Are your salespeople missing their quotas?

Although it seems like a given that salespeople are highly motivated and will always strive to attain their quotas, failing to meet these objectives is a more common problem than you may think. In many cases, this can come down to an inability to close the deal. An online marketing system can help with these critical areas because it boosts productivity and gives sales reps better insight into the buying cycle.

According to data from Qvidian and CSO Insights, only 63 percent of sales professionals are hitting their quotas. In fact, when representatives were asked about what they thought the top priorities for executive management were, the two most important were increasing win rate and improving quota attainment. Inability to close was a major factor in why reps weren’t meeting their quotas. Rounding out the top five priorities were boosting deal size, improving visibility and decreasing the length of the sales cycle.

Other than failing to close the deal when it comes down to the wire, salespeople are struggling with communication. This issue plagues 40 percent of organizations that responded to the survey. When it comes to pitching, reps need to clearly express how the product they’re selling will deliver value for customers. Gaps in communication can cause prospects to select a different vendor or delay making a decision. Another reason salespeople experience difficulty in attaining their quotas is because they are responsible for too many tasks that don’t center around selling. This can make prioritization of tasks more challenging. Content that is misaligned with buyers’ needs was another problem affecting sales effectiveness.

How to help more of your team members meet their quotas

Because quota attainment is an issue that is at the heart of bottom-line success, raising win rates needs to be a priority for sales organizations. Here is a list of several ways that you can encourage your sales team to boost productivity and achieve a higher win rate:

1. Make sales a game

It’s natural that salespeople are highly competitive because it make all the difference in success. If selling feels like a sport to your employees, they may gain better results, according to a Salesforce blog post by John Cousineau. While this adds more of a competitive element, making sales a sport can also encourage teamwork and collaboration. This can help your employees present a unified front to prospects, which may allow you to avoid communication issues that can lose sales.

2. Tweak your process

A stagnant set of steps in your sales process may be partially to blame for why your reps aren’t consistently achieving their quotas. Experimenting with new things could lead to unrealized benefits in efficiency. For example, you can refine your efforts in your lead generation techniques and have reps spend a day devoted exclusively to this activity, the article said. This can help your team have a larger number of leads to work with over a certain span of time. Small adjustments can often make a big difference.

3. Ensure content is on track with what the buyer needs

Content marketing is increasingly more important in B2B sales, but one of the problems identified in the Qvidian survey was that marketing materials are often not in line with what buyers need to make an educated decision. You should be mindful of different levels of the sales cycle – mid-cycle leads don’t have to be told that they need a particular product because they already know. Content should always aim to introduce a new perspective, Jenny Jedeikin wrote in a separate blog post for Salesforce. Again, this goes back to communication. Content marketing should never come across like you’re shouting at prospects about how great your offering is. It may be beneficial to gather information on prospect behavior and tailor your content so it applies to customer needs. Not only can a great understanding of your ideal customer help you refine your marketing efforts, but it can also improve how reps communicate information in sales meeting.

4. Work with buyers

Internal collaboration is important, but working with buyers can help them feel confident that they are getting what they need, Jedeikin wrote. This builds the relationship and fosters trust, which can improve close rates over time. For example, a rep can demonstrate how other customers are using the solution to get results.

Closing deals is essential for bottom-line growth, but sales reps are still struggling to meet their monthly quotas. Marketing automation can alleviate many of these challenges. The platform gives real-time information about how prospects are interacting with content, which can help reps take action at the right time. This data allows you to refine content and improve communication with prospects. The reporting functions also save salespeople time so they can focus on revenue-generating activities.