The Need for Speed: 7 Tips to Increase Your Sales Velocity
Whether you’re a small startup or large corporation, odds are your company focuses quite a bit on sales metrics.
Sales velocity is one of the best ways to truly understand the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts as well as the overall health of your company.
Despite this, many upper management teams spend most of their time focused on individual sales metrics like size of the sales funnel, volume of sales, average deal size, and total revenue.
These are all important to know, but each only tells one part of the story.
When you understand your company’s sales velocity, you can equip your management team to pinpoint specific gaps in the sales process and opportunities for improvement while maintaining a high-level view of your marketing and sales ROI.
- Sales velocity combines several sales metrics to obtain a high-level understanding of sales performance.
- Assessing current processes like the sales funnel, lead generation, strategies, and lead qualification can help you identify opportunities for increasing sales velocity.
- Content marketing can generate leads and reach prospective customers before they ever contact you directly.
- Knowing your competition is a key part of effectively establishing your company’s value proposition.
WHAT IS SALES VELOCITY?
Sales velocity considers four factors:
- Number of Opportunities – total number of qualified opportunities in your sales funnel
- Average Deal Size/Value – average revenue generated per deal
- Win/Conversion Rate – rate at which final-stage sales prospects convert into sales
- Length of Sales Cycle – time between first prospect interaction and close of sale
It is calculated as Sales Velocity = Number of Opportunities x Deal Value x Win Rate / Length of Sales Cycle.
Generally, it’s recommended that companies divide their funnel into market segments by size before calculating sales velocity. This is because lead qualification and sales metrics are likely evaluated differently among these segments.
7 TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR SALES VELOCITY
Assess Your Sales Process
One of the most obvious but easy-to-skip steps to obtaining higher sales velocity is assessing your current sales process. In doing so, there are two important things to consider: first, the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales process you’ve put in place, and second, how well your sales team knows and executes said process.
Start by breaking down each phase of your sales process from lead generation through to sale, and look carefully at prospect touch points in each phase. Where you can find opportunities to optimize, do so.
Once you’re sure about your sales process, communicate with your sales team to ensure they also know it well and are executing it as intended. Where needed, provide ongoing training and resources (like product guides, scripts, and templates) to maximize message consistency.
Knowing and refining your sales process is one of the keys to shortening the length of your sales cycle, one of the four main contributors to sales velocity.
Optimize Lead Gen Strategies
The more leads you generate, the more opportunities you have to convert them into opportunities and sales. It’s important not to focus so heavily on closing final-stage prospects that you neglect what’s happening at the top of the funnel.
When you assess your lead generation strategies, don’t only look at the surface-level performance of each specific tactic. Also consider its effectiveness in moving leads to the next phase of the funnel.
For example: if you’re running ads with an extremely high click-through rate (CTR), but the percentage of those clicks converting to sales opportunities is well below the industry average, you know this strategy is not working as it should.
Companies too often get stuck on that first step, feeling satisfied with an initial indicator of high performance without truly looking into its impact on sales. Taking that extra step is the only real way to know if your lead generation efforts are working.
Qualify Leads Effectively
You see leads coming through the funnel, but barely any of those leads are converting no matter how you tweak your sales process. It’s one of the most frustrating situations to be in as a sales manager.
In this case, it could be that your sales team is pursuing the wrong leads.
Qualifying leads effectively and putting processes in place to ensure your sales team knows and applies qualification standards eliminates wasted time and improves conversion rates.
Lead qualification actually begins with your marketing team, who puts strategies in place to capture inbound leads and determine if they fit your company’s customer profile. Once they do, they typically move on to a discovery call with your sales team.
It’s at this point that your qualification standards are most important so that reps can use them to confirm whether or not a lead qualifies as a viable opportunity.
Perform Thorough Sales Discoveries
Performing thorough sales discoveries as part of a strong lead qualification process drives conversions, which ultimately helps to increase sales velocity.
A good sales discovery call will include a structured process that helps your sales reps perform a thorough but not laborious assessment of each qualified lead. Best practices include doing prospect research prior to a discovery call and asking previously defined open-ended questions.
These types of questions, also referred to as high impact questions (HIQs) aim to get the most out of every question you ask. They do this by placing the focus on the customer and encouraging them to share information that provides a deep understanding of their challenge, desired solution, and capability to buy.
Shrink Response Times
The last thing you want is for the sales cycle to be lengthened by your own company’s lagging response times to leads and prospect communications.
While it might seem like maintaining quick response times should go without saying, it’s still important to emphasize to your marketing and sales teams. At the same time, you need to put the right processes in place for them to be successful.
This means having quick, convenient channels of communications and clear ways to track them. A good CRM system is usually essential to effectively managing communications and company response times.
Have a Content Marketing Strategy
Did you know that more than 70% of B2B buyers fully define their needs through their own online research before ever speaking with a sales representative?
The content you provide to potential leads before you ever have contact with them could potentially be more impactful than anything you share later in the sales process. Content marketing has been proven to convert leads at 3x the rate of any other marketing tactic and is 62 percent more cost effective.
If this isn’t enough to convince you, consider that publishing consistent high-quality content also establishes your company as a thought leader in your industry. This is exactly what your prospective customers are looking for when they do research on their own.
Establishing a strong content marketing strategy generates more leads, increases conversions, and ultimately puts you in a better position at the start of the sales process.
Know Your Competitors
Your solution isn’t the only one your prospective customer is considering.
Throughout the sales process, one of the ways you’ll establish your value most is by differentiating it from the other options on the market. To do it, you’ll need to know your competitors and be knowledgeable about how your offerings are unique from theirs.
This doesn’t mean dismissing the competition. In fact, doing so alienates prospective customers who genuinely want to weigh their options. Instead, respect your competitors by acknowledging the value they can provide while demonstrating why your solution is the best choice.
BENEFITS OF KNOWING YOUR SALES VELOCITY
Knowing your sales velocity creates accountability throughout your sales team and prevents surprises from arising at quarterly assessment time. When you have a clear understanding of your sales velocity, you know where you stand and where you’ll end up in 30 days, three months, or a year into the future.
If you’re ready to maximize your sales with solid lean generation and conversion strategies, contact us today to learn how Televerde can help!