The software sales cycle has more to do with science than you might first think. Not only is it data driven and analytics fueled, it is also something you need to experiment with and test new theories against old paradigms in order to stay competitive.
While we’ve previously covered the scientific secrets to software lead generation, it’s time to discover how the Science of Sales™ helps you generate more revenue throughout the rest of the software sales cycle.
Solid Data Analysis
The most important paradigm shift when it comes to more scientific software sales is the tracking, measuring and analyzing of every piece of data regarding your transactions. You should regularly review which sales activities lead to the top-line results you’re looking for.
Study your sales data to determine which decision-maker is the right person to talk with, which lists are worth purchasing (and which aren’t) and how many times you need to reach out to a contact in order to complete a sale. The more data you track and analyze, the easier it becomes to improve the software sales cycle for your entire sales team.
Track your information according to industry vertical as well, since results may vary across different verticals. If you’re performing well in a particular vertical, stick with it and drill further down into your data until you understand which factors are contributing to your success.
Solid Prospect Targeting
In the software industry, it’s particularly important that you define a narrow target for your ideal buyer, including position title. Without a narrowly defined target position, your sales team wastes a lot of time dialing the wrong people throughout a prospective company – time that could be better spent talking with your sales lead.
Company size is another important aspect to consider in your prospect targeting. Business software and other SaaS solutions are often expensive, so you save time by only targeting businesses that have the budget to support your software’s price tag. As you close more deals, analyze your sales data to determine the exact size of a company that best fits the budget of your software.
Finally, if you’re selling software that replaces a person’s job, double check that you aren’t targeting that person as your potential buyer (self-interest means they often won’t complete the purchase). Instead, make sure you’re pursuing the actual decision-maker of the purchase and that you understand this decision-maker’s thought process. The better you comprehend their decision-making process, the better you’re able to gauge the strength of your sales pipeline.
Solid Salesperson Tracking
Tracking your sales data also involves looking at the data around each of your salespeople. In some cases, you need to give your salespeople room to experiment and test new theories – then, once enough time has elapsed, analyze the data from their various efforts and capitalize on any successful trends.
For example, if you notice that nearly all of your sales leads convert on the twelfth call, don’t let your salespeople give up after the fifth call. Similarly, if one salesperson significantly outperforms the others, analyze his or her script, method of objections management and overall software sales approach.
As you continue to identify well-performing tactics, match your incentives to boost those practices appropriately. But just as with everything else in your sales process, analyze your data to ensure your incentives are helping generate better sales results.
Solid Hiring And Training
A scientific mindset should also guide your decisions when it comes to hiring and training your software sales personnel. When selecting new hires, cross-check their past performance against your expectations for the position. You should be able to prove their fit and aptitude for your sales team with solid data.
When it comes to sales training, you should have an equally data-driven process to ensure you’re maximizing the ROI of your professional development efforts. For example, if you’re going to take someone off the sales floor for six hours of training, you need to be tracking and ensuring that the training session actually boosts the individual’s production and sales metrics. If your sales training efforts aren’t producing a bump in performance, you’re just wasting your time.
Remember that personnel attrition is simply a fact of life for any sales team, so your sales training should also prioritize a smooth and quick ramp-up time. In order to maximize your training investment in new salespeople, compare your training metrics against each new salesperson’s speed to first sale and their total amount of sales in the first month.
With a solid scientific approach, your software sales cycle is more effective in bringing new revenue to your business. Implement these four principles from the Science of Sales™ and your sales pipeline fills with more abundant opportunities.
Want to learn more about how the Science of Sales helps your business realize greater top-line growth? Click below to contact an Inveniologist™ from Invenio Solutions® and discover how the power of Inveniology™ increases your company’s revenue like never before.