Sales velocity is a critical metric for sales organizations. It measures how many sales opportunities are created and closed in a given period of time. In order to improve sales velocity, it’s important to optimize the handoff from the sales development representative (SDR) to the sales rep. This process can be improved by using some best practices and tools that we will discuss in this blog post.
Sales Velocity Best Practice #1 – Optimize for the customers calendar first!
It’s common to see many organizations set up the SDR to Sales handoff process in a way that is optimized for the sales rep availability. If you want to increase the meeting show rate then start optimizing for the prospects calendar first.
This means that when the sales development representative (SDR) books a meeting with a prospect they are looking at the prospects calendar to find the best time for THEM, not just finding an open slot in the sales reps schedule. When you accommodate the prospect and optimize to the best time for them they tend to show up more and ghost less!
Sales Velocity Best Practice #2 – Create a clear demarcation line between the SDR and sales rep.
When sales development representatives (SDRs) are qualifying opportunities to pass off to sales reps it’s important to use binary criteria. This means that an opportunity either meets the criteria or it doesn’t. There is no in-between.
For example, a common binary criterion could be the specific job title of the person. If the prospect is the right buyer persona title for your product or service then they pass the criterion, if they aren’t then they fail the criterion. This type of criteria can be helpful because it makes it black and white for the sales development representatives (SDRs). They can quickly and definitively qualify or disqualify an opportunity.
Sales Velocity Best Practice #3 – Standardize how information is passed from he SDR to the Sales Rep.
Make sure that there is a defined standardized sales process that the SDRs) and sales reps are following. One of the most common causes of a poor handoff is when there is no defined sales process. This can result in sales reps receiving leads that are not properly qualified or do not have enough information to be successful in the meeting.
The best way to ensure all sales reps are following a process is to first document the process and build the process into your systems.
OpnMkt is a great tool to ensure the same process is followed every time a new lead is created. For example, with OpnMkt Marketplace Listing object in Salesforce, every new lead has it’s own custom lead card with all the relevant information about the lead. This information is associated back to the proper lead, contact, account or opportunity. The best part is that since OpnMkt is a native Salesforce app, you can create what ever custom fields, validation rules or flows for information you want to capture from the SDR to hand over to the sales rep.
Source and Sell
SDRs source qualified prospects and list them for sale in the internal marketplace.
Buy and Build
AEs use market dollars to buy the prospects they connect with to build a dynamic, personalized pipeline.
Connect and Close
AEs establish relationships with their prospects, turning them into buyers. More deals close, increasing revenue.
Sales Velocity Best Practice #4 – Email to prospect and sales rep with a confirmation agenda.
When the sales development representative (SDR) books a meeting with a prospect they should send an email to both the prospect and sales rep that includes:
- The date, time and location of the meeting
- A confirmation that the sales rep will be joining
- An agenda for what will be discussed in the meeting
The sales development representative (SDR) should also include any relevant information or notes about the prospect that will be helpful for the sales rep. By sending this email to both the prospect and sales rep it ensures that everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations for the meeting. It also allows the sales rep to prepare for the meeting and have any questions they might want to ask the prospect.
Sales Velocity Best Practice #5 – Ensure every lead gets to the best sales rep every time.
The sales development representative (SDR) should not just pass off the lead to any sales rep.
Ensure that all leads are being passed off to the sales rep that is the best fit and the most motivated to work that particular opportunity. The criteria for what makes a good fit will vary from company to company (and from sales rep to sales rep). Some common criteria could be:
- The sales reps experience or product knowledge.
- The sales reps current pipeline and sales goals.
- The geographic location of the prospect.
- If the sales rep has sold to a similar company in the past.
By ensuring that the lead is going to the best sales rep for that opportunity you are increasing the chances of a successful meeting and a closed deal.
“OpnMkt removed the feeling that leads happen to reps. It gives them autonomy over their pipeline, so leads go to the people that are hungriest to work them. Reps value leads they’ve won much more than leads they were assigned.”
Sales Velocity Best Practice #6 – Crowd source the new lead to the whole sales team not just a single sales rep.
When a sales development representative (SDR) books a meeting with a new prospect they should not just pass off the lead to a single sales rep. They should alert the whole sales team with information about the lead that includes:
- The date, time and location of the meeting.
- The lead qualification information.
- An agenda for what will be discussed in the meeting.
This is a great way to get the whole sales team involved with a new lead and increase the chances of the lead being accepted to the pipeline by sales reps. This prevents leads being assigned to reps who are not super interested in the new lead or just too busy at that moment to properly work it.
With these best practices in place, you can set your sales team up for success to improve the sales velocity and increase close rates.