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January 17, 2022
4 min read
Happy birthday to Martin Luther King. Today is a reminder that equality and social justice for all is more important than ever.
It's now mid-January, so territory planning season is in full swing. The Weekly Pitch has you covered in our Feature Story with a few building blocks that are sure to make your plan stand above the rest.
We start with our Weekly Chart – the top time-wasters in sales.
Our friends at Dooly sound the alarm – 41% of the sales workday is not spent selling.
That means time-wasters like internal meetings, email, and responding to Slack messages take up over 16 hours of our work week.
Are we sticking to our New Year's Resolution to turn off Slack for two hours a day?
Any high-performing sales team will ask reps to build what's often called a territory or account plan. This plan holds us accountable to stay on track (or correct course) to crush quota, make "Club," and maximize our earning potential. Below, we share the core components to include in a successful plan to stay on track and hit quota.
Consider updating the name to bring us into the modern world of sales. Calling it a "Victory Plan" is inspirational and avoids a geographical reference by removing "territory" (since many reps pursue verticals or other cross-regional segments). Shout out to Letrecia Tippett for the idea.
Write a two or three-paragraph narrative inside our Victory Plan to describe our outlook on 2022 and the accounts we've been assigned. Why are we excited about the year ahead? What geographical, vertical, or product use case patterns emerge within our accounts? Are there any particular brands or businesses we're fired up to pursue. End with a few "if-then" statements to list if X happens, then I will hit my goal.
Optimize our Victory Plan to include at least three top strategies we plan on executing. Prioritizing accounts is one must-have tactic. The sample priority matrix above shows the likelihood to buy or the "fit" on the Y-axis. The X-axis refers to the size of the deal.
In this matrix, 10% are top-tier accounts based on shorter sales cycles, likelihood to buy, and more significant deal values. Tailor our messaging and consider an "all-hands-on-deck" approach once these accounts enter our sales process as qualified.
Aim for 70% of our accounts in this matrix to be mid-tier. Some opportunities we pursue might be more prominent in value but have a lower likelihood of closing (quickly). Others could be lower in value but have faster deal cycles.
Finally, approach the bottom 20% with automated outreach. These accounts may not qualify or result in smaller closes, making our ability to hit goal more challenging.
The path to victory requires a keen sense of inputs and outputs to deliver our desired outcomes. The pyramid above is a sliver of all the potential metrics we could (and probably do) track in sales. Consider these the money-making building blocks of our plan.
The foundation of any successful sales year is at the bottom – prospecting activity. Research shows high-performing reps spend at least 10 hours a week adding new contacts to call and schedule meetings. Exclude product, marketing, or SDR-qualified leads in our plan. Those lead types are sweeteners.
The physics of sales is undeniable. More activity – over time – delivers more opportunities for us to qualify and add to our pipeline to pursue. As we build and qualify more opportunities, we find a more robust pipeline to manage and close.
The best closers are always hungry for more pipeline. Even as they're getting the next signature and closing yet another deal as "closed-won," our high performers are in this constant state of concern to rebuild.
Once our team issues accounts and identify the metrics that matter, it's critical for sales leaders and reps alike to track progress. Implement a scorecard to compare how teams and peers stack up to drive healthy competition. Consider spot bonuses or even paying on-target earnings to our sellers hitting these metrics, knowing it'll pay off in future revenue generation.
A new year is upon us, and sales teams are back in full swing. Make the most of it by building a "Victory Plan" to create our destiny and dominate in 2022!
HBR dropped an article, Sensemaking for Sales, to provide sales pros with a framework to figure out what customers need to know to make a buying decision:
"Only 21% of reps have adopted a sensemaking technique. Thirty-five percent rely on telling, 18% on giving, and 26% have no information-sharing strategy at all. No particular demographic data, such as a rep’s age, years of selling at a given company or in a given industry or geography, had any real bearing on sensemaking capability to close a deal. In other words, sensemaking sellers aren’t trying to solve a specific industry or demographic challenge. They’re focused on the universal challenge of information overload."
Three techniques for helping customers make purchasing decisions
The Weekly Pitch agrees with the data. In a world of information overload, helping customers make sense of it (instead of adding to it) will place us ahead of the competition!
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