behaviors, interests and research history.

2. Integrate Marketing and Sales

Another way to optimize your sales team and bring in more revenue is to integrate b2b marketing and sales. Both pursue common objectives such as growth and revenue, but each team might not always be on the same page.

Sales might wonder why they need to generate their own leads and marketing may wonder why sales ignores the leads that they give them. No matter how you look at it, the two teams need a way to work together to  achieve optimization.

A few options to integrate marketing and sales are:

  • Create a common marketing/sales funnel – With an integrated funnel, each team knows what the other is doing.
  • Share accountability – The better your accountability between teams, the better it is to bridge the gap of measurable results.
  • Look for disconnects – Create plans jointly, look at the goals and promotions of each team and meet regularly.

3. Optimize the Lead Management Process

The lead management process is crucial in generating B2B sales. Optimizing this process will lead to more qualified buyers for your product or services.

Here are a few ways to optimize your lead management process:

  • Not ignoring inquires from current customers – This is still an opportunity to cross-sell to that customer or generate other sales through a referral.
  • Testing conversions on landing pages – More questions usually lead to more conversions. Test out your landing pages and see what converts better for you. When you need to, look at some landing page optimization techniques.
  • Track lead type and lead source – Tracking these will allow reporting on the effectiveness by offer and by channel.

4. Nurture Leads Effectively

Effectively nurturing leads is an important step in generating B2B sales. If you contact a lead before they are ready to engage, you may lose that sale. With effective lead nurturing, you build a relationship with the prospect and earn their business when they are ready to buy.

Consider these options for effective leads nurturing:

  • Not contacting the prospect too early
  • Not focusing on just selling  – build a relationship with the prospect
  • Not forgetting existing prospects
  • Using a double opt-in approach for incoming lead campaigns

5. Motivate and Empower Team Members

The power behind a great business is a great team. If your sales team is not motivated or empowered to do great work, your business risks failure.

Effective ways to help motivate and empower team members include:

  • Giving your marketing and sales team members the right tools.
  • Allow the team to add ideas and new ways of thinking to the business.
  • Motivate team members with incentives and rewards based on performance.
  • Empower team members by giving them authority to offer incentives to prospects.

6. Understand Buyer Personas

An important skill for generating B2B sales is to understand your buyer’s persona. To truly understand the buyer persona, you need to get past just statistics and numbers.

The traits that you should focus on in a buying persona are:

  • Likes/Dislikes
  • Buying Behavior
  • Motivation to buy B2B services and products
  • Feelings and emotions that will trigger them to buy

You basically want to connect with buyers on a human level. You want to refer to them as a name and not a statistic or other number on a chart. Remember, prospects are people first and buyers second.

7. Embrace Sales 2.0

Technology is changing the way prospects find information and buy products. The power is now in the hands of the customer, and traditional sales techniques alone are becoming less effective daily.

When you combine digital technologies with traditional selling techniques, you get Sales 2.0. Embracing this B2B sales generator gives power back to your optimized sales team and empowers them to use social selling to create relationships and make sales.

The 7 tips outlined above provide a starting point to optimize your sales team and elevate results to the next level.  For continued learning on sales optimization, subscribe to the Modern B2B Sales Blog RSS feed or follow Marketo on Twitter.