Crafting the Perfect Sales Strategy: Understanding the Competitive Landscape
In the world of sales, understanding the competitive landscape is as vital as the seasoned chess player’s ability to predict their opponent’s moves. Think of the business landscape as a grand chessboard. Each company, akin to a player, tactically moves, adjusts to threats, and seeks positions of influence. These moves signify their strategy, and a crucial part of this strategy revolves around their competitive dynamics. For sales leaders and professionals, this knowledge doesn’t just serve to inform—it reshapes the narrative and the very essence of their pitch.
The Significance of the Competitive Environment
Let’s delve into a hypothetical situation to provide depth to our premise. Suppose you’re approaching Company A—a company recently disillusioned by a competitor’s solution. If your pitch mirrors the competitor’s offering, you’re at a disadvantage. The inherent bias against similar solutions is palpable. However, being aware of this dynamic and highlighting how your superior solution pivots your pitch from ordinary to compelling. It’s not just a strategy; it’s foundational to successful selling.
The Ever-changing Nature of Competition
But here’s where the complexity sets in. Competitive relationships are like rivers; they are seldom static. They change, influenced by external market shifts, internal strategic decisions, and evolving company needs. The true challenge is the fluidity of these relationships. Rarely does a company broadcast its grievances or alliances with competitors. Thus, as sales professionals, it’s imperative to recognize and navigate these nuances.
Navigating the Maze of Competition
To truly understand and utilize this knowledge, a multifaceted approach is paramount. Start with a bird’s-eye view. Familiarize yourself with the significant industry players and their affiliations. Who are the allies, competitors, or potential merger interests?
Delving deeper, the gold often lies in direct client interactions. Comments referencing past associations, like “We used to work with…” can provide invaluable insights into their competitive history. Furthermore, creating channels for feedback post-pitch can reveal comparisons they make with competitors—insights that can refine future strategies.
Moreover, staying updated is non-negotiable. Attend industry conferences, join forums, and subscribe to trade journals. In an era of technological advancement, tools like CRM systems and competitive analysis platforms provide real-time insights into a company’s competitive standing and relationships.
My book, Eliminate Your Competition, can be a great window into dealing with competitors. Understanding your major competition, your minor competitors, and your niche competitors can be helpful in how you develop your strategy to entice your prospect to become a customer. There is a benefit in having competition also since without competition, you are unsure if the prospect is truly serious about making a change, in other words, spending their money on your product.
Armed with such rich insights, the pitch transforms. It’s no longer about selling a product or a service. It’s about situating your solution within a broader competitive context, differentiating it, and accentuating its unique value. For example, if a prospective client had scalability concerns with a competitor’s product, spotlighting scalability as a cornerstone of your offering isn’t just strategic—it’s transformative.
The Competitive Chessboard
Navigating the intricate business world, with its fluid relationships and shifting loyalties, is reminiscent of a grand chess game. The board, filled with complex moves and strategies, demands foresight and precision. CEOs, sales managers, and professionals must understand that in the realm of sales, this is more than just about the product.
is starting at your local school and in the NFL. That used to mean that we were in Autumn, but now it means that we are simply in the dog days of summer. I hope the summer has been great for you and the month or so we have left is even more enjoyable.
Have you checked out my podcast? We are a couple of weeks from our 50th episode, and we have had amazing responses. If you have yet to listen, some links later in this newsletter will help you find the podcast.
I hope that you enjoy my latest newsletter.
If you have problems reading this newsletter, please take a look at its online version at .
The Kaivac Impact: Harnessing Faith, Innovation, and Sales Excellence in the Cleaning Industry
Bob Robinson Jr. and his father, Bob Robinson Sr., innovated a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine over two decades ago, leading to the birth of Kaivac, a prominent cleaning machine manufacturer located in Hamilton, OH.
Bob Jr.’s vivid memory
of the struggle of cleaning restrooms by hand sparked the inspiration for Kaivac. From its inception, the company has expanded its range, developing machines for cleaning kitchen floors, hallways, grocery displays, and more. Boasting 18 patents and another 16 pending, Kaivac delved into floor cleaning and spill response machines.
Adopting a hybrid sales approach—direct sales and through distributors—the company has secured major clients like Walmart, Kroger, and Target under the leadership of Bob Jr., the VP of Sales. However, after facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic following a record year, Kaivac
aspired to hit $75 million in annual revenue within three years and aim for a lofty $1 billion within two decades.
ambitions led them to enlist New Sales Expert LLC, spearheaded by CEO Sean O’Shaughnessey, with 38 years of sales expertise. Sean praised Kaivac’s vast untapped potential and the rich culture it was built upon. Rooted in Christian values, the company’s guiding principles are captured in their acronym, FIGS: “First shall be last, last shall be first,” Integrity, Golden Rule, and Servant’s Heart. Moreover, KAI in Kaivac is not just a prefix but a motivational acronym emphasizing continuous
improvement and innovation.
Sean immediately identified areas of improvement, starting with reshaping the compensation plan.
This aimed to motivate the sales team to close bigger deals more efficiently. Using Salesforce, a top-rated CRM, Sean integrated MEDDPICCC—a sales qualification method. He added crucial dashboards and tools like the Decision Timeline to facilitate smooth big-deal closures, further professionalizing the sales process.
But the endgame for New Sales Expert LLC was always to make Kaivac self-reliant. To achieve this, Bob Jr. and three key company leaders enrolled in SalesXceleration’s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean. This program expanded their skill set, prepping them for future revenue growth and
Mike Perazzo, one of the course attendees, was subsequently appointed Executive Vice President of Sales.
Mike credits Sean with refining their sales processes, identifying gaps, and enhancing their efficiency, making him a better sales leader.
Sean O’Shaughnessey lauds Kaivac, not just for their innovative cleaning machines but for their commitment to employee and customer success. He asserts that their machines offer unparalleled value, ensuring cleaner spaces at affordable rates.
Since collaborating with Sean, Kaivac has observed a marked uptick in its revenue and profitability, translating to bonuses for its employees, who the Robinsons view as extended family. Bob Jr. summarizes their journey aptly,
Taking the Sales Agility Assessment is a great starting point for
improving your current sales process. Use the unique report to help you implement new procedures to accelerate growth, revenue, and new sales.
Beers & Biz is an excellent opportunity to connect with other business leaders in the Cincinnati area and join some relevant
conversations about today’s business challenges. It is probably the best networking event in Greater Cincinnati.
If you want to meet other B2B professionals and understand how to solve targeted business problems, this is the event to put on your calendars and attend.
There is no cost to the B2B professional
networking group featuring topical roundtable discussion groups, open networking, and a featured charity. The group meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. We typically talk about business, have a drink (water, soft drinks, beer, and bourbon, too), and learn from each other. We stress networking with business-to-business professionals trying to expand revenue and offer great products and services to businesses.
Our next event is at Xavier’s Center for Innovation at 1605 Dana Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45207, on August 24, so please consider registering. Also, the September event will be on September 28, and I hope that you will put that event on your calendar so that you can find the time to attend.
Please register at
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beers-biz-b2b-networking-tickets-244535701867 to reserve your spot and learn about the locations of future meetings.
Fractional Sales Leadership Increases the Value of My Client by 167%
Several years ago, I was hired by a fantastic software startup company in the artificial intelligence industry. Their technology had roots in original research by one of the founders at MIT. I was connected to one of the founders, and he approached me to be his Fractional Vice President of Sales as they felt that their technology had progressed to the point that they needed to find early adopter customers.
It was a young company with a small client base and very little revenue, but it clearly understood its offering and the value it could deliver to new clients. I
started the engagement with my standard discovery process to identify what value they were providing to their clients or prospective clients. We developed a target persona, and I helped them identify potential clients that fit their use cases.
As I worked with them, I learned more about their backstory. A significant chip manufacturer had wanted to buy the company just a few months earlier. The founders were eager to sell, but the parties couldn’t agree on a price and parted ways. The large chip manufacturer valued the company at about 75% of the valuation that the founders wanted. This offer reminded
me of the popular TV show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs try to arrange investments from 5 individual investors. They rarely agree at the beginning of the segment on the startup’s value; sometimes, they compromise, and sometimes they do not. In this case, the giant chip manufacturer didn’t see the value, just like the Sharks didn’t see the value of Ring.
The owners of my client did what any sound company executives would do. They pushed harder on their business to build its value. They realized that nothing drives the company’s value like revenue and pipeline, so they brought me in to help them.
Fast forward ten months after hiring me, and our pipeline, messaging, sales team, partnerships, and methodologies have improved dramatically. At
this point, another chip manufacturer enters the picture and wants to acquire the company and its technology. But now everything in the company is more proven, and the risk is less for the acquiring company. The owners and the new acquiring company agreed quickly on the company’s value. The company was now worth 200% of what the founders initially thought just the previous year. The deal closed quickly and efficiently, with most employees finding great jobs at the new owner while some continued
with new and exciting adventures.
New customers, pipeline growth, and team growth caused a dramatic increase in the company’s
value. Undoubtedly, the software improved during that year, but much of that improvement was because of customer and prospect feedback. The new chip manufacturer thought the company was worth 267% compared to the previous suitor.
Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Sales Leadership Mastery: How to Coach, Not Micromanage, Your Team – Episode 44
In this engaging episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Sean and Kevin don’t just identify the problems associated with micromanagement but provide actionable insights and solutions for how to evolve into an effective leader. Whether you’re just beginning in sales or leading a team, their candid conversation will offer you strategies to avoid micromanagement, build trust
within your team, and create a culture of success. Don’t miss this chance to learn from two seasoned sales veterans – tune in to this episode and take your sales leadership skills to the next level!
Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Revamping Your Outbound Sales Approach: Value Proposition, Touch Points, and Tactics – Episode 43
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey offer a practical, insightful guide to successfully navigating outbound sales in our new normal. They share their expertise in creating a compelling, unique value proposition, omnichannel outreach’s importance, and persistence’s role in sales. You’ll gain a wealth of
advice, from understanding your value in a specific industry to leveraging various outreach tools to streamline and enhance your prospecting process. Listen to this episode for a deep dive into the tactics and strategies that can reshape your approach to outbound sales.
New Sales Expert LLC helps SMB companies
accelerate their revenue growth by helping them setup systems and best practices to bring products to market more effectively and develop new sales.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected your company’s
sales, you are not alone. As a veteran sales leader, I utilize my expertise to help companies in times of trouble by building the sales systems, processes and accountability you need to create record-breaking growth. If the past has taught me anything, it is that those that develop a plan-ahead strategy will far surpass their competitors once the crisis is over.
My goal is to drive sales growth. I do this with Sales Xceleration’s proven system that focuses on creating record-breaking sales for your company, defined in these 3 steps:
Create a Sales Plan 2. Find Your Best Customers 3. Grow Your Sales
My book, Eliminate Your Competition, is available wherever books are sold
Most salespeople lose the deal before they ever get started! It isn’t uncommon for the customer to have already made a decision before most salespeople even learn of the opportunity. Most salespeople must beat the preferred competitor by a significant margin just to be considered equivalent. Don’t you wish that you could be the preferred vendor for all of your opportunities?
Selling is a difficult career in which to make a living; it is not uncommon to have the commission check denied before the salesperson even gets a chance to win.
Analysis of thousands of sales situations has made it phenomenally obvious that most salespeople begin their sales campaign so late in the decision-making process that they are virtually guaranteed to lose the order. To make matters worse, when they do start the campaign early enough, most salespeople do not know how to control the prospect adequately so that they can guarantee their victory.
You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers, such as
Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at retailers like Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.
CEO and President
New Sales Expert LLC [email protected]
Welcome to another exciting episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales with hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey. This episode delves into the vital world of outbound sales in a post-COVID landscape. We discuss strategies for creating an effective outbound pipeline, reflecting on our experiences with trade shows, and how to nail your unique value proposition. Discover how to master omnichannel outreach and understand why persistence is key in today’s competitive market.
Key Topics Discussed:
The Trade Show Experience: Kevin and Sean open up about the highs and lows of trade shows and how the pandemic has shifted the industry’s focus from this traditional method of sales and marketing.
Creating an Effective Outbound Pipeline: Our hosts emphasize the importance of having a clear, unique value proposition and understanding how it can resonate with your potential customers.
Omni Channel Outreach: Kevin and Sean highlight the significance of reaching out to prospects across various channels – emails, phone calls, social media, and even traditional mail. They discuss the need for persistence in reaching out and making numerous touches to get a prospect’s attention.
Prospecting and Value Proposition: Sean shares insights on how a value proposition can differ based on the industry and target audience. They talk about understanding and tailoring your value proposition to your audience for better customer engagement.
Leveraging Tools for Sales Outreach: The hosts discuss a range of tools that can assist in streamlining and tracking your outreach efforts, from LinkedIn prospecting tools to CRMs and even task management tools.
Kevin: “Trade shows in a pre COVID environment were the lifeblood of many sales organizations… But here we are in a post-COVID world, and what we saw in the midst of COVID was pipeline evacuation.”
Sean: “The first thing I tell everybody is, “What are you going to say, and what makes it unique and valuable to your prospects?”
Sean: “Your unique value proposition may be targeted to a specific customer and you might have a different one targeted to a different customer… but then you need to make unique messaging for every one of those and unique tries for each one of those.”
LinkedIn prospecting tools
Task management tools (Asana, Trello, Monday.com)
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey offer a practical, insightful guide to successfully navigating outbound sales in our new normal. They share their expertise in creating a compelling, unique value proposition, omnichannel outreach’s importance, and persistence’s role in sales. You’ll gain a wealth of advice, from understanding your value in a specific industry to leveraging various outreach tools to streamline and enhance your prospecting process. Listen to this episode for a deep dive into the tactics and strategies that can reshape your approach to outbound sales.
Bob Robinson, Jr., and his mechanical-engineer father, Bob Robinson, Sr., came up with the idea for a product the world truly needed 25 years ago: a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine. Their company, Kaivac, is a Hamilton, OH-based manufacturer of cleaning machines. Hamilton is a suburb of Cincinnati, OH.
“We were on our hands and knees, crawling around the bathroom,” recalls Bob, Jr. “It was disgusting. We said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.'”
Through hard work and dedication, the Robinsons created the KaiVac to help solve that initial problem in public restrooms. Over the years, they grew the idea to create dedicated machines to clean kitchen floors, hallway floors, and grocery displays. Beyond its bathroom cleaning technology, it has expanded into floor cleaning and spill response machines and has 18 patents with 16 pending.
Along with growing their manufacturing capabilities, they also grew their sales capabilities. They adopted a hybrid strategy of selling through distribution and selling directly to key customers. Their direct team, under the leadership of Bob Robinson, Jr., who had taken on the role of VP of Sales, closed many enviable customers with massive deals, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target.
They realized that they needed to step up their sales professionalism after having a down year during COVID after having a record-breaking year the year before. They wanted to grow to $75 million in annual revenue within three years and a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of $1 billion in annual revenue within 20 years.
Bob Jr. says Kaivac is just getting started. “At 20 to 25 years in business, you’re at an inflection point where you’ve got resources, tenure, and history and have been through ‘adolescence,'” he says. “Now is the chance to build a professionalized organization.”
They contacted New Sales Expert LLC as the nation was coming out of the global pandemic, but before all the supply chain problems had paused. New Sales Expert LLC is a fractional vice president of sales consultancy. Sean O’Shaughnessey, the CEO of New Sales Expert, is aligned with SalesXceleration and has 38 years of experience in sales and sales management.
According to Sean, “Kaivac is a joy to work with. They are the shining star of Hamilton, OH, and Butler County. They had so much raw potential when I walked in the door; all I had to do was to focus their energy and enthusiasm on working smarter and just a little harder.”
Building an organization with a heart
Kaivac had a great culture to build on to make a great sales culture. Before Sean showed up, the company leadership had already developed their One-Page Strategic Plan and their “Why?” statement that reflects the owners’ Christian faith: “To glorify God by using KAIVAC as an instrument for Good.”
In addition to the “Why?” statement, they had drafted an acronym called FIGS that conveys the “heart” of the company. FIGS—which appears on signs that hang on the factory floor and in break rooms—stands for
F: “First shall be last, last shall be first.”
I: Integrity—as in “The truth shall set you free.”
G: Golden Rule—meaning “treat others how you want to be treated.”
S: Servant’s Heart, as in “We are in a race to help people.”
The company uses the first three letters of its name–KAI–to inspire the team’s thinking and actions. These letters stand for inspiring phrases such as: “Keep At It,” “Keep Always Improving,” “Keep Attempting the Impossible,” and “(creates) Kick-Ass Inventions.”
Prioritizing net income and growth
Sean’s first change was to make a compensation plan that motivated the sales team to sell bigger deals and to sell them quickly. Kaivac implemented a 50/50 plan in concert with defined territories to keep the Key Account salespeople focused on the goal of more significant and profitable orders.
After the motivation component was in place, it was time to help the team learn how to sell big deals more repeatedly. The big deals of the past had been challenging to work on and, while very profitable, had been disruptive to close. Sean encouraged the company to read John McMahon’s book, “The Qualified Sales Leader,” and with that tome as inspiration, quickly deployed MEDDPICCC to help them qualify deals.
MEDDPICCC by itself is not enough. The company had already licensed Salesforce, one of the highest-rated CRMs on the market, but Sean put MEDDPICCC into the various stages of the sales process to ensure that the salespeople knew all the required information about a big deal. Sean also created dashboards within Salesforce to track deal progress at the management level. The company implemented Sales Plans for Key Accounts and the Power Matrix to document the most influential people in the customer’s decision-making process.
The very first big deals that the company found after Sean started to help them also benefited from the Decision Timeline. The Decision Timeline is a tool to allow the sales team to walk through the entire decision-making process of the customer to understand all of the steps required to make a significant investment decision. It allowed frank and honest conversations to take place with the prospect as the team worked to close the largest deal in the company’s history to date.
Time to run on their own
As with most of the assignments with New Sales Expert, LLC, the goal is to allow the company to run independently. Bob Robinson Jr. was the company’s VP of Sales. Still, he needed to shed those responsibilities to help run the entire company. To finish the transition, Bob and three of his leaders took SalesXceleration‘s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean O’Shaughnessey.
The Certified Sales Leader (CSL) designation is the country’s most comprehensive sales leadership certification program offered. CSL leadership training and certification will prepare you with the analytical, tactical, and strategic sales management skills needed to drive revenue growth now…and into the future. CSL training expands the skill set of a Sales Manager by providing coaching, techniques, and tools to lead a successful sales team.
All four Kaivac leaders passed the CSL test. One of them, Mike Perazzo, was tagged to take over as Executive Vice President of Sales. According to Mike, “Sean is a master coach for helping shape sales process and methodology. Following his methods will help grow sales faster, transactionally, and strategically. Often a couple of pieces of the puzzle are missing, and Sean helps quickly identify them.
You have everything to gain by having Sean look at your current approach. He is a change agent and disruptive to the status quo. Pushing the pace and flow of deals is his sweet spot. I am a better sales leader because of my time with him.”
Sean O’Shaughnessey of New Sales Expert, LLC states, “Kaivac is a wonderful company. They have created a line of machines that gives pride to the workers in one of the toughest jobs in America – keeping things clean. They are focused on the success of their customers and their employees. They had all of the raw skills within their sales team to be a great sales organization; they only needed me to focus them on activities and techniques that allowed them to close bigger deals faster and at a higher profit level.”
“If anyone works in a clean building with clean restrooms and hard surface floors, they are either cleaning it with Kaivac technology or paying too much for that cleanliness,” Sean explains.
Revenue and profitability have grown since Sean helped Kaivac develop a higher level of sales professionalism. Recent results have shown a dramatic increase in revenue and profitability. The sales and revenue growth have allowed the entire family of Kaivac to prosper. The Robinsons have always considered their employees an extension of their family. The company’s prosperity is passed along to team members through a bonus structure for the whole company. It all fits into the spirit of Kaivac. Bob Jr. says, “Our organization was built to have heart.”
In this enlightening episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” Sean O’Shaughnessey and Kevin Lawson delve into the fundamental aspect of setting clear expectations in sales, mirroring the way parents do with their children. With mid-year reviews around the corner, it’s time to reflect, analyze, and readjust your sales strategies.
Kevin starts with a compelling anecdote about his childhood bedtime routine to explain the critical importance of clear communication and setting expectations. The duo emphasizes that salespeople and leaders must carry the same burden to ensure success. They then transition into discussing data, people, and customers, shedding light on how they interplay in the sales ecosystem.
Sean broadens the conversation to the art of adaptation and how market changes could necessitate mid-year modifications to sales processes. This aspect is brought into sharp focus with the unprecedented disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both hosts agree on the necessity of data-informed decision-making, underlining the importance of balancing past performance with future potential. They delve into the aspects contributing to understanding a customer’s potential, including market changes and various environmental factors.
Kevin and Sean also touch upon the essentiality of upskilling the sales team, the significance of coaching, and the benefit of taking a hard look at individual performance. The conversation concludes with a detailed discussion on data analysis, with both hosts advocating for leveraging your CRM system for a thorough assessment of your sales process, the documentation, and the distribution of deals.
So, whether you’re a seasoned salesperson or new to the game, this episode is filled with vital insights that you can incorporate into your sales strategy, setting you up for success in the latter half of the year.
Change is inevitable, and small business owners must constantly adapt to stay ahead of their competition. While traditional consultants may offer valuable insights and recommendations, they often lack the hands-on commitment to implement these changes effectively. A consultant will write a report and presentation to advise management of required changes and then count on management to deploy the advice effectively. More than a report or playbook is usually needed to drive tangible results.
Enter the concept of a fractional executive. This innovative solution provides small businesses the strategic guidance and support they need to grow and evolve. In this blog post, we’ll explore the role of a fractional executive, discuss their benefits, and share tips for finding the right fit for your business.
A fractional executive is a seasoned professional who offers expertise and leadership on a part-time or project basis. These individuals often have extensive experience in their respective fields and can fill critical gaps in a company’s leadership team. From acting as a temporary CEO to guiding sales or financial strategies, fractional executives provide services tailored to your business’s unique needs.
The critical difference between a fractional executive and a traditional consultant lies in their level of commitment. While consultants often deliver a one-time report or set of recommendations, fractional executives are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. They work closely with your team to implement changes, monitor progress, and adjust strategies as needed, ensuring that your business thrives in the long term.
Consultants can create beautiful reports using modern tools like Chat GPT. While a report generated by Chat GPT can provide valuable insights and recommendations for a business, it is crucial to recognize that such a report alone is insufficient to drive meaningful changes. To successfully implement and manage the recommended changes, businesses require a more hands-on and personalized approach that addresses their unique challenges and opportunities. A report can serve as an excellent starting point, but companies must invest in dedicated human expertise to ensure that the proposed changes are effectively integrated into their operations.
A Chat GPT report may be insufficient for driving change because it cannot fully account for the intricacies and nuances of each business. While AI-generated reports can be well-researched and informative, they may need a more profound understanding of company culture, team dynamics, and specific market conditions necessary to develop tailored strategies. On the other hand, a human expert can work closely with stakeholders, employees, and customers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the business’s unique needs and challenges, allowing them to develop and implement more effective change initiatives.
Additionally, change management requires ongoing support and guidance, which a Chat GPT report or an absentee consultant cannot provide. Implementing changes often involves overcoming obstacles, refining strategies, and addressing unforeseen issues that arise during the process. A human expert, such as a fractional executive, can provide the necessary support and adaptability to navigate these challenges and ensure the success of the change initiatives. By working closely with the business daily, they can monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and make real-time adjustments to keep the change process on track.
A strong sales organization is the cornerstone of any successful business. The sales team serves as the company’s lifeblood, driving revenue growth and ensuring long-term financial stability. When a company prepares for a merger, acquisition, or public offering, having a strong sales team can translate into a higher valuation.
A strong sales organization is the backbone of a thriving business, as it directly impacts revenue generation. When a company’s sales team is well-organized, well-trained, and motivated, they become more effective in closing deals and fostering relationships with clients. This increased effectiveness leads to more sales, ultimately resulting in higher revenues and profits for the company.
By investing in a strong sales organization, businesses can capitalize on opportunities and achieve maximum value. The best sales organizations have a proven track record of success. These teams have established a consistent sales process, streamlined communication channels, and aligned with the company’s overall business goals.
A successful sales team is crucial for driving revenue growth. The following factors contribute to a sales organization’s ability to increase revenues and profits:
In today’s highly competitive business environment, sales leaders play a crucial role in the success of their organizations. They are responsible for setting sales targets, creating effective sales strategies, and motivating their teams to achieve their goals. However, being an effective sales leader requires more than just setting targets and motivating your team. This article will explore the five best practices of effective sales leaders.
1. Set clear and achievable goals.
One of the primary responsibilities of a sales leader is to set clear and achievable goals for their team. Setting goals is critical to keeping your team focused and motivated. With clear goals, your team will know what they are working towards and may be able to achieve the results you expect.
When setting goals, it’s essential to make them SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specific goals are clear and well-defined.
Measurable goals allow you to track progress and determine success.
Achievable goals are realistic and within reach.
Relevant goals align with your organization’s overall objectives.
Time-bound goals have a deadline or timeframe for completion.
Setting SMART goals gives your team a clear direction and purpose. This guidance helps them focus their efforts on the activities that will help them achieve their objectives.
2. Develop a sales strategy.
Once you have set your sales goals, the next step is to develop a sales strategy. A sales strategy outlines your team’s approach to achieving its goals. It includes the tactics and activities that your team will use to reach its targets.
Your sales strategy should be based on deeply understanding your market, customers, and competitors. It should also take into account your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. A good sales strategy is flexible and adaptable. It allows your team to adjust its approach based on the market or changes in customer needs.
When developing your sales strategy, it’s essential to involve your team. Your sales team has firsthand knowledge of your customers and their challenges. You can tap into their expertise by involving your team in the strategy development process and gain buy-in for the approach.
3. Provide ongoing training and coaching.
Sales is a dynamic and constantly evolving field. To be successful, your sales team needs ongoing training and coaching. Ongoing training helps your team stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices. It also helps them develop new skills and techniques that can help them close more deals.
Coaching is equally essential. Sales coaching helps your team identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to overcome challenges. It also gives your team feedback and support, helping them stay motivated and focused.
You must understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses to provide effective training and coaching. This requires regular communication and feedback. Regular one-on-one meetings with your team members can help you identify areas for improvement and develop tailored coaching plans.
4. Foster a positive team culture.
Sales can be a high-pressure and stressful environment. To be successful, your team needs to work well together and support each other. This requires a positive team culture.
A positive team culture is built on trust, respect, and collaboration. It’s a culture where team members feel valued and appreciated. It’s also a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.
As a sales leader, you are critical in fostering a positive team culture. You need to lead by example and model the behaviors you want to see in your team. You also need to encourage open communication and provide opportunities for team members to collaborate and work together.
5. Use data to drive decisions.
Finally, effective sales leaders use data to drive their decisions. Data provides insights into your team’s performance and helps you identify areas for improvement. It also lets you track progress toward your goals and make informed decisions about your sales strategy.
To use data effectively, you need the right tools and systems. This includes a robust CRM system that captures and tracks critical sales metrics such as leads, opportunities, and pipeline value. It also provides analytics tools to help you analyze your data and gain insights into your team’s performance.
Data can also be used to optimize your sales process. By analyzing your sales data, you can identify bottlenecks and areas where your team struggles. This allows you to develop targeted interventions to improve performance.
Effective sales leaders use data to continuously improve their sales process and drive results. They are always looking for ways to optimize their approach and stay ahead of the competition.
Being an effective sales leader requires a combination of skills and practices. It requires setting clear and achievable goals, developing a sales strategy, providing ongoing training and coaching, fostering a positive team culture, and using data to drive decisions. By following these best practices, sales leaders can motivate their teams and drive results. They can also create a culture of continuous improvement that allows their organization to stay ahead of the competition.
A Vice President of Sales plays a critical role in the success of a business by overseeing and leading the sales team to achieve revenue targets. To be effective in their position, the VP of Sales must be able to focus on strategic decision-making and high-level planning while delegating operational tasks to a capable team. One way to facilitate this delegation is through a virtual assistant, who can perform various functions that support the VP of Sales and the sales team.
A virtual assistant is a professional who provides a range of administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely. Utilizing digital tools, they can handle tasks such as email and calendar management, data entry, event planning, and more complex tasks such as market research and report creation. This remote support allows business leaders and teams to delegate routine tasks, freeing them to focus on strategic responsibilities and higher-level work. Virtual assistants can work with individuals or organizations across various industries, offering flexibility and efficiency that can significantly contribute to productivity and business growth.
A virtual assistant can alleviate the routine tasks that often sidetrack a VP of Sales from their pivotal duties. Such an assistant could oversee the VP of Sales’ agenda, arrange meetings, and undertake administrative tasks like managing emails and inputting data. This delegation of duties allows the VP of Sales to concentrate on higher-level tasks, such as crafting sales tactics and nurturing relationships with critical clients.
Administrative and operational support to the sales team can also be delegated to a virtual assistant. They can contribute to tasks like lead generation, research, and qualification. They’re also capable of assisting with creating sales reports, managing the CRM, and conducting follow-up engagements with prospective clients post-sales meetings. By rendering these services, the virtual assistant permits the sales team to devote their efforts to their primary responsibilities, including fostering client relationships, closing sales, and driving revenue.
Virtual assistants can also be instrumental in helping VPs of Sales maintain organization and manage their responsibilities effectively. They can aid in preparing for meetings, orchestrating events, and arranging travel. They can also lend a hand in managing expenses and delegating tasks. This support enables the VP of Sales to remain on top of their obligations, leading to increased productivity and effectiveness.
VAs can inform the VP of Sales about industry trends and market intelligence. They can perform market research and competitor analysis, scrutinize sales performance metrics, and deliver insights to facilitate informed decision-making by the VP of Sales. By supplying this crucial information, the virtual assistant empowers the VP of Sales to make strategic decisions that bolster revenue growth.
Most importantly, a virtual assistant can assist the VP of Sales in fostering a robust sales culture. They can contribute to training the sales team on industry best practices, product knowledge, and sales techniques. They can also aid in organizing team-building activities and other initiatives to promote collaboration and teamwork. Through these efforts, the virtual assistant supports the VP of Sales in establishing a successful and efficient sales organization characterized by a powerful sales culture.
20 productivity-enhancing activities that a virtual assistant can perform to help a sales leader be:
Scheduling and managing appointments: A virtual assistant can schedule appointments, manage calendars, and set reminders.
Lead generation and qualification: A virtual assistant can help with research and identify potential customers, contact them to qualify them, and keep a record of progress.
Data entry and management: A virtual assistant can manage and organize customer data and sales records, keeping them up-to-date and accurate.
Email management: A virtual assistant can manage and filter email correspondence, respond to routine inquiries, and forward important messages to the sales leader.
Social media management: A virtual assistant can manage social media accounts, create content, and monitor engagement.
Sales report creation: A virtual assistant can create reports on sales performance, market trends, and competitor analysis.
Proposal and contract drafting: A virtual assistant can help prepare client proposals and contracts.
Conducting market research: A virtual assistant can conduct market research on industry trends, competitor analysis, and customer preferences.
CRM management: A virtual assistant can manage the sales leader’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, update records, and track sales activities.
Call screening: A virtual assistant can screen incoming calls, filtering out cold calls and telemarketing solicitations.
Meeting preparation: A virtual assistant can prepare meeting materials, including agendas, presentations, and reports.
Client communication: A virtual assistant can communicate with clients, respond to inquiries, and provide updates on sales progress.
Sales follow-up: A virtual assistant can follow up with potential customers after sales meetings, and track leads through the sales funnel.
Sales training: A virtual assistant can help train sales teams on best practices, product knowledge, and sales techniques.
Event planning: A virtual assistant can assist with planning and coordinating sales events, such as trade shows or conferences.
Travel arrangements: A virtual assistant can assist with booking flights, hotels, and transportation for sales trips.
Expense management: A virtual assistant can help manage sales expenses, keep track of receipts, and create expense reports.
Task delegation: A virtual assistant can delegate tasks to sales team members, follow up on their progress, and ensure timely completion.
Lead nurturing: A virtual assistant can help nurture leads and build relationships with potential customers over time.
Analytics and performance tracking: A virtual assistant can help track sales performance metrics, analyze data, and provide insights to help the sales leader make more informed decisions.
A virtual assistant can add significant value to the role of VP of Sales by providing support and assistance that allows the VP of Sales to focus on their core responsibilities. From managing day-to-day tasks to supporting the sales team, providing market insights and analytics, and promoting a strong sales culture, a virtual assistant can help a VP of Sales build a successful and effective sales organization.
New technologies are dramatically changing how businesses operate across all industries, from analytics to artificial intelligence and from automation to social media. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, so does the competitive landscape for salespeople looking to grow their organizations.
To stay ahead of this curve, salespeople must learn to embrace these growing technological trends and leverage them for competitive advantage to remain successful in today’s marketplace. In this video, we’ll explore how these modern tools can be powerful tools for sales growth!
What are some of the examples of technology that you use and can share with others?
Do you use any AI or artificial intelligence tools such as Grammarly, People.ai, Zoovu, Saleswhale, SalesDirector, Tact.ai, Exceed.ai, TopOpps, Veloxy, Troops, Dooly, Drift, Warmer.ai?
What calendar scheduling tool do you use?
What video conferencing tool do you prefer (or not prefer)?
Do you use CRM software? If so, which do you love and which do you hate?
What sales intelligence tools do you use?
Are you using any sales acceleration tools?
What do you use for sales analytics?
What is your favorite sales productivity tool?
Are you using any e-signature and document tracking tools that you could recommend?
What does your company use for marketing automation and ABM?
You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.