As Q2 is coming to a close at many companies, Sales VPs are asking their team a big question: “How confident are we of attaining our Q2 revenue goals?”
Today, the focus on sales forecast accuracy and the pressure to deliver is intense. While the importance of accurate forecasts is somewhat obvious, understanding the importance does not make the process of providing solid forecasts easier for sales professionals. Fortunately, some sales executives and frontline managers consistently are able to accurately forecast their monthly or quarterly sales revenues using sales enablement tools.
Here are a few strategies you can use with the right sales enablement toolset in place:
Use Analytics & Tracking
Prospect engagement data (e.g. knowing if/when prospects download, open, etc. materials you’ve sent them) can help sales managers effectively analyze their business, identify trends, and have a much more granular understanding of their pipeline and forecast. For example, let’s say you look at the deals in your pipeline that have a 75% and higher likelihood of closing. Next, you use your sales enablement solution to attach your contract in a microsite and send it to those deals you “predict” will close this quarter. Then, you can use tracking analytics to monitor their engagement with the contract. If the prospect doesn’t even open it, chances are they aren’t likely to close. However, if they open it and spend a good amount of time reviewing it, you know they’re pretty interested. A quick follow up call in this case could be the final step to securing the close.
Use the Customer Advocates in Your Corner
Some companies have internal policies that they will not even allow a live reference call unless the deal is 75%+ of the way to closed and a solution proposal has been accepted and reviewed (see previous step). This is primarily to eliminate (or in the very least) lower customer reference burnout rates. However, using these key advocates in the sales cycle are typically very effective in pushing the deal over the finish line at the later stages of the sales cycle. So how can you know immediately if the customer reference call helped seal the deal so you can update your forecast? Send a feedback survey for prospect post-call and include a question about likelihood of them signing with you after hearing directly from your customer.
If live reference calls are not an option, there are still other ways to leverage customer advocacy and impact your deals immediately. Do you have any case studies or video interviews you can send? What about testimonial quotes? What about a webinar that the customer reference spoke in with your CEO? Including these types of assets in microsites mentioned above, and tracking your prospect’s engagement with those materials, is another way to sway your prospect’s opinion using the voice of their peer (versus that of a sales person they know has an ulterior motive of closing their business).
Use the Tribal Knowledge of Top Sellers
There’s a reason why every sales organization has a group of “top sellers.” They’re excellent at what they do. Capture and leverage their tribal knowledge and efficiently transfer it your mid-and low-tier sellers to help them close more deals faster. Find out what the top reps are sending to prospects at certain stages of the cycle. Find out what they’re saying in conversations. Find out which customer advocates they’re connecting their prospects with. Then duplicate it and make it easily automated for the rest of your team. Align those “top seller” activities and recommended content with the stages of the sales cycle, and put it right in front of your team at the Opportunity record level in your CRM. Pre-package those assets in trackable microsites for your team to monitor engagement and have the intelligence to know when to make a follow up call and what to say to impact the deal and move it along faster. There’s plenty of ways to leverage the “coaching” of the top reps (without taking up their valuable selling time) in order to improve the game of the rest of your sales team to hit numbers this month.
So, this month when your VP or CEO comes to you asking whether you’re going to hit your number this quarter, instead of saying “Maybe”? “I certainly hope so”? or hemming and hawing until your CEO loses patience and walks away, you can now point to these sales enablement strategies and have confidence in your sales forecast.
Let our sales enablement experts show you how key features of RO|Enablement can help you perform like a Sales Ace and bring in more revenue for your company. Schedule a demo today.