I have been writing quite a lot recently about sales best practices and sharing some of the amazing innovation we are seeing from our customers. In case you missed them check out these fresh new approaches to sales onboarding and sales training.
A blog post by Dr. David Kirk, CRO, CloudApps
Or maybe you would prefer to watch a video of the interesting discussion I recently had with another of our customers (NewVoiceMedia) on ‘how to create a world class sales hub’.
As well as sharing the sales innovation that is occurring in our customer base, I thought it might be useful to start sharing some of the product innovation that is being delivered at an amazing rate by our development team.
Led purely by customer demand, we have just witnessed the delivery of the fourth release in the SuMo v7 series. And with it comes one particular feature (of many) that I wanted to call out. You may not be aware of it yet but I think you will love it and hopefully help us to improve it further!
Now, we all want to be able to track and motivate the sales metrics that span our entire sales process, right? After all, we know that if we drive more of the high-value sales behaviours then the outcome will be an increase in closed deals.
These metrics are usually time bound and have a degree of complexity to them that elevates them above just simple sales activity. For example, you might want to drive a metric that motivates your team to have more ‘meaningful sales calls’ each month. How do we categorise a ‘meaningful call’? Obviously, the answer to that is different for everyone but for us here at CloudApps it’s where:
The call is made during the golden calling period (when we know we get a higher percentage of successful call connects)
Where the call connects to a senior job title
Where the call lasts longer than 10 mins
And where the contact is attached to an opportunity that is due to close this 1/4r
This is the 30th such call I have made this month
The combination of these factors makes it a ‘meaningful sales call’. We like to make sure that every member of the sales team drives towards 100 such calls every month.
You can see the difference between a sales metric that drives ‘100 sales calls per month’ versus ‘100 meaningful sales calls per month’. The former allows me to dial out and leave 100 answer phone messages to achieve my target. The latter does not.
What is Pacing and How Can it Help my Business?
SuMo has long since had the capability to model and drive these complex high-value sales behaviours. What does this latest release in the v7 series bring that’s different?
Well, now I can set the pace of my achievement against this sales metric. SuMo offers 4 out-of-the-box pacing algorithms that will calculate and display progress against a target in the context of the pace that I am being requested to set.
What are the 4 out-of-the-box pacing algorithms?
- Constant – use for a constant rate of progression towards target across the time period
- Front Loaded – use for a higher rate of progression at the start of the time period
- Back Loaded – use for a slower rate of progression at the start of the time period
- Late Push – use for a fast rate of progression close to the end of the time period
This allows me to assemble a scorecard of sales metrics for my team to use. Which in turn allows each individual to rapidly identify the areas where they are falling off the required pace. Helping them to rectify any deficiencies through additional focused sales effort before it’s too late.
For example, taking just one of the metrics from our scorecard (’10 Customer Meetings per Week’) the component display clearly indicates that I am behind schedule. Just at a quick glance and because my progress is displayed in red this instantly identifies this metric needs my attention.
The display gives me high-level information about my current achievement level (10%) against the target and clearly marks me as behind the required pace! It further identifies how much time I have remaining to achieve my target (3 Days, 13 Hours and 24 Minutes!).
Clicking on the expansion icon at the top left of the component exposes further details about this particular sales metric.
can see that this metric is using the ‘back loaded’ pacing algorithm. It shows me that I have completed 1 of the 10 required meetings this week. However, three days of the available time have now elapsed and by this point I should have achieved at least 2 meetings. I am clearly behind the pace! Having this information at my fingertips should spur me into corrective action to bring myself back on course.
Contrast this with another metric on my scorecard (Convert 10 Leads per Week). Here I am clearly achieving at the expected pace.
Looking at the detail behind this metric, I can see that this time we are using the ‘Constant’ pacing algorithm.
I am ahead of the game for this metric as it stands today. However, the display indicates that I need to keep converting leads at a constant pace in order to remain on track and achieve the desired final outcome.
Gathering these individual sales metrics together allows me to create a scorecard of my personal progress. A one-stop shop that allows every member of the team to stay focused on achieving the leading sales metrics that you know will result in more closed deals.
Oh, and one final point. Everything you see here is available through the Salesforce1 mobile client. Allowing you to remain on top of your targets wherever you happen to be.