With a partner sales staff and distribution network that’s spread out around the country (or even el mundo entero), you know the true value of having information easily available to your partners. Equally valuable, sales acceleration tools can pay back great dividends when used properly. But this relies on proper use by both you and your channel partners. Otherwise, efforts made by either side could be squandered. We’ll assume that you’re willing to put in to the time to train yourself on the sales acceleration technology, and we will also assume and encourage training for proper usage by your channel partner reps.
Let’s take a quick look at what defines revenue within a sales team. It comes down to four key metrics that will determine the sales revenue. They are:
Number of opportunities
Time per deal
Obviously, you want to increase 1 through 3, and decrease 4, as the relationship between the four of them is:
That’s all well and good you say, but how do I go about increasing revenue by altering one of these factors? That’s where sales acceleration technology can come into play.
Sales acceleration technology doesn’t magically turn on autopilot for lead generation. However, it does make sorting, filtering and distributing leads to the right partners at the right time much easier. You can provide your channel sales reps with a predefined list of leads to work through, or have them define it themselves. You might even find insights from the data that show similar patterns amongst your partners, uncovering unique tactics you can disseminate out to the rest of your partners. In a truly collaborative channel, partners can learn from each other and this alignment can only be reached once you have a technology in place that provides you with insights into the small nuances within each sales channel.
In the opportunities versus time relationship, it comes down to how quickly you can reach out to contacts while still maintaining the quality of the interaction. When your channel partner reps can automate certain time-consuming tasks to accomplish the communication faster, their opportunities increase. Simple as that.
If you can close the same number of deals in half the time, you double your revenue. Simple enough, right? But it becomes trickier when you examine how you’ll go about doing that. You need to make sure your partner sales reps have all the latest information at their fingertips. No hunting around for content to send to prospects. No searching through a convoluted database for leads. The information that the reps need, exactly when they need it.
Sales acceleration technology makes this happen. It provides a central area for you to keep (and update) sales literature so that your reps can find it easily. It also contains a platform for collaboration, so that any issues or questions can be addressed easily and quickly. If one partner rep has a question, it can be asked and answered to the entire group so that anyone in the future doesn’t have to search hard for the answer. Here, it is important to think of scaling your time investment through tech.
Aside from reducing the amount of time it takes to close a sale, having content readily available can also increase the win rate. This needs to focus on having the information the prospect wants to know, when the prospect wants to know it. Either as an informative brochure before the questions even come in, or very quickly after the questions are posed to the channel rep. Important to keep in mind here: Make sure you are providing the content your partners and customers are asking for and not just content for your partners themselves.
A prospect who receives the answers he/she is looking for is going to be much more inclined to close a deal on the product. Multiply that with succinct, quick responses to any and all questions, and you go from having a satisfied potential customer to a downright impressed one (and impressed clients and prospects tell their friends!). Plus, you’ll have the bonus of maintaining good relations with your partner sales staff, which lends itself to confidence while in conversation with the prospects. It really is a case where the little things can add up.
There are not many ways that sales acceleration technology can help you directly increase deal size. But just like win rate, the more polished the presentation from your partner reps to their prospects is, the higher chances of closing a bigger sale. There’s no tangible evidence to back this up other than personal experience. Who would you rather start a contract with someone who has a well-rehearsed sales pitch and in-depth knowledge about the market and your needs, or someone who doesn’t seem to have many answers to your questions about the product?
So the original question: Is sales acceleration technology worth the investment? Yes, of course it is! We think the better question might be “can you afford not to use sales acceleration technology?”