Transform your sales artists into sales operatives
It's true that the B2B tech landscape in Australia is a land of new opportunities, with tech brands like Canva, Atlassian and Afterpay having a global impact. In fact, the Ocker tech start-up sector has the potential to contribute $109 billion of the country’s GDP to the economy, meaning an increasing number of firms are making significant contributions to the country's economic health. These are good reasons for any tech entrepreneur to take the plunge, but like all new businesses, the tech sector isn't without its challenges.
One of the most significant challenges for Australian tech start-ups is how to grow and scale in a highly competitive marketplace. Not only are new companies battling each other for sales, they're also up against enterprise-level B2B tech businesses.
So the question is: how can a tech business gain a competitive sales advantage so that the business not only survives, but thrives?
How to improve sales productivity for tech start-ups
The answer to the above question is simple: boost sales. That's achieved by improving sales efficiency, which means lowering your cost of acquisition. Improving the efficiency of sales means more tech companies can realise their potential, achieving the maximum sales from the investment made. So how do you get started?
Transitioning your tech business from founder-led sales to scalable selling
Typically, business founders are the primary generators of new business - especially in the beginning - and are heavily involved in the sales process, but that needs to change. Founder-led selling is not a sustainable mechanism for growth as a tech business begins to scale, because they can’t spend all their time selling. Their focus should be on business growth, which is why tech companies need to 'operationalise' their selling process so that their sales team take on this role, otherwise they won't see any efficiency gains. A sales team is just that - they're there to sell - meaning the founders can focus on scaling strategies.
Sales efficiency from indirect lead generation
New sales are often driven by referrals or cold calling, and while these methods can be good sources of new business, they're not scalable either. A more effective approach is to break the sales problem down and develop a solution that fits. Rather than hiring salespeople to undertake every single aspect of the sales process, from generating leads right through to closing a sale, a more scalable and efficient approach is to break down the component parts, and then recruit a sales resource who focuses solely on the prospecting and qualifying part of the process.
Growing your own efficient sales team
Here's where you focus on transforming your sales team from artists to operatives. Instead of having your business development rep (BDR) do all the work, it's better to have them focus on following up on leads generated by marketing, and mining your contact database and other sources for new prospects. When they identify an opportunity, they should pass it on to more senior people for nurturing to close. That, in effect, is your sales machine, and it needs to support your BDR with a repeatable system of generating leads and managing them efficiently to close.
Let's look at how to achieve that.
Seven steps to building a sales machine for Aussie tech businesses
1. Consistent lead generation
To really get your sales machine humming, you need regular indirect lead generation. Online
and offline marketing tactics are needed to drive traffic to your website, where those visitors
are converted into sales leads with the useful information provided by your website. And
remember: generating leads for the sales team is the primary objective of your marketing
team. Hold their feet to the fire!
2. Leverage your CRM
If you don't have a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), you've already fallen
seriously behind the competition. The value of a CRM kicks in quickly, as it efficiently
manages prospects through the lead generation process. Once you have the foundation of a
CRM in place, you can focus on CRM-driven marketing - a proven approach to help you
properly manage customer relationships throughout the lifecycle.
3. Prioritising your sales leads
Once you're generating enough leads, you need to prioritise between reactive and proactive prospects:
- Reactive leads - they've arrived via lead generation activity such as filling in a form or downloading content. They're the priorities for sales activity and need to be dealt with first by your sales resource. Fast, appropriate responses to reactive leads will significantly increase conversion rates.
- Proactive leads - where you reach out to other companies. You want to build a
database of good fit prospective companies, then use different methods to approach and
4. Define your sales process
This is key to sales efficiency. Start at a point where a prospect is qualified, then decide if
they're a good fit and have a need you can meet. They move to the next stage when there's
been a defined action such as a discovery meeting or even a signed agreement. Your sales
process is a framework for not only measuring your progress, but driving momentum in your
5. Document your key sales 'plays'
As prospects move through your sales process, there are usually common types of
interactions. Having a ‘playbook’ that defines the standard approach to these kind of
interactions helps the quality and efficiency of sales.
6. Measure so you can manage
Real momentum in sales comes when you can track progress of prospects through your sales
funnel. If you have the right systems in place, a weekly cadence of tracking sales metrics is
worthwhile and helps you make proactive decisions about your lead generation and sales
7. Building the playbook
This used to be known as a sales manual, but 'playbook' is a way cooler term. Basically, it’s a compilation of your key definitions and processes relevant to sales. Having a playbook in place helps your onboard new sales staff quickly and maintains quality in your approach to sales. Over time you can revise and improve plays, add more resources or revisit definitions.
For Aussie tech firms to improve their sales, they need to build a sales machine and finely tune it over time. It supports your sales team and will improve lead generation, conversion, and ultimately, sales.
Discover more about what it takes to transform your B2B tech selling into digitally enabled
teams with this on-demand webinar.
For more information, contact:
Owen Scott, Managing Director
Concentrate’s mission is to help tech companies to use HubSpot to get more leads, more sales and more customers.
Formed in 2004, Concentrate has worked with hundreds of B2B technology companies across virtually every industry and geography. The technology firms we’ve worked with have featured on the covers of the New York Times and Time Magazine, been sold to multinational technology giants, launched on stock markets and won numerous awards.
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