As 2021 is (finally) here, we’re looking forward to a fresh start. Most salespeople and marketers had their 2020 plans upended, and we’re still not entirely sure what changes 2021 will bring. But we do know that there are some things that salespeople and marketers can always do better. Here are some resolutions we recommend to help sales and marketing teams grow business in the year ahead.
1. Get Your Content Organized
All your content should be easy for your sales team to access during their conversations so they can find relevant resources on the fly without wasting a prospect’s time hunting for a file. The better your content is organized, the more dynamic your conversations will be. Only 7% of top performers use a sales pitch while the majority of top performers are having consultative conversations with their prospects.
Organizing everything will also help your reps find relevant content to share after each step of the sales process so their follow-ups are more meaningful. Plus, it will prevent sales from repeatedly asking the marketing team to produce content that already exists and reveal gaps where new content is actually needed.
2. Shorten the Time It Takes to Onboard New Hires
With the start of every new year comes new hires. According to Business News Daily, January and February are the two busiest times for hiring. Hiring, onboarding, and training new sales reps are a constant struggle for most companies. Now that most salespeople are operating in a remote environment, the complexity of onboarding is increasing. Make sure your recent hires have access to critical sales, marketing, and product materials in a highly organized format.
3. Be Mindful of the Quality of Your Leads
It’s not about having the most leads in your pipeline; it’s about finding the right ones. Research from Sales Insights Lab shows that at least 50% of your initial prospects aren’t a good fit and even the industries with the highest close rates are only in the 20% range. Make sure that all the opportunities in your pipeline could actually turn into deals.
Track each prospect’s engagement with your followup emails and make sure they’re consistently maintaining interest. Don’t be afraid to remove a lead from the pipeline if you discover they aren’t actually qualified. You can still rekindle that relationship later and it’s best not to waste either of your time if it’s not a fit.
4. Make More Time for Prospecting
We know prospecting can be a slog (more than 40% of salespeople say it’s the most challenging part of the sales process), but it’s necessary to make sure you’re connecting with the right decision makers and influencers. Set aside dedicated prospecting time every day and track everything in your CRM between each call.
Take the full context of each prospect into account, including their interactions with your marketing and behavior on your website. Introducing yourself in the context of a prospect’s interests will help you build trust and ensure leads are relevant before you move them into the pipeline.
5. Keep Your Pipeline Healthy
Make sure all your customer data is up-to-date so you fully understand which stage each prospect is in. According to Salesforce, the top sales teams are 150% more likely to base their sales forecasts on data rather than intuition. Track the content you’re sharing during the sales call itself and sync with your CRM to better understand what’s working and what’s not. Pay attention to where the process stalls and where you lose leads so you can identify any negative trends and remedy them to increase your overall win rate.
No matter what happens in the year ahead, organizing your content, streamlining new hire onboarding, maintaining quality leads, prospecting every day, and maintaining a healthy pipeline are all resolutions we know you can stick to. Keeping these goals top of mind will help you make 2021 your year.
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