Almost a year ago, I realized as an engineer perhaps I won't be able to be a good sales person despite I might know some of the tricks. However it does not mean I cannot find ways to increase revenue, improve lead qualities, and increase market penetration. In my last company I managed to achieve almost 10x times growth in revenue and my current we managed to improve it by like 24% and it's sustainable. So what did I do and how?
March of 2015, I found two very interesting books which are:
- Hacking Sales, In Hacking Sales, you'll learn how to build a fully streamlined sales engine using new technology built for salespeople along with innovative new techniques. It showcases over 150 tools throughout the book, as it walks through the processes behind building an fully efficient sales machine.
- Predictable Revenue, What does it take for your sales team to generate as many highly-qualified new leads as you want, create predictable revenue, and meet your financial goals without your constant focus and attention? What does it take to attract top sales talent, people who exceed and want to stay and grow with your company? How an outbound sales process ("Cold Calling 2.0"), that without cold calls or a marketing budget, can generate a 9% response rate and millions of dollars from cold prospects.
As long as you've sales channels that requires representative following techniques can work very well especially on telemarketing (aka telesales).
More Reps or More Productivity
Companies that choose to take a scientific or engineering approach to sales force effectiveness may want to evaluate the two options shown here. The growth target for this fictitious global manufacturer in this case an increase in revenues of $1.1 billion over five years can be attained through various combinations of productivity improvements and new hires. But the cheapest and most effective route is usually to increase productivity as much as possible through use of the four levers targeted offerings; optimized automation, tools, and procedures; performance management; and sales force deployment—and only then to put more feet on the street. The management challenge is ensuring that you have put enough science into your sales organization to drive that productivity predictably. You can read more on this topic on HBR.
Sales and Business Lifecycle
The organization and goals of a sales force have to change as businesses start up, grow, mature, and decline. The moment signs of success emerge, businesses should increase the size of their sales forces quickly and aggressively. Eventually, products and services start to lose their advantage, competition intensifies, and margins erode. At this stage, sales leaders must rely more on resourcefulness than on increasing the scale of the sales effort. Their strategy should emphasize retaining customers, serving existing segments, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales force. You can read more on another great article from HBR.
Companies fiddle constantly with their incentive plans but most of their changes have little effect. Here’s a better approach. Based on our CEO (Trung Dung) advice, we managed to find a good article on HBR explaining how to motivate sales people. According to this article, sales reps are divided into three segments and each will require a different technique of motivation as it is shown in following figure:
Also if you've different sales teams and leaders, ask each of the the leaders to use a tool called theLeader.io and each sales leader can have a profile this activity can help you to measure what sales leader is doing better leadership. You can come up with ideas on what approach to try that can help you to motivate each segments, what I recommend is for each idea document it as a Validation Plan which has the following format; you can download the template in here.
As soon as your experimenting is done then you need to document it as a Experiment Report match it with Validation Plan and come up with your next idea. An Experiment Report looks like below; you can download the template in here.
The templates of Validation Plan and Experiment Report is from a great book that I read while ago called: Scaling Lean. If you've products on sales, try to build a dashboard like below: (The following design is done by our awesome product manager Minh Tran)