Tips from a fractional Sales Director on how to build Sales Efficiency into Sales Effectiveness
How efficient could be replaced with effective.
As a fractional CRO/Sales Director, efficiency is the most important part of our job. Working smart doesn’t mean not working hard, it means where can I extract the most value for the business I’m focusing on right now, every week, every month,
Efficient could be replaced with effective. Being effective in the time you have is an art, most people procrastinate and it’s the relentless pursuit to have to deliver that drives you on as the biggest challenge you will come across is ‘if you had more time….’ but when you can explain why you’re going to be effective and the value that will have, time doesn’t come into it.
Effectiveness relies on a number of things but the source of the opportunities is the most important.
Having 30+ leads from a lead generation agency to qualify and deal with every week is a waste of everyone's time. I have never had better than a 20% qualification rate of leads from lead gen agencies.
So how do we become more efficient in our sales so we can be more effective?
Activate marketing channels
As a B2B service business, when another company lands in your honey pot you are naturally going to be effective. When you react fast you have just jumped ahead of the queue. Have those opportunities ping through to every internal communications tool you have so you can react as quickly as possible.
Although most people think dealing with inbound leads is easier, it’s arguably harder as that company will be shopping around, a good sales person should have all opportunities sat at 50/50 immediately.
When set up right, this can add instant opportunities to your pipeline.
Having a recommendation from another business who is already working with that company means you are going to be effective. You have to be on your game as you’re representing two businesses now (one of the many reasons businesses decide against partnerships) but if that company is in the market for your services they have fallen into your honey pot (like marketing channels) without them knowing it.
These take a long time to develop and there are large companies who have dedicated partnerships teams but when chosen wisely (companies that work with your ideal customer but don’t compete with you) and worked effectively (that word again) you will see the fruits of your labour. Choose 5 and focus on them.
Asking your clients to see if their peers will work with you is very effective. This opportunity is similar to partnerships, they can take a while to develop and you have to be speaking / working closely with the client services team to make sure your current clients are happy but when they come you are in.
Ask these clients who their business friends are, some of them will be close to your ideal customer.
Lookalikes of your current clients
Create FOMO with businesses who don’t know you by telling them what you have done for their competitors / businesses that look similar to them. Unlike breaking into a new market, you are already a specialist in a certain area and when done in the right way (I couldn’t write the ‘e’ word again) you will create instant reaction which will add to your opportunities.
So what are we left with in the real world? A pipeline that includes businesses that are the same as your clients, businesses that have been recommended by a peer or a trusted partner and companies that have come to you.
Facets have meetings every week on effectiveness. A common theme of our people is to move the dial in the shortest possible time, it keeps the investments lower for our clients and in turn we produce opportunities for our clients an unplanned business development strategy never could.