Sales Acceleration: Why it’s the New Priority in B2B
You’re out there on the track with your sales formula or strategy fueling your race and you put your foot flat on the accelerator and surge forward ahead of your competition. Your team cheers in the pit as you turbocharge across the finish line, victory flag waving. We’re talking high speeds and the technology and processes that are delivering your winning B2B sales acceleration figures.
Schumacher’s Pit Stop
In a 2016 report in The Journal of Qualitative Analysis in Sports, scientists calculated that Formula One teams are six times more important than the drivers. The assumption was that different teams had more financial resources and could “employ the best engineers, statisticians and use more advanced technology than other teams.”
B2B Sales Acceleration is most definitely a team sport. We are not talking about how individual sales players make the finish line but how every process, person and organizational function is primed to support the closing. It’s the whole bang shoot.
What gives sales its acceleration. What is its “powertrain”?
Lori Richardson, founder and CEO of Score More Sales summed it up succinctly saying, “Sales acceleration is the ecosystem. The whole circle of everything that happens involving helping sales accelerate. So it’s not just a matter of training or on-boarding. It’s systems, it’s processes, it’s leadership, it’s who you hire, bringing in the right people, it’s a whole mix put together and working well. When it works in concert, it leads to acceleration.”
Driving this dynamic, interconnected matrix of sales acceleration functions is its magnificent technological engine. Big data has given us all of the relevant road signs that point us in the right direction. Being able to read the intent signals® of a B2B prospect in real time and then deliver real time action has put sales acceleration into warp speed.
Talk the Torque
We’ve got clever customers who are more educated about all of the products out there and their purchase cycle is vastly shorter. Sales managers used to have to rely on sales rep’s guesswork and gut feelings in conjunction with pipeline reports to predict where the buyer’s intention lay. Nowadays a customer’s intentions are patently clear for all to see and action. You don’t want to be driving without the latest innovations otherwise you’ll end up a “backmarker” –the vehicle at the rear being lapped by the faster cars. You want to be the race leader. Sales acceleration is how you keep up with the times by creating constant momentum.
Dave Elkington, CEO and founder of insidesales.com emphatically states,
“Sales acceleration is what’s driving speed, driving efficiency, driving predictability in the sales processes that the reps are functioning in.”
Aiming for top sales speeds is ideal but you don’t want to be spinning your wheels so hard that you create a worn out flat spot that ruins your ability to handle your vehicle. You want to stay out of the pit and keep the strong traction you’ve achieved. This speaks to control. The speed is not driving you, your sales strategy is generating the acceleration.
As you hurtle ahead, you have some unstoppable skills that give you the edge…
- The best team in your corner: A sales team chosen through a rigorous, thorough process of recruiting and training will always go the extra mile. When you optimize your sales “gamification” processes and offer competitive compensation you’re ensuring sales acceleration.
- Sales Automation: automating the sales process will increase your ROI and accelerate closing rates.
- Big Data: giving your sales team access to up to the minute data to work with results in impressive results.
- Fact-Based Analytics: When you utilize intent signals to ascertain buyer’s intentions in real time you surge ahead of all competition.
Dave Elkington says, “These are tools and technologies that enable people to drive higher efficiencies [and] higher volume, while still doing it in a professional sales environment.”
What we know is that when businesses invest in technology that offers immediate insights, big data, intent signals and sales and marketing automation, they do bigger deals. Spending more on this technology directly leads to faster deals that fuel sales acceleration. You’ll have higher close rates, faster growth rates and higher revenue.
To maintain pole position Nick Hedges, President and CEO, Velocify has distilled sales acceleration into 6 essential parts. They include:
- Promptness: double your conversion rate with a speedier response time.
- Persistence: Follow up –its always effective (25%)
- Prospecting: Keep uncovering new leads, even when your plate seems full.
- Prioritization: employ a system or process to automate prioritizing sales activity
- Performance: try rewardification instead of gamification
- Process: replicate patterns and behaviors that yield results and put in a strictly enforced sales process
These are Nick’s 6 P’s of Sales Acceleration –your necessary safety car, smoothing the path ahead and ensuring no bumpy rides.
But you can only talk about sales acceleration if you are allowed to start the race. In Formula 1, if you’re failing to set a lap within 107% of the fastest Q1 time you’re not even going to be able to join in against the competition. Those companies that are not investing in sales acceleration technology are not going to be able to compete in the near future. Today’s sales acceleration leaders are already so far ahead that you won’t even be able to catch up to ride in their slipstream if you don’t adopt the right tools. A slingshot move to overtake the leader can only occur when you’re powered by the right cutting edge technology.