A B2B sales leader’s job is simple – to take care of sales. But it’s a bit more important than just sales, and it’s important to recognise that this person alone is responsible for finding and acquiring the capital that will pay the salaries – and put food on the tables – of the entire organisation’s employees. Pressure comes from both above and below as differing parties attempt to get their way. Business leaders demand results – ever increasing sales, while these quotas are not always welcomed by the sales team with open arms…
Sometimes the quotas set by the business leaders might be challenging or even unrealistic, as if the sales leader has the ability to make sales appear out of thin air. Growing pressure and ticking clocks can easily create a situation where it’s tough to see the forest for the trees, and energy and time is wasted on worry.
How to understand your sales potential
When reviewing your quotas, it’s important to understand your growth potential. Starting here, opportunities begin to open that can not only achieve those goals, but focus your energy on productivity instead of worry.
Understanding potential for growth is only possible with good data. This data can be supplied by both internal sources (existing client and opportunity records) as well as external ones (such as official government registries).
With this data, an in-depth customer analysis is possible, after which the sales potential of both your existing customers and prospects can be determined. A well run organisation will also have useful business averages, ratios, and other information available to use in these calculations.
Identifying sales potential at the enterprise level – and creating and working a sales plan based on this information – is a key factor in motivating your sales team and facilitating growth.
Sales management basics
Selling to existing customers is central to the sales leader’s goal of meeting sales quota. The majority of this quota is calculated based on existing customers, so it pays to take care of them. Most important is to understand the growth potential of each customer, and to build sales processes based on realistic goals. Your existing customers should also be divided into two categories based on their individual growth potential.
With these categories you can target your sales processes based on the customer. For example :
Stable customers – Likely older customers, already using a large portion of their purchasing potential on your product. These customers likely account for a large portion of your quota, but offer little growth potential.
Growth customers – Customers who are purchasing less than they could be. This is where you have the real growth potential within your existing customer base, and this group could be broken down even further based on ability to grow.
This grouping doesn’t necessarily mean changing how you service and care for your customers, but it gives your sales leadership some visibility into where growth options lie and the ability to steer growth in the right direction.
While care must be taken to account for the prospect’s purchasing stage and process, new prospects can be categorised by similar criteria. It’s also worth considering what size accounts to target – while larger accounts obviously bring more sales, smaller ones can be more easily closed, converted, and grown. These categorisations, which can be based on existing prospect data (size, industry, etc) compared with existing customer data, give you a good base on how to win and grow these new prospects.
When the planning is complete – when you know who you will target, and with which methods – the last step is to present and to sell the plan to your sales team. This can be easier than it sounds, particularly when supported with good data, support, and a competitive mindset from the sales team. It’s also important that all related systems (CRM) and processes are up to date and that everyone’s goals and activities are aligned and transparent.
In my next blog – calculating sales potential.
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