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Managers: Here’s What Your Sales Department Needs in 2019

by | 3 minute read

If you’re running a sales department, you probably spend a lot of time evaluating vendors. By now, you may have concluded that everyone is offering a sales-tech solution. If you decide to buy into one of these SAAS platforms, should your company also sign up for a mar-tech solution? Are you going to be left in a sales desert if you don’t make this kind of investment? TOPO analysts discussed these topics in their recent webinar. Here’s what really matters.

The sales-tech and mar-tech SAAS providers are competing in a furiously overheated market. The way Craig Rosenberg, Chief TOPO Analyst sees it, the number of competitors will shrink by 20% over the next year. Venture capital companies aren’t as eager as they have been to invest huge sums in a company with a narrow platform. And large companies, think SalesForce, are buying up smaller operators that have one or two standout features in order to expand their platform. While you consider what this means for any investment you’ve been planning to make, focus on the following aspects of your sales department to win this year.

Sales Development

We live in an era where B2B products, across many industries, are remarkably similar. You are competing with companies that have the same feature set and perhaps, similar pricing. The defining factor, for buyers, often comes down to the user experience. Your reps need to know how to handle prospects at every touch point in the sales funnel. Over 70% of businesses surveyed by TOPO say that, on a scale of 1 to 5, successfully closing a sale comes down to how well you’ve developed your reps.

Do you have a system in place that helps each of your reps optimize their performance at each step in the sales cycle? It’s not easy to scale to this kind of need. Using a quick coaching system, like SalesFuel Coach, can help sales managers improve reps in the areas where they are weak.

Value

While volume and velocity have been mainstays of the sales process, “value is the new factor,” says Dan Gottlieb, another TOPO analyst. Your reps are likely too focused on volume and velocity. When they charge into a meeting, intent on discovery, their approach is ‘too interrogative at the expense of the client.” The challenge, for sales organizations, is to find the right balance between what it takes to build a relationship with a prospect and not add too much time to the sales cycle. Using data is all about ‘pressure to contract the cycle.’

One solution to this problem is to shift mundane tasks out of the sales rep’s day. Assign assistants to sales data entry needs, with the understanding that much of this work is destined to be automated in the next few years.

Allow your reps to focus on the activities that will deliver value, training them to build relationships with the client instead, and you’ll have more prospects moving down the sales funnel.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.

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