4 Key Sales Success Strategies

I’m at the Sales 2.0 conference in San Francisco. This morning’s presentations were good. The most compelling presentation was by Jon Vender Ark of McKinsey and Company.

Jon shared his insights from a recent survey of 120 large multi-national companies averaging 30 billion a year in revenue growing of at least 5% a year. This represents an additional 1.5 billion a year in additional revenue. They also interviewed 1200 purchasing buyers. The key message, there are 4 keys underpinning a successful sales strategy;

  1. Find growth before you competitors do (look out and in)
  2. Sell the way your customers buy
  3. Soup up your sales engine (sales operations)
  4. It’s all about people

Find Growth Before Your Competitors Do;

The key her is to get out of the weeds. Look 10 quarters ahead and monitor for mega trends. What’s happening in your industry, to your customers, with regulation etc. What opportunities are coming down the pike you can exploit. Jon says, invest 2-4% of sales to this effort.

Beyond looking out, look in. You should look for ways to break down the market into descreet units, analyze growth and penetration potential and adjust your resources based on market need. Ask, what internal opportunities can be addressed to drive new revenue opportunities?

 Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy

They key here is to master multichannel sales (customers buy in many different ways), invest in partnerships for mutual benefit and innovate in your direct sales channels.

My favorite is the innovation in direct channels. Too often we assume our go to market approach and that can be costly.  Be creative with your direct sales channel.

Soup Up Your Sales Engine

Think sales operations for effectiveness, not just efficiency.  Tune your sales team for growth. Look at sales operations as a competive weapon that keeps your frontline folks selling and selling well. Leverage technology to give your sales team an advantage. Provide them with real time insights and analytics. Leverage digital channels and enable your channel partners. Make selling easier.

It’s All About You and Your People

Manage your teams performance for growth, turn rookies into rainmakers, set a solid cadence or tempo for reporting and intervention. Create a “sales DNA” or sales team culture that maps to your customers and your products. Create an A-Team. Keep in mind, growth starts at the top, therefore challenge the status quo, demand results and galvanize the team.

Jon just released a book, Sales Growth, Insights from Leading Executives.

I’ll be here today and tomorrow. I’ll be tweeting the good stuff from the conference today and tomorrow. You can follow me on Twitter @keenan or the hashtag #s20c

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