Three New Sales Trends Reshaping World-Class
In this blog, I want to briefly highlight The 2015 MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study which focuses on the “continuous shifting of buyer behaviors and how world-class sales professionals adapt.” I encourage you to download this study and review it carefully as it is destined to change your thinking about your approach to B2B complex sales.
The three most important sales trends identified in the 2015 Study are:
The number of decision makers involved in the typical deal is increasing from 4.6 up to 5.8; the size of selling teams in individual deals in increasing from 3.8 to 4.4;
Average length of the sales cycle is now longer, which reflects more players in the transaction, both decision makers and salespersons;
- The good news, customer retention is improving, compared to last year, which indicates added emphasis on management of the customer relationship and proof of value to the customer.
What should an aspiring sales teams do to respond to these trends and produce the results of world-class sales performers? First, your team needs to do serious homework to determine exactly which persons in your prospect company populate the decision making team. Second, you then must do the work to determine how they think, what they value, and by whom they are influenced. This is not easy. It takes time, strategy and diligence. Map it out. Develop buyer personnas. Respect their thought process.
Next, because the sales cycles are longer, you must develop a sales plan that keeps your prospect connected at various stages in his/her decision making cycle. Out of sight, out of mind. Produce valuable content that embraces and educates the prospect throughout the cycle. Be sure that you match sales resources to prospect needs. It may involve adding salespersons to the team, or resources to do ROI studies. Don’t think like a commissioned salesperson; that is, “once it is installed, I’m done!” Throughout the interaction you must place proper emphasis on collaboration.
As a last point in this brief highlight, customer retention is improving for world-class sales performers because they understand and act on the fact that customers (prospects) require formal ROI calculations before making purchasing decisions. This does not mean simple calculations on cost/benefit but, rather, meeting the “customer’s expectations for quantifiable value.” You must identify tangible and intangible benefits of the solution drawn from what the prospect deems valuable.Download MHI Global Latest Study
Because this study is 18 pages, I’m going to do a quick round-up of the areas where world-class sales performers outperformed all other respondents. Pay close attention to these points and learn about them in detail in the complete study. Among the key metrics traditionally measured by sales organizations, world-class performers consistently showed better results in:
- Number of Qualified Opportunities
- New Account Acquisition
- Average Account Billing
- YOY Existing Customer Growth
- Quota Achievement
- Forecast Accuracy
I’ve always believed that sales is the noblest of all professions.
And I think it is fair to say that most all sales organizations are working toward achieving high performance results. After all, nothing in this world happens unless something sells, whether an idea, a dinner invitation or a consulting engagement.
We all sell something. Just some do it better than others. Why not be the best? Use this Study as an “aspirational benchmark for your team to strive toward. Your prospects and customers will appreciate your effort to make the complex sales run smoothly and productively for all.
See you on the upside, Bill
P.S. We invite you to benchmark your organization’s sales strategy and process against world-class results. All you need to do is answer the 25 questions at The Sales Performance Meter
You can never stop learning or improving.
For more information on how you can produce world-class sales performance from your sales team, please contact