The keys to building a winning sales team
Defining the process
"It took us a while but I think we found our niche. We have a rhythm going with our sales. We just need to narrow down a repeatable process to help us continue this momentum.” –Co-Founder JG
The Corporate Concierge Group was hired to help a SaaS client build their sales team starting with a sales playbook.
We always start out by creating outlines for Founders to help them actualize their vision and put a plan in place to make it happen. This method helps Founders build a framework that supports growth at all stages of their business.
We proposed a sales playbook, as an outline that includes repeatable actionable steps, processes, and best practices.
Co-Founders JG and SC launched a SaaS company about a year and half ago. What most Founders struggle with in the early stages of their companies is customer acquisition. Of course, every company has their own unique challenges however, with SaaS products it really boils down to:
Finding the right formula that works for you is a challenge in itself, however as things start to fall in place, you’ll start to see the results of your hard work pay off.
Photo credit: Canva
Keeping the momentum of growth going
Things we needed to know as founders
Questions the Founders consistently asked one another, “what should we require from our team? What qualities should we be looking for in candidates? How will we measure performance? What is the expectation around productivity?”
You need a process in place that clearly outlines steps, actions and best practices. This helps teams get things done, close deals faster and meet sales goals. For many Founders, building teams may not necessarily be something you’re well versed in. That’s okay, we’re not expected to know everything. You should however, have a basic understanding of what you’re looking for in a salesperson and in what capacity are they expected to work within your company. For example, what areas do you currently need to the most help in? Are customers signing up through the website or during in-person meetings? Should your sales reps be more visible in the field or taking in-bound calls?
The framework to building a successful sales team
A good sales team starts with a sales playbook. The sales playbook contains everything the team needs to successfully close deals. The playbook includes:
·Buyer personas, their common pain points
Teams use the sales playbooks to understand best practices, strategies, tactics and tools needed to close deals. It is vital to get your sales teams up and running quickly, however this can only be accomplished if you provide them with the necessary tools to be successful.
Make it simple
Here’s a breakdown of how we created an easy-to-navigate playbook which included elements that drives adoption while enabling sales to win repeatable business:
Know your customer-Focus on the following three areas:
·Stages in the buyer’s journey
·Best around sales opportunities
We used this section to illustrate who the clients are. We detailed who the sales rep is selling to, what are their pain points and how the company’s products help customers.
Target Account Profile: The ideal target- for example “North American Pharma companies with at least $150M in revenue”. Job Titles and Roles: Additionally we included the following into this section:
The roles of the decision makers the company sales to the most
The name of the decision makers and the influencers
We detailed Role-based priorities, pain points, solutions defined by the customer. This section listed the needs and challenges from the customer’s point of view, while matching with corresponding solutions or product characteristics that the company offers.
Sample customer profile
Talking points, features, product info
The client: Property Management company, Homeowners Association
Client needs: processing payments
Helps track HOA, rent and utility payments
CRM for vendors (landscaping, roofing, independent contractor, garbage removal, pool services) and homeowners, schedule maintenance and upkeep for repairs.
Customers can easily make HOA, rental, utility payments, can track budget, HOA meeting minutes, send out letters to keeps residents updated on changes.
HOA’s or small team property management companies:
The client’s priorities are to find a technology enabled product that compliments their existing infrastructure. It's very important that the technology is user friendly, easy to use/navigate for non tech savvy users.
The benefit: for customers to spend less time chasing payments and more time on other important business activities.
Talking points about the software
Clients can start billing customers. Customers can build recurring payment plans, add manual payments and automatically send invoices with the selected payment options to clients. The SAAS software is also designed for schools, associations, memberships, agencies, services.
Generate and send automatic invoices to clients by email, text or mail.
Let clients pay for the invoice in the way they want. Use automatic charging.
Clients can access their data and invoices from their domain.
You can build different workspaces for different clients in a SAAS model.
Send reminders to clients about upcoming payments.
Sales best practices reps should know
Make sure that your messaging is consistent with the company’s value propositions and culture. This includes: Inbound email templates by inquiry type, Outbound emails, outbound voicemails, post-meeting templates, nurturing templates, cold call scripts.
Clearly outline what is expected of the sales team based on the role of each team member. This includes information such as Target number of conversions per day, target number of meetings per week/month, outcome goals, follow-up on leads and opportunities.
Each person on the sales team should have knowledge of how to use the company’s technology. Create procedures for accessing technology, including CRMs. Set clear guidelines for how each team member uses the technology based on their specific roles.
Plays are typically identified as best practices. They’re designed for role-specific activities, this includes outbound messaging: when emailing a lead how many times does the rep follow up? How many phone calls should be made and what messaging should be used based on the action?
Sales best practices reps should know
Are reps allowed to engage on social media? What are the rules of engagement?
Keep the marketing department in the loop. Define a communication strategy for discussing leads with marketing.
What collateral is available and at what stage does the reps use the info?
Are price negotiations allowed and if so, under what circumstances?
How do sales reps handle rejection? Do you discuss common objections and how is it documented?
JG and SC now have a playbook that is complementary to their existing sales process. The sales playbook can be used to effectively onboard new hires, measure employee performance, metrics and develop sales strategies.
The roadmap to building a community-centric business
Vanessa Zamy knows the power of “hustle”. From transitioning into tech 4 years ago from a career in education, Vanessa was eager to find purpose outside of work, without having to quit her job full time. Vanessa quickly realized how challenging it was to balance a job she loved in tech, to finding a side hustle that fit her lifestyle and financial goals.
That’s when she decided to launch, Your Vision’s Catalyst . A purpose-driven company offering educational workshops and coaching services for its built-in community members. The community consists of a solo entrepreneur network, including employees who work a 9-5 pursuing their entrepreneurial aspirations and side projects.
Vanessa envisioned coaching members, by offering a program that facilitates in developing processes that reduced stressed, increased productivity while assisting solo entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
How does one build community to boost membership, create value, while driving profits?
"Building from the ground up", one member at a time!
Our first step was to help Vanessa realize that she had found a niche along with an unusual competitive advantage to build a business model
Next, we needed to truly define Vanessa's customer by creating customer personas
Creating customer personas enabled Vanessa to build the identities of people who fit the profile of an individual running a side business. We've all heard countless stories about how working more than one job can cause burnout and stress, which may affect productivity in one’s day job. Others find themselves procrastinating on getting started with their side business resulting in no progress. This exercise helped Vanessa develop a clear understanding of who her customer is, to better connect with them, while building products and offering services that best fits their needs.
Customer Acquisition: A simple strategy for acquiring customers
Running a side business on a tight budget means being resourceful. Instead of spending money on building an app to connect with members, Vanessa opted for using Facebook to find customers. Your Vision’s Catalyst launched a private Facebook group that reached over 100 members in less than 3 weeks with almost 1,100+ members, and growing to date.
Here’s how we were able to create value for members to connect and engage with the brand
The object here was to find a way to create content that educates entrepreneurs on how Your Vision’s Catalyst services can create value in their day to day lives.
We designed the curriculum for Vanessa’s free 8-week program to help facilitate learning methods in the training. Vanessa led the instruction teaching members best practices to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their side businesses. Participants of the program learned how to effectively execute their projects while meeting deadlines which helped them accomplish their goals.
While the narrative around starting a business encourages people to quit their jobs to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations, Your Vision’s Catalyst motto is the complete opposite. In an effort to connect and engage with the Your Vision’s Catalyst community, we facilitated in developing strategies for busy professionals. The company’s services currently assists members with refining their products/services, ideas for formulating member’s value proposition, and how to attract their first customer.
Identification of personas and their desires for utilizing Your Vision’s Catalyst’s services, helped drive brand messaging and strategy, increase membership in the Facebook private community, including monetization.
Research indicated which personas met the target audience criteria, offer solutions to pain points, and helped to develop services and programs that facilitated in solo-entrepreneurs achieving their goals. Conducting these exercises helped identify several tasks the solo-entrepreneur wanted to accomplish. For instance, learning when and how to collaborate to increase efficiency, including cross-promote services to new audiences.
Vanessa was able to find a niche along with an unusual competitive advantage to build a business model
By using Facebook as a customer acquisition and community space for solo entrepreneurs to convene, members help acquire new enthusiastic individuals to join the group. So far this method has resulted in lower customer acquisition costs establishing a growth loop.
As of today, Vanessa has been able to retain members, with the long term goal of increased retention, improving the lifetime value over time.
What makes the solo entrepreneur community unique, are the members who support one another. Vanessa is able to direct resources on creating high-value products, services and content. Community provides members with support, this cost-effective tool and communications help lower costs of service, and drive profits.
Enhanced member experiences
So far, Your Vision’s Catalyst has offered the entrepreneur program 6 times. The entrepreneur boot camp has helped people who were once struggling in their businesses to generate revenue, to helping 1,100+ solo entrepreneurs reach 4-5 figures in their business.
With these elements in place, Your Vision’s Catalyst is now:
Set up to market the company’s brand
Engage with members and customers to understand what they want and build services that meets their needs
Your Vision’s Catalyst now has a scalable foundation that provides solo-entrepreneurs the tools they need to grow their businesses without quitting their jobs.