Sales development reps (SDRs) need more than talent to win deals — support from management and cross-functional teams along with structured processes that incorporate best practices all play a role in sales readiness and success. Organizations that execute best practices for sales enablement that are ranked as best-in-class as a strategy experience a 14% increase in their annual contract values and overall deal size. If your sales enablement team is looking to ramp up strategy changes, follow these four best practices for smarter sales sequence strategies.
1. Focus on the buyer’s journey, not just the sales cycle
Gone are the days of the archaic sales funnel and linear buyer’s journey — in this digital age, organizations must adapt to create tailored customer experiences throughout all sales and marketing touchpoints, and any branded content should deliver your value proposition in a consistent and compelling manner. Adjusting your sales sequence strategy to align with your buyer’s journey can help close deals faster. Use the following tips to review if your sales sequence strategy is customer-centric:
- Know your target audience: Identify and focus on the right prospects whether that is a persona, industry, or company. A clearly defined target will reveal what your prospects are looking for and how much buying power they have and helps determine what type of sales sequence is used and the sales timeline.
- Work towards the desired outcome: Give sales sequences a purpose by setting specific goals to accomplish such as landing a meeting or a referral, nurturing or educating prospects, pitching a product or service, or achieving other sales purposes. This will ensure all sales sequence steps are aligned to support your company’s end goal.
- Create highly personalized and timely messages: Effective selling means being timely and opportunistic by identifying key moments in the buyer’s journey to deliver the right content and personalized messaging. As buyers and the sales landscape evolves, sales teams should remain agile by using a mix of channels for communication that is fluid with the prospect’s needs and availability such as email, direct mail, phone, social media, and in-person or virtual meetings.
2. Empower your sales team by providing them with effective resources
A robust sales enablement program is equipped with relevant content assets and the right sales enablement platform and tools. SDRs will not always have the time to analyze the benefits or track the effectiveness of existing branded content and sales enablement tools. Optimize the efforts of your sales team by adopting the following:
- Create and distribute relevant content: Sales teams have everything to gain from having access to the right high-quality content and everything to lose if given irrelevant and outdated content. Not only does content help deliver more qualified leads and establish your brand as a thought leader, but it also allows sales teams to showcase the value in your company’s product or service and build a stronger relationship with prospects.
- Use sales enablement platforms and tools that work best for your team: There are sales sequence and intelligence tools available such as SalesLoft, Outreach, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator along with customer relationship management tools like Salesforce or HubSpot. These software tools and automated applications are built to execute specific sales and email campaigns. Figure out what tool works best for your specific business type, industry, operational structure, and sales strategy and what will help take the complexity out of your sales process.
3. Document and organize your sales processes
Imprinting a culture of collaborative habits and flexibility will help create a more efficient sales environment. Take the steps necessary to maximize your sales enablement strategy by dedicating time to find solutions that help your sales team reach their goals:
- Hold monthly or quarterly meetings: Get the most out of your sales enablement team by having dedicated management and oversight to keep things running smoothly. Involving C-level executives and data and analytics experts when needed will help maximize meeting impact, offering your sales teams a channel to quickly get questions answered and acquire critical support.
- Identify bottlenecks: Evaluate your team’s sequence steps to optimize how much time is spent on automated or manual tasks and to ensure teams are working efficiently. Find out what’s keeping teams from completing certain tasks and leverage what’s working for top performers.
4. Use data and analytics to guide decision making
Keeping up with evolving business priorities, buyers’ needs, and sales landscapes is critical, and reviewing how your sales sequences are performing will allow your team to make tweaks and overhauls when necessary. Create a team culture that is data-driven and uses deep measurement as a blueprint for fulfilling sales enablement goals. Take the following tips into consideration when forming sales habits:
- Implement intent-based or behavioral segmentation: Analyze the actions prospects take and how they interact with your company. Categorize their actions by comparing it against purchase behavior, buyer journey phase, product or services sought, the timing of interactions, online behavior, etc. Understanding these interactions plays a major role in how your team sets up the timing of sales sequences and how influential the messaging needs to be at each touchpoint.
- Measure everything that matters and adjust sales sequence strategy every 6 months: The micro view is just as important as the macro view of numbers when it comes to sales KPIs and sales development metrics. Understand baseline level metrics by tracking activity sales metrics, outreach sales metrics, and sales productivity metrics:
- Activity sales metrics: Number of calls made, emails sent, conversations, social media interactions, meetings scheduled, demos scheduled, sales pitches, referral requests, or proposals sent
- Outreach sales metrics: Depending on your company’s online interactions using email, social media, and phone, take a look at the metrics of the response rate, open rate, opt-out rate, and bounce rate.
- Sales productivity metrics: To track SDR productivity levels, use these metrics to follow the percentage of: time spent on selling, time spent on manual data entry, marketing collateral used, sales tools used daily, and follow-up activities for high-quality leads.
Modern sales environments are always changing to keep up with the evolving needs of buyers across all industries. Following these four best practices for sales sequence strategies and adjusting how you implement them to meet your business priorities will help your company create more efficient sales processes. Whether you’re working towards building stronger prospect relationships, increasing opportunities and deals won, or creating more valuable content, contact us to review your sales enablement strategy. And, be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook so you don’t miss out on additional strategies and insights.