November 18 by Zack Alspaugh

If the colder weather, shrinking daylight, and abundance of Black Friday commercials hasn’t already tipped you off, the holiday season is peeking around the corner and so is the start of a new year. Are you prepared to hit your number in 2015? Here is a look at 4 tips that will help your sales team close more deals in the new year.

1. Automate the Basics

The cloud has changed the mindset of businesses. Everything now operates in real-time and speed is imperative. Automation will not only allow you to streamline processes, it will reduce costly errors and allow reps to focus their time and energy on customers rather than menial administrative work.

Automation is essential to driving productivity and creating a highly motivated team — especially when it comes to closing sales. Automation allows you to go to market faster, makes selling easier and drives more revenue. Even if you can only reduce a small percentage of the manual work in your processes, over time, you’ll find the gains in productivity add up.


2. Implement Guardrails, not Roadblocks

Control is important, but it shouldn’t cost you time and it definitely shouldn’t cost you deals. Sometimes the difference in closing a new client is first mover advantage and if reps are constantly getting bogged down by lengthy approval processes, it will cut into your bottom-line.

One effective way to ensure this is Deal management, which provides system-driven intelligence that guides reps towards optimal deals by fast-tracking the deals that meet the targeted mix of products, services, discounts and commitments desired by the company. The result is better deals, more revenue, shorter sales cycles, and true strategic alignment.


3. Greater Customer Centricity

5 – 10 – 30 – 86 – These numbers are Amazon’s bold new commitment to customer service. Any package that weighs five pounds or less, is within ten miles of a warehouse, Amazon guarantees delivery by drone within a half hour. Orders that match these parameters make up 86% of their business. Most pizza places can’t deliver your dinner in that time frame, but Amazon will have completed the entire online transaction. As Kamal Ahluwalia, Apttus CMO, pointed out during a Dreamforce session, “Success comes from being hell bent on making it easy for customers to buy from you.”

Amazon Drone Delivery

Two overlooked aspects of customer-centricity occur after the initial deal is already inked. Billing and renewals represent very seminal points in the relationship – 70-80% of a company’s business come from long-term contracts and recurring contracts. Making both of these processes frictionless are an easy way to ensure recurring business.

4. Leverage Next Generation Analytics

Enterprise business is in the midst of a revolutionary transformation in the way companies can acquire, process, and act on information. Reps need more than dashboards to stay ahead of their numbers. By implementing cloud-based actionable analytics, you’ll have greater insight into the immediate actions you can take to close more business next quarter with system-driven recommendations that learn from your historical behavior, business rules, and revenue goals.

Next Gen Analytics

For more sales tips, be sure to register for the virtual event Kick-Start 2015 Sales Success, featuring 7 different Salesforce industry leaders on November 18, 2014 and available on demand following the live event.

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