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September 12, 2022

4 Questions Sales Leaders Should Ask to Drive Performance

The release of HubSpot’s annual Sales Strategy & Trends Report, reinforced our longstanding belief that centering the sales process for and around the customer is key to long-term revenue growth. According to the report: “Building trust and rapport, crafting a personalized sales approach, and prioritizing existing customers is more important than ever to a successful sales strategy that not only attracts customers but turns them into promoters of your brand.”

The report reflected responses from global leaders and statistics around industry trends to identify strategic opportunities for optimization in our own sales process. Keep reading to explore our top takeaways, questions we use to personalize the sales process, and how your organization can use them to unlock new channels for long-term revenue growth.

Is your team getting the most potential value out of your CRM?

Today’s customers expect personalized, timely experiences from the first touch, including throughout the entire sales process. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly urgent to track and record lead and sales rep behavior across every touchpoint using a CRM. In fact, 85% of successful salespeople say CRM functionality makes a significant difference in getting to a win-close deal. 

When used to its full potential, a modern CRM enables teams to deepen customer relationships and win more deals, while helping sales leaders effectively manage the pipeline, accurately forecast revenue growth, and ultimately leverage insights to increase future performance. 

CRMs like HubSpot equip sales teams to:

  • Track lead behavior
  • Centralize contact, customer, and sales rep data
  • Improve communication quality and response times
  • Deliver insights through custom dashboards and reports

Plus, HubSpot Sales Hub includes features like sophisticated sequences, sales team efficacy analysis, omnichannel outreach, automation of admin tasks, and much more. 

As a sales leader, it’s vital that your team is fully knowledgeable in your CRM software — along with any sales enablement tools or extensions available for additional gains in operational efficiency.

Are your marketing and sales teams leveraging the same CRM strategy?

Alignment between sales and marketing teams has long been known to increase revenue, improve customer experience, boost lead quality, accelerate deal velocity, and improve LTV. These improvements can be compounded with an aligned technology stack, with both marketers and sellers referencing the same data. 79% of salespeople say their CRM is effective in improving sales and marketing alignment. Among other things, a well-integrated CRM delivers: 

  • Real-time lead stage updates across the entire sales cycle
  • Actionable, individualized direction on the next steps in the engagement process
  • Real-time insights that guide the optimum allocation of internal resources

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Plus, your organization’s CRM can be fully customized around marketing + sales team service level agreement (SLA), fully aligned on lead quantity, scoring, and responsibilities for moving the deal forward. Thus, the real question to ask, is: are you equipping teams with centralized tools to support every sale, from top-of-funnel awareness to middle-of-funnel brand preference to bottom-of-funnel trust, all the way through to a deal? 

What distinguishes the top performers on your team?

The most successful sales reps take a customer-centric approach to selling, leverage your CRM to its full potential, and follow proven processes. According to the report, top performers in tech-enabled B2B sales teams around the globe are also: 

  • 35% more likely to say that their organization’s sales and marketing efforts have been more aligned in the last year than they have been in the past,
  • 19% more likely to analyze lead behavior and historical performance data available to them to optimize individual sales engagement and overall approach, and  
  • 17% more likely to specifically recognize their CRM as “very important to the sales process” and overall efficiency 

As a sales leader, it’s important to establish the above three pillars to equip your team with the tools and processes they need for success. To gain visibility into the team's progress and identify opportunities to resolve gaps in the process, you’ll need to make sure that your integrated automation and CRM suite enable you to track all revenue-generating efforts from the first marketing touch to a live consultation, down to a closed-won deal.

Outside of revenue generation, it’s also essential to understand how you measure success on a team-wide and individual level, which means accounting for both quantifiable and qualifiable KPIs, and knowing how to leverage your team’s strengths to optimize operational efficiency. 

Do you leverage individual rep strengths in the sales process? 

Sales leaders must understand how to use reps’ individual strengths to motivate and drive engagement across the team — and drive revenue growth. 

Quantitative key performance indicators (KPIs) provide objective, measurable insight into rep performance. Some of the popular metrics to monitor include quota achievement, win rates, individual sales cycles, and more. Non-revenue-specific metrics like prospecting behavior volume, such as emails sent, meetings booked, or leads generated can also be helpful for a deeper insight into performance. 

However, outside of performance metrics, make sure you’re paying attention to the unique aspects of individual sales reps. Factors like closing a customer in a highly specialized field, working on a smaller pipeline but having a 100% closed-won rate, and/or meeting a client for a non-required lunch before winning a long-term partner can signal areas of opportunity that few leaders catch right away. 

All of these examples tie back to strategic lead engagement, which hinges on a highly personalized sales process that plays off of each rep’s unique strengths and focus areas. This leads us to a key area where sales leaders can connect reps to best-fit leads in the pipeline: lead routing. 

Sales leaders should use a fully featured CRM, with the ability to integrate with external tools and extensions, to customize lead distribution through multiple categories, such as: 

  • Industry specialization/customer verticals 
  • Opportunities for in-person connections and aligned time zones
  • Rep capacity volumes to avoid rep burnout 
  • Rep performance and ability to close big logos
  • New reps vs tenured team members 

When these factors are also controlled by weighting, capping, geography, throughput, or churn, for example, lead routing becomes a powerful tool in any sales leader’s toolbox. 

By customizing how leads are routed across your team, you can save time on transactions, improve the buyer’s journey with a more efficient sales process, and convert more leads into opportunities. Specialized lead routing turns reps' strengths into endless opportunities to deliver more personalization and value at the first touch — which drives a customer-centric sales approach that leads to sustainable revenue growth.

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Al Moore

Al is the Director of Marketing for New Breed. He has spent the last 15+ years as a B2B and SaaS marketer, and he is passionate about helping companies leverage the digital space to reach and engage their audiences effectively and efficiently.

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