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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales funnel'>Sales funnel</a>
Sales Strategy
Canadian Professional Sales Association

When a gardener plants a garden, they dig out the grass and weeds to make room for the flowers and shrubs, they choose plants that look healthy and green, and they water them liberally after they have been planted. Creating the right environment, selecting the suitable plants, and nurturing them with water and fertilizer are all ways that the gardener establishes the most likely environment for their garden to thrive.

Like a gardener, sales leaders can also create an environment where they are likely to succeed. It requires filling the sales funnel with the most likely opportunities, and this is easier said than done.

Here, we’ve outlined some of the actions you can take to create the right environment for your sales organization to grow.

Create the Right Environment with Marketing

Just as a gardener prepares the soil for planting, marketing prepares your target market for the sale. By building awareness with campaigns, crafting the right messaging to promote your products, and capturing the information of suitable leads, marketing is effectively fertilizing the ground to expedite future growth. Filling your sales pipeline with the most likely opportunities starts with marketing, and, although it can be hard  to differentiate between marketing efforts and sales efforts, you should measure marketing’s ability to deliver a significant portion of your SQLs.

Leverage Technology to Identify and Nurture Leads

Technology has changed every industry, and sales is no exception. Using technology, you can automate parts of your process, you can gain insights on your prospects, and you can nurture leads until they are likely to want your solutions. Use the tools you have at your disposal, and you’ll have an improved sales funnel as a result.

Measure Your Performance Throughout the Sales Funnel

Every sales professional knows that it is important to measure your results; however, it is also important to measure your performance through the sales funnel. Just as a gardener will continue to monitor the plants’ growth and health, a sales professional needs to monitor conversions, interactions, and other activities in the sales funnel. For instance, you may learn that it takes approximately 40 days for a lead to close and that they read an average of 6 pieces of your content before they book a meeting. This knowledge enables you to shorten the time it takes to close and remove any leads from your funnel that are taking too long to close.

Acquire the Most Probable Leads through SDRs

The next stage of your sales funnel relies on SDRs. There is some debate around the role of an SDR; however, we believe that leveraging SDRs enables your team to specialize and perfect their areas of expertise. These team members will select the most appropriate SQLs, and work to get these leads to move closer to a sale. They could be booking meetings or demos, or driving trials, or another activity, depending on your organization’s goals. Your SDRs will also be able to identify whether the prospect is a decision maker, any other stakeholders that must be involved, and the potential objections they may have.  From there, your sales team can take the wheel and do what they do best – close the sale.

When your sales funnel is optimized with the best quality leads and opportunities, you will have a more accurate pipeline, and your sales reps will have the highest likelihood of closing deals. A beautiful garden doesn’t grow overnight, and neither does a great sale, but those who put in the labour will reap the rewards.

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