6 Must-Have Functions of a Sales Technology Platform

There are several types of sales technologies, but regardless of what you use, they all have “must have’s” and “must-do’s” that contribute to accelerating your revenue. Here are six of those must-have functions.

1. Automation…Automation…Automation

Wherever possible, automate data entry as opposed to manual entry.  Data entry in systems is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Minimize it at every opportunity to do so.  The more manual entry required, the higher the level of non-compliance, resentment, and inaccuracy.

Examples of fields to automate: Opportunity naming, Account Type designation, company profile info such as revenue, employees, etc.

2. Training…Training…Training

Sounds obvious?  You’d be amazed at how many companies don’t have a planned approach to the onboarding and ongoing training of any and all personnel interfacing with the system. This applies to both the input side and the analytic’s side.  Knowing how to use the system to manage the business is as important as how to use the system to get data in.

3. Stage Structure

Opportunity Stages should reflect the “womb-to-tomb” decision making process on the prospect’s side.  Each stage should be definitive, non-interpretable, and represent a clear-cut action, not an opinion.

3. Activity Structure

Activity is what moves an opportunity through the stage process.  Understanding this behavior quantitatively is a critical ingredient in the recipe for this secret sauce.

4. Activity Scoring

This goes beyond gamification.  It creates a relative currency on the value of the different activities contributing to revenue.  It becomes both an “investment score” on client acquisition and retention, as well as a mechanism of personal accountability.

5. Rules of Engagement

If you do nothing else, do this.  Establish clear markers as to when things are done.  What catalyzes the creation of an Opportunity record?  All data must be created for exactly the same reason, otherwise, analytical accuracy goes out the window.

6. Anatomy of a Dashboard

Dashboards are control centers.  They should be the single (and only) source for reports relevant to an individual’s responsibilities. A control center should be dedicated to an individual at each level of the revenue food chain. Dashboard structure and content is driven by the viewer’s responsibilities and areas of focus.

Learn more about these and other elements and strategies for growing your company revenue with the upcoming event, Revenue Acceleration & Salesforce.com at the button below.

revenue acceleration

Larry NiponLarry Nipon has consistently helped companies exceed expectations. As one of the earliest adopters of CRM technology (ACT!’s 1st beta tester), he’s created a new and different set of rules showing how to correctly and effectively marry a company’s revenue strategy to the technology to make it happen. Larry used these strategies to start and build “category-killer” companies whose growth led to acquisitions or investments by the likes of Google, Accenture, Fidelity Partners, EMAP PLC. and others.

14 Essential Elements to Revenue Acceleration

Business owners don’t want much…we just want more. We want more speed, more accuracy, more productivity, more information (not to be confused with data)…MORE SALES.

In sales, there are some essential elements, that when correctly wired into a system, have propelled dramatic impact on conversion, rate of revenue, and valuation.

In no particular order, here are 14 of the most critical elements, without which, a fully productive revenue engine isn’t possible.

1. Control

Know what you are trying to control. If it’s revenue, it can’t be done. You might as well try controlling the weather.  However, we can impact revenue. What we can control is the behavior and activities that lead to a decision.  Activity is your business’ primary currency…not money.

2. Clarity

Make sure your company’s value proposition is presented with clarity and consistency. Are your sales and service executives operating with a clearly defined and measured process? Everyone must go to market with the same, for lack of a better word, “script.”  In almost every instance, I’ve found that individuals tend to put their own bit of spin or style into their presentation.  Ultimately, you might find the differences in performance relate back to this issue.

3. Process

Are your tipping points in the deal cycle clearly defined?Is the behavior moving the deal flow consistent and optimized? Do you have the ability to make that determination? Surface opportunities to compress, enhance or modify these tipping points in the interest of accelerating the time to close.

4. Vocabulary

How are you and your employees speaking about the steps in the process? Have a definitive language to help ensure the desired behavior occurs. Vocabulary should provide actionable insights. During our careers, we encounter words like “qualified”, “determined”, “allocated”, etc. Consider the best vocabulary to drive real results.

5. Objectivity

This is huge. This is the elimination of any language that is subjective, or lends itself to interpretation.

6. Accountability

Hold people accountable quantitatively to adhere to the processes that have been established. Set expectations so everyone knows who they are being held accountable to.  Being held accountable only to a revenue goal is after the fact…it’s reactive.

  1. Transparency

The behavior and results of that behavior must be transparent to your employee and the collective group. This creates a ubiquitously, available snapshot for the company.

8. Incentive

Make your comp plan(s) correctly structured and compelling to people to give that extra push. Have a system in place to determine how it can be tweaked to better serve the end game in some way, other than anecdotal means.

9. Curiosity

This one is huge. You, and the other individuals in the food chain need to be curious enough about the business to explore the answers and the questions.  If a sales platform is correctly designed, you should be able to ask questions without caring whether or not there is value in the answer.  It should place no demand on resources.

10. Analysis

This might seem obvious, but know what you’re analyzing and track those metrics.

11. Compliance

Again, obvious on the surface, but goes a bit deeper than you might expect.  Doing what should be done, when it should be done, is only part of it. It’s critical to establish proactive quantitative determination of the compliance levels collectively and individually.

12. Tolerance

There shouldn’t be any tolerance.  By that I mean, anything other than a “zero-tolerance” culture for non-compliance will nuke the system.  It is cancer at its worst.

13. Culture

Culture sticks. If everyone gets tired and frustrated, it will unravel.  That is toxic.

If, on the other hand, adoption is driven by benefit from the system at every level, the adoption will be positive. Then, you will end up with sustainable, long-term cultural traction.

14. Data

If I were to look at these elements as making up a Periodic Table of Revenue, data is the Carbon in the mix.  It is the core building block that makes it all work.  It is the building block of the “organic matter” of revenue.

Learn more about these and other elements and strategies for growing your company revenue with the upcoming event, Revenue Acceleration & Salesforce.com at the button below.

revenue acceleration

Larry NiponLarry Nipon has consistently helped companies exceed expectations. As one of the earliest adopters of CRM technology (ACT!’s 1st beta tester), he’s created a new and different set of rules showing how to correctly and effectively marry a company’s revenue strategy to the technology to make it happen. Larry used these strategies to start and build “category-killer” companies whose growth led to acquisitions or investments by the likes of Google, Accenture, Fidelity Partners, EMAP PLC. and others.

Experience

Process experienceAnyone reading this can read, write, and understand English. Yet, the vast majority of us would not consider ourselves an author…a scientist..a doctor. We become these things by learning…and experience.

Within these various disciplines, we specialize. The world of business is no different. I am constantly asked what Zer0frixion does. Simply put, we specialize in revenue. We alter a business’ approach to achieving their financial goals. And yes, this too is something that can be taught. But, like any other discipline, it is best accomplished when combining teaching with real experience.

Most companies operate under the premise that controlling revenue is possible. In fact, that is an illusion. We can IMPACT revenue. What we can control is the behavior creating the impact. It’s what people DO that impacts and creates revenue. It is actions…activity..that can be controlled…qualitatively and quantitatively. Activity is your company’s primary currency…not money.

We move our potential client through a process. It is the combination of clear identification of the “trigger” moments…the “Tipping Points”… in that process…the stages…combined with the clearly defined activities that move them through each of those triggers…that creates a more predictable, controllable, accelerated path to our revenue expectations.

The challenge is understanding what constitutes an accurate and high value cluster of definitions relating to the stages…and the activities that creates the movement in the desired direction. I have yet to see any two companies having the exact same structure.

Zer0frixion Consulting brings this strategy to B2B companies of any size. We understand how to arrive at the correct definitions of stage and activity. We combine that with sales technology…and training…to literally “re-script” your company’s path to revenue.

Every day you keep doing the same thing over and over is not moving you ahead.

Larry Nipon
www.zer0frixion.com
larry@zer0frixion.com
 

The 2 Most Important Questions About Your Revenue

Are we seeing enough companies?

Are we converting enough of the companies we are seeing?

Basic…right?

Common sense…right?

Easy to answer…No!

Most companies ask and answer these questions anecdotally, or based on “gut.” Many companies track the result metrics, but don’t capture the information to provide the analysis as to WHY the numbers are what they are. If companies took the time to develop the systems and strategies to capture the information to answer these questions, the return on that effort is almost incalculable.

So why don’t companies do this?

Easy answer…it’s not easy!  But then again, the important and valuable things usually aren’t, but they usually turn out to be well worth the effort.

The Zer0frixion Blog

Don’t question the answers, question the questions

How many of these questions can you answer?

  1. If you had to focus on improving something, what would you focus on that would have the greatest and most immediate impact on your business?
  2. What are the definitive activities that occur in your sales cycle?
  3. What is the relationship between the quantity and quality of these activities?
  4. What is the “budget” for these activities?
  5. What activity presents the greatest ROI?
  6. What is the “sweetspot” duration of your sales cycle?
  7. What is the “sweetspot” duration for 50% or more of your business that closes each month?
  8. What % of the total pipeline does that represent?
  9. What are the definitive situations in your sales cycle?
  10. Why is the sales cycle the duration it is?
  11. Where is the greatest opportunity to shorten the cycle?
  12. What % of the existing open pipeline will be successfully closed on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis?
  13. What is the ROI on your investment in sales training.  How do you measure that ROI?
  14. What is the ROI on your investment in sales technology?
  15. Why do prospects say no?
  16. What is your actual successful conversion percentage of your pipeline?
  17. How are your sales executives prioritizing their activities?
  18. How much of each of them are they doing?
  19. Did an investment in training or technology have the impact you expected or hoped for?