Whether you are part of a large enterprise sales team or a small startup as a lone sales rep, you know the drill—executives are always hungry for growth, especially from the sales team. But are you, and are your processes, really ready to grow?
Enter Aaron Ross, the author of Predictable Revenue and former Salesforce executive. In a Lucidchart livestream with Peter Chun, Lucidchart’s VP of Sales, these two experts shared key insights on building a scalable B2B sales process. Check out the on-demand version of the livestream, or read on to catch the highlights.
Consider your inbound/outbound sales mix
Although there has been a significant shift toward teams that focus on inbound sales, Ross is still a strong proponent for the proactive power of outbound sales for most types of businesses. Especially when leads get scarce, a strong outbound sales force can be a fantastic supplement to drive additional growth.
If you’re new to outbound, you can consider outsourcing your sales reps, as hiring the right people can be a challenge. However, Ross sees this as a temporary strategy if you’re in it for the long haul. Having a strong in-house team is eventually a must, as in-house reps can get to know the product and your customers intimately to provide the best customer experience.
If growth is your goal, remember that rapid growth is always accompanied with something that Ross likes to call “the chaos factor.” The faster you try to grow, the more change in processes and people your growth will require, and the more likely it is for pieces of your process to break.
Well-established companies looking to tackle a whole new growth trajectory are especially susceptible to breaks in systems or processes since they have existing processes in place. The key to success is to set expectations within the sales org and with other stakeholders about the need for flexibility in advance.
It can be helpful to encourage a measure of autonomy to deal with the chaos factors and provide structure for individual reps and individual teams. As processes change, individual reps and teams should focus on maintaining the elements of the process that they know work well, while being flexible to adopt new ideas. Consistently playing to an individual or team’s strengths (e.g. building relationships, sharing case studies, etc.) can be just the measure of stability the sales org needs to keep it afloat as it evolves.
Made it through the first waves of chaos and wiped your brow in relief now that you’ve finally nailed your sales process? Think again. Ross explains that, to be effective, a sales process must continually evolve to keep pace with your growth—and that’s where Lucidchart can help. The simple user interface makes it easy to be flexible when you need to design and redesign your processes and to keep pace with your growth.
Approach sales and salesmanship as a craft
People often try to develop their sales skillset by constantly familiarizing themselves with the incessant stream of new sales tools and hacks, but then they forget half of them. Instead of chasing the latest hacks, Ross approaches salesmanship as a craft. To become a master, he is a proponent of the old-fashioned method: investing a lot of time and lots of effort into refining your abilities.
As you refine your fundamental selling prowess, Ross’ advice for staying up-to-date on effective sales methods is to take advantage of the second iteration, or second version of new methods: “I’m a V2 kind of guy when it comes to the latest sales hacks,” Ross says. By waiting to join the crowd till the method shows proven results, Ross focuses his time on incorporating only those methods that are most likely to deliver success, like the hack InsideSales uses to achieve a 95% close rate.
Ready, get set, grow!
As you develop an effective mix of inbound and outbound selling, embrace flexibility in your sales org, and combine self-awareness of what works for you with tried-and-true sales tactics, you’ll be scaling more than just your B2B sales process. You’ll also be taking the next step in your career toward becoming a true master of your craft.
Ready to get growing?
Find out how Peter Chun has built out the sales process at Lucid.