How and Where does Your Team Sell?


So, here I was two years ago: My number one salesperson was selling a ton of business — GREAT! The issue was that most of the deals were small. For the life of me, I couldn’t quite see what was happening in our larger opportunities that were causing us to not win. So, I looked to the great answer machine for help . . . Salesforce.com.

I had hundreds of Opportunities to review — you know an ideal set of data. After running a few reports, I realized to get to the bottom of things we needed to implement a better system of classifying our business. A friend once told me, “Even the most complex problems are simple once broken down into chunks.” Taking this advice, I broke our business into 5 Segments based on annual revenue. Once defined, this allowed me to split out Wins and Losses by salesperson and Segment.

BAM!

I now have great information that helps my salespeople sell. Going back to the data, I found that our teams Segment One wins happen within 12 days while Segment Five wins happen within 120 days of Opportunity creation.

How did this information help us?

If a sales person excels at Segments One and Two deals, they also excel in very short sell cycles. Typically, these kinds of sales compact a long sales cycle into one face-to-face meeting and 2-3 phone calls.

Taking this farther, if a salesperson is in the habit of selling Segments One and Two deals, she is in BIG trouble rolling into Segments Three, Four, and Five deals. The reason is her sales habits aren’t aligned with the larger buying teams of bigger accounts.
Instead of splitting the team into Retail and Major Accounts, I used this information to help the sales team see when they needed to change their sales process. The data helped to demonstrate the salesperson’s historical Payroll Sales Segmentssales processes and made it much easier to coach the sales group.

Today, I advocate two sales processes: 1) the Simple Sales process; and 2) the OnePlus process.

Segments help to see your business in smaller chunks that are easier to grasp. On the marketing side, you can more accurately direct actions to specific Segments and get more impact out of your teams’ efforts. Once you break your business into Segments for sales, you can also use them to analyze operational efficiency for each group. Segments help organizations see things in manageable chucks!

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