Plan. Perform. Predict.
These are the three pillars agile go-to-market organizations lean on year after year to create and sustain growth. In order to nail these three areas, leaders need the right people, processes, resources, and data to make that happen.
Your employees are arguably the most valuable asset your company has. They are the ones who interact on a daily basis with the majority of your customers and can be some of your brand’s best representatives. In order to do their job well though, you need to make sure they have the right tools. So how do you do that?
To help you refine your sales planning strategy, below are five Xactly expert tips that will help you find the right tools and strategies to create efficiency and alignment across your organization.
Tip 1: Performance Starts at Effective Training
Quality sales training and help resources can give your team the knowledge they need to execute on your company’s growth strategy—aka, take your business to the next level. Not only that, but it can also give your team a deeper understanding of your products, services, and the industry they serve.
It almost makes TOO much sense. The more your sales team knows about what you do and what you sell, the more effective they will be when informing others and positioning your brand. And that’s proven—according to G2, effective sales coaching can improve win rates by as much as 29 percent.
But what does effective mean? Providing mountains of helpful content is one thing, but having content focused on getting up and running as quickly as possible is the key. This means that the timely adoption of tools and trainings are essential for sales teams to get and keep going. Training and help needs to be focused, customized, and on-demand so that more time is spent executing.
Equipping sales leadership to use the solutions they need in order to analyze rep performance is a game changer. It allows them to better understand the effectiveness of their training and how they can use that as a key lever to affect performance. This gives deeper visibility into where there are gaps in education, allowing sales enablement and leadership to course-correct, adjust training, and improve overall performance.
Tip 2: Equip Sales Leaders with Tools to Perform
Sales tools are no longer requests, but requirements. A study performed by Data Dwell found that 65 percent of sales managers say that the biggest challenge for them is the lack of time and resources to perform their job. Leaders need tools to help use their time more wisely.
For starters, having the right tools to do your job greatly increases the amount of work you can get done in a given day. The right tools don’t just mean a suite of features, but solutions that ensure productivity and alignment with each other and to company goals.
In a world where sales leaders need to just “make it happen”, organizations often forget that without the proper tools and resources, they can't. Period.
Technology is the backbone of business processes. Having the right ones allows employees to complete their tasks efficiently, which then affords them opportunities to expand their range of capabilities. This directly translates to more time spent on strategic activity versus manual, time-consuming tasks. You can’t build a house without the proper tools, and neither can your sales managers.
Tip 3: Optimizing your Sales Enablement Strategy is a Competitive Necessity
According to G2, 55 percent of C-Suite executives say that sales enablement solutions are the top technology investment necessary to boost sales productivity. Leaders are seeing the inherent value and monetary return of empowering sales teams with technology
The right sales enablement strategy equips reps with the training and transparency they need to be successful and invested in the execution of key company goals. With the right tools and technology, every rep can feel good about the attainability of their goals. This translates to a more engaged workforce, one that can be retained, and a company environment where overall company goals are feasible.
Tip 4: Effective Territory Design Helps Performance
Effective territory design is the basis of strategic sales planning. You cannot set attainable quotas without having first set optimized and fair territories. Plus, it’s impossible to maintain a competitive compensation structure if you don’t have insight into their workload, opportunity, and capacity. According to Intangent, companies can lift sales by 2-7 percent with technology-enabled territory design—without changing strategy or adding resources.
Effective territory management can also result in positive business benefits, like:
- 15 percent higher revenue
- 20 percent increase in sales productivity
- 15 percent increase in territory efficiency
- 75 percent reduced planning time
- Up to 30 percent higher sales objective attainment
Using technology and leveraging data intelligence, the territory design process results in optimized plans that maximize sales rep opportunities and drive company revenue.
Tip 5: Investing in Manual Work Reduction Yields Results
As organizations expand their sales operations, they quickly discover that manual management of processes and data in spreadsheets and homegrown tools is just not sustainable.
Manual processes, while inefficient, are also:
- Difficult to scale
- Lead to a ripple effect impacting the entire organization when change inevitably occurs (people, movement, or industrial changes that impact company strategy)
Additionally, when data becomes siloed, sales teams (and teams across an organization) suffer the consequences due to poor visibility and the inability to course correct in real-time.
As companies evolve and grow, so does their need to optimize their approach to Sales Performance Management (SPM). An integrated SPM suite builds cohesion, automates time-consuming processes, reduces error, and helps put more time into execution. Apart from that, organizations across industries are finding any way they can to automate and optimize. Finding any way to optimize is a competitive imperative.
The Right Tools and Resources Are A Leader’s Secret Key to Success
These days, the tools that are being created are smarter and more efficient. Which means, the more accurate your assumptions, the better off your sales team is for the year ahead. While your gut instinct might point you in the right direction, when you use the right technology and data to guide planning, you can increase performance by more than 15 percent and sales productivity by up to 20 percent.
Transforming your organization requires a set of specific tools, and we’ve got them. To learn more about the types of tools and resources your revenue organization needs to see an improvement in strategy and ROI, check out our guide, “The Five Tools that Unleash Intelligent Revenue”.