Written by Deb Ghosh, founder at TalentSumo
Every B2B tech startup even though is focused on building the next best technology, it has a sales culture, and it’s important to keep that culture in check from time to time. After all, the sales culture is a pivotal element in driving the sales numbers crucial for any startup success. This post features five ways to improve your sales culture through the power of data, asking better questions, using smarter tactics, and more!
1. Review process, pipeline and parameters
Establish a periodic cadence to review the sales process and the sales assets like white papers, videos etc. to ensure that the story around the technology still resonates with the audience. The pipeline health and the number of prospects at each stage of the sales cycle conveys critical information about the health of the startup. It’s the parameters like lead closing time, contract signing time and other key parameters that can give clues towards the critical bottlenecks that exist.
2. Create a culture of asking questions and visualizing with data
Asking creative and thoughtful “what if” questions is the key to unlock a lot of progress. Advanced and easy to build visualization tools like Tableau makes it easy today. It’s time that the sales team starts using these visualization tools so that business could quickly determine which levers the business should pull in order to accelerate the sales performance.
3. Improve your sales calls and onboarding process
The way we interact with the prospects and customers has a profound impact in nurturing and retaining the customers. The more we tune-into their world and get out of the specifications of the technology – surprisingly the better the experience of the customer becomes. Whether it is a sales call or onboarding the customer – each interaction is an opportunity to pull the customer towards the technical ecosystem that we are building.
4. Build right incentives and leaderboard
Awards motivate everyone and the basic laws of economics state that we can change behaviors with the right incentives. However its’ prudent that we target the right behavior and understand the implications on a small pilot before its full scale implementation. For example, any effort for just more prospect outreach may result into unnecessary bulk emails and higher bounce rates – a strategy better avoided by reputed marketers. Hence a careful exercise to find the key sales behavior and re-enforcing them is critical.
5. Choose One issue to improve, set a priority level for others
Implementation is everything – any retrospective will likely bring out many issues that are blocking the sales performance. Rather than concentrating on everything it’s worth deciding what could move the needle for the client before initiating action.
A lot of the above are behavioral changes that could only be enforced over longer periods of time. The culture is never built in a day – but when it’s built, it could not be changed easily. Thus it’s even wiser to be more cognizant of the sales culture that we are building with in the startup.
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