You’re about to close out Q4, and with the new year upon us, it’s time to turn your attention toward sales kickoff. Sales kickoff (SKO), an annual gathering of sales folks designed to unify the team around processes and performance goals, sets the tone of the year ahead, so to be honest, the pressure is on.
Too many teams spend SKO listening to their department heads wax poetic about the privilege of being in sales and how great last year’s top performer is – don’t waste your team’s time. Instead, use your SKO as an opportunity to set everyone in the sales organization up for success by providing them with guidelines and tactics that will actually make a difference in their personal and pipeline development.
Define Your Target Customer
One of the hardest things about being a sales rep is receiving a list of hundreds or even thousands of accounts and knowing where to start. That’s why taking time to discuss your ideal customer profiles can be one of the most valuable parts of SKO. Not only will it save reps time and frustration, but it will also drive more revenue at a faster pace for your company.
One of the best ways to dig into this during SKO is to examine your Lead Yield. Lead yield is a simple way to compare the value one lead produces versus another on an equal playing field. The formula is as follows: Sales Revenue / # of Leads Generated = Lead Yield.
For instance, if you want to know how much value you get in return for a lead from one source (A) versus another source (B), you can compare their respective lead yields as shown below:
In this particular case, although leads from Source B close at a lower rate than those from Source A, they generate 5x more revenue on average. Understanding the common qualities between leads from Source B then gives you deeper insight into what reps should be looking for when it comes to prospecting and identifying hot leads – i.e. contact title, company size, industry, other technologies in use, etc.
Pro Tip: Partner with your Head of Marketing to present this information during SKO. Knowing which lead sources result in the most revenue for your business not only helps reps know which leads to focus on, but it also helps marketers prioritize these particular channels. And for more info about aligning sales and marketing, check out this blog post.
Cement Your Sales Process
CSO Insights claims that a formalized sales process leads to a 65% increase in individual reps hitting their sales quotas and an 88% boost in companies hitting their overall targets. This means that, in addition to defining sales pipeline stages such as “Qualified” or “Closed,” your business also needs to clearly outline the steps that belong to each stage of this funnel, and what it takes to move a deal from one stage to the next.
While this may seem unnecessary to seasoned sales reps, it’s important to note that a structured sales process is key to ensuring success for less experienced team members. Not only does it provide guidance as to the steps that are necessary to lead to a close, but it also provides a standardized framework for sales coaching.
What’s more, as you capture the information necessary to complete each step of your sales process and develop a consistent data set, you will learn how to improve your pipeline. For example, there is probably a step in your sales process to give a demo. As your reps follow this process and enter information around which demos they are providing prospects, you will soon find out whether demo A has a higher conversion than demo B, and can adjust your sales process accordingly.
For help creating a highly effective and measurable sales process, download this free eBook: 3 Keys to Unlocking a Scientific Sales Pipeline.
Establish Rep Accountability
As a sales leader, you most likely have a set of reports that you consult on a regular basis to track team progress and take the pulse of performance. Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of filling reps in on their status during 1:1s, they had the same thing? As the famous saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What better time to teach your team to fish than at SKO?
Next-generation sales platforms put data directly into the hands of sales reps by making it easy to track and manage performance through visual, one-click reports. Define the metrics and milestones you expect your team to meet, and then teach them how to monitor their progress in real-time. Establishing this level of accountability is critical to driving success in the future of sales.
Here are a few of our favorite sales reports to cover during SKO:
Activity Reports: These reports provide a breakdown of how reps are spending their days – making calls, sending emails, holding meetings, etc. – making it easy for them to track and stay on top of their targets.
Deal Loss Reasons: Reps can see why each of their lost deals fell through in a single view. This type of report makes it easy for reps and managers alike to spot areas for improvement and coaching opportunities.
Stage Duration Analysis: Not only does this report show where each of your open deals sits within the sales pipeline, but it also compares the amount of time it has spent in a given stage with the optimal time calculated from your won deals. Reps can identify where deals are getting stuck and know when they need to speed things up or slow them down.
Ready, Set, SKO
Remember, SKO sets the tone for the rest of the sales year. Be sure to give your team some meaningful and actionable takeaways that can make a difference in their personal performance and your company’s pocketbook. For more tips on how to set your team up for success, check out this free white paper: Why Your Business Needs an All-in-One Sales Platform.