This is a guest post by Greg Armor, executive vice president of sales at Gryphon Networks. With years of experience managing sales teams of all sizes, Mr. Armor offers his expertise on how sales leaders can help their teams be more successful and drive more revenue, faster.
Today’s sales leaders have several responsibilities, with perhaps three of their most important being:
- Implementing a sales methodology
- Developing and instituting a sales process
- Designing and executing an effective sales motion that drives deal progression
Whether the organization’s sales methodology is based on MEDDIC, Sandler, Force Management, BANT, or any other is unimportant. What matters is the alignment of the methodology, process, and motion. Not only will this improve individual and team performance, it also leads to more accurate predictions and forecasts.
While milestones are used to indicate what stage of the process each opportunity is in, the sales model shows the team what activities need to be accomplished to move to the next stage in the process (i.e., progress the deal). So, how do sales leaders help their teams consistently progress opportunities forward through the sales process?
Improve deal progression at your organization with these tips:
First, sales organizations need a common and clear understanding of the selected sales methodology and process. This helps with:
- Consistent communication
- Setting expectations
- Effective coaching (making sure everyone is “singing from the same songbook”).
One of the underlying principles of deal progression is getting a solid commitment from the prospect to move to the next stage. A prospect commits to a salesperson, for example, when they provide them with their full contact information or agree to a demo presentation. Being able to read the prospect’s level of commitment and attitude and tailor the salesperson’s approach to match is one of the most important skills a salesperson can learn through effective coaching.
To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of deal progression, a sales manager needs both data and technology tools. They need to understand how closely each individual salesperson is adhering to the prescribed script, and how that is affecting their success.
Here at Gryphon for example, we’ve created a G-score that enables a sales leader to evaluate, compare and coach their reps to meet the performance required to grow revenue fast. The G-score is a combination of four different key performance indicators (KPIs) that can include data elements such as:
- Total contacts against goals
- Disposition adherence
- Appointments set, and others
This provides managers a way to see, at a glance, how reps are performing and engage with them to be their best.
Next, sales leaders should provide individual coaching as soon as a conversation completes; even better if it can be provided real-time. Almost all sales coaching today is reactive because sales managers have to listen to calls that have already been completed.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, sales leaders can now monitor conversation keywords and sentiment in real time and provide immediate coaching or course correction, if needed to improve the outcome.
Behind the scenes, an AI tool “listens in” to the conversation in real time and can deploy a “bot” to present suggestions on screen during the call. These suggestions could be related to the call content (e.g., a key differentiator), call sentiment (e.g., if the prospect sounds disengaged or oppositional), or if the rep is 75% through the call and has not addressed a key point in the sales motion. Further, machine learning algorithms enable the AI-based real-time coaching to get better over time by “learning” from the interactions to which they are exposed.
To learn more about how Gryphon provides these capabilities for real-time, AI-enabled coaching, contact us today.