In our continuing series on revenue performance, we outline attributes of erratic performance and the steps to take to improve your revenue predictability results.
Some characteristics of an erratic-performing sales team:
- Over last 8 quarters, your forecast accuracy varies wildly: <80% data-preserve-html-node="true" to >115%.
- Less than 55% of deals close in the initial quarter they are forecasted.
- Forecast roll-ups require way too much management ‘judge’ to meet company objectives.
- Sales targets are highly dependent on landing one or more ‘whales’ late in the quarter.
- Deal sizes and close dates change frequently as they mature throughout the sales funnel.
- Less than 60% of your account executives meet quota.
- ‘Dream of analytics’ problem: your CRM system is over-engineered and burdens sales to enter and maintain data not aligned to published metrics and KPIs.
Do these characteristics describe you? If so, there are clear methods to drive improvement.
QSS Revenue Performance Matrix
Our research of hundreds of B2B companies, corroborated by findings of a leading research organization, shows that 1 in 2 companies have experienced erratic performance when measured over a 5-year period.
If you identify your sales efforts as erratic, there are three steps that have proven to drive progression from an ‘Erratic Performer’ to a ‘High Performer’:
- Sales life cycle process aligned to the buyers’ journey:
- Develop a keen understanding of your buyers’ journey including clear definitions of the optimal customer personas and sources of the solution value.
- Align your lead-to-cash process to the buyers’ journey by linking marketing campaigns to sales execution.
- Design your sales process for the 90% case, not for the 2% exception.
- Establish metrics and KPIs to track volume and velocity of deal progression.
- CRM optimization:
- Review your CRM setup and streamline it to support the optimized sales process. Do not over-engineer.
- Periodically spot check your CRM to make sure it provides visibility across the entire lead-to-cash transaction flow.
- Real-deal training and coaching:
- Focus on the human factor. An optimized CRM platform alone does not ensure strong, predictable sales performance. Confirm the right incentives are in place.
- Define and communicate desired outcomes aligned to your sales process to better qualify and accelerate deal flow. Confirm the 4Rights for every opportunity (right opportunity, right stage, right value, and right close date).
- Validate your optimal customer profile and persona upstream to your marketing lead generation efforts. This will ensure the quantity and quality of sales-ready leads passed to sales can be converted into a healthy sales funnel.
Where are you in the QSS Revenue Performance Matrix?
Please look on our website for other blog posts that identify appropriate strategies to move up and to the right on the QSS Revenue Performance Matrix.