Feeling like you're traveling at a crawl to yield the best results with your sales process?
You're not alone.
In fact, 75% of SaaS companies suffer from this same problem: long sales cycles. That’s because the path to each sale is seldom direct.
Getting the sales results (and position) that you deserve will require rethinking your entire selling approach. You need dedicated tactics to accelerate each sale along your pipeline journey.
This is where sales acceleration comes in.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a sales acceleration strategy that will help you close more deals faster and drive more revenue for your business.
What is Sales Acceleration?
Sales acceleration is refining the sales process and tools to increase sales and revenue faster. With this approach, your prospects will move through the sales cycle more efficiently and quickly, resulting in higher-quality sales and more revenue for your company.
Sales acceleration is a process-driven approach that involves building the right team and tools, defining the sales process, identifying sales opportunities, tracking progress, and measuring results. The goal is to maximize the value of each opportunity by accelerating its lifecycle and improving lead quality.
When Do You Need Sales Acceleration?
There are many reasons why your company needs sales acceleration.
You need sales acceleration when you have a high-touch sales process, a complex product or service, and a large enterprise sales force. Sales acceleration can help companies accelerate their revenue growth by reducing the time to close deals, improving the quality of leads, and converting more opportunities into revenue.
On the other hand, you also need a sales acceleration program when you have a clearly defined sales process but your existing team and tools aren’t delivering the results you need. This can be caused by any number of factors, including:
- Poor quality leads: If your sales team is spending too much time chasing after poor-quality leads that offer little or no revenue opportunity, they won’t be able to focus on high-value opportunities.
- Poor lead qualification process: If your current qualification criteria aren’t effective at identifying qualified candidates who are most likely to buy from you, it will take longer for your salespeople to close deals and generate revenue.
- Lack of resources: If your sales team is understaffed or doesn’t have the right tools to close deals, they won’t be able to hit their revenue goals.
- Poor sales training and support: If your salespeople aren’t equipped with the tools they need to sell your products and services effectively, they won’t be able to close deals.
- Unfocused sales process: If your sales team isn’t using a well-defined process to guide their interactions with prospects, they may be unable to identify and qualify opportunities for your company effectively. As a result, their time will be wasted on low-value activities like sending emails or making phone calls that don’t lead anywhere.
Whatever the reasons, you must implement a sales acceleration strategy when you start to see a decline in sales performance. If you take the right steps, you can turn this situation around and keep your company moving forward.
Benefits of Sales Acceleration.
The benefits of sales acceleration are numerous, but they fall into two main categories: reduced costs and increased revenue.
One major benefit of increasing sales velocity is reducing the time and effort needed to land new customers. This makes it easier for you to scale up your business over time and maintain a high level of profitability.
Here are some of the other benefits of sales acceleration:
- Increased revenue and profits.
- Decreased costs.
- Ability to scale faster over time.
- Make the best use of the existing resources.
- Track sales performance more efficiently.
- Turn cold leads to customers more quickly.
- More accurate sales forecasts in the future.
How To Build a Sales Acceleration Strategy in 2023?
To build an effective sales acceleration strategy, you need to identify your sales acceleration goals, identify the tactics that will help you achieve those goals, and then deploy them.
With the right strategy, your sales team can focus on what they do best—converting leads into customers.
Here are the 7 steps that you can take to build a sales acceleration strategy:
1. Start with an internal assessment and find the inefficiencies.
Look at your sales organization from top to bottom, inside out. Identify the inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Evaluate how each team member works with other sales team members, including managers, marketing, and customer success teams.
Your sales team may have felt unprepared for product pitch meetings. Your marketing team may have struggled to collect enough customer data to target the right base. Maybe your current resource isn’t cutting it.
This stage aims to identify the issues and how they fit into the bigger picture.
2. Document and review their performance.
At this stage, you need to document the performance of each sales rep. You’ll want to review their sales pipeline, cold calls and emails, product knowledge, and customer interactions. Look for patterns in their sales process, such as whether they’re following a proven model or doing things independently.
Examine the past year's performance and sales figures to see how you did in good years and bad. Reviewing wins and losses from previous seasons gives you an idea of which attributes lead to success, what causes a team’s morale to decline—and how that can be fixed.
By analyzing your team's strengths and reviewing past performance, you can better understand where your small business stands in terms of increasing growth rates.
3. Develop a buyer persona.
Knowing your buyers—and documenting that knowledge as buyer personas—is essential for sales acceleration. But creating these personas isn’t just about knowing your customers but also understanding and defining who will benefit most from what you sell.
Creating buyer personas helps you identify your ideal customers and the ways to better connect with them. You can also use these buyer personas for sales training sessions for new employees.
4. Analyze your competitors.
Analyze how your competitors are accelerating with the sales acceleration strategy. Evaluate how your competitors’ personas, sales teams, and marketing campaigns are positioned in the market. This can provide insight into your own sales acceleration strategy.
Once you can paint the picture of their strategies, you can refine the sales acceleration strategy in your business.
5. Embrace new tech and tools.
Interrupting your process with a new tech may seem like a distraction, but it can help you stay ahead of your competitors. In fact, 44% of companies implementing marketing automation see a return on their investment within six months.
You can implement various automation tools from lead generation to training your sales rep. When you can train your sales rep with an interactive demo, they can quickly learn the ins and outs of a new product. Storylane helps you get a new sales representative up and running quickly with an interactive product demo.
It helps you create a custom demo for multiple buyer personas and use them for training your sales reps. This helps them better understand the product and handle the objections they might face. And when you can train them better, you can improve your win rates by 29%. This is the primary factor for your sales acceleration too.
6. Strategize and implement.
As you have prepared everything from assessing your internal inefficiencies to implementing new software, it's time to strategize and implement. Start with a detailed plan on how you will execute your sales acceleration strategy. This includes identifying the resources you need, managing the project timeline, and ensuring that everything goes according to plan.
Analyze your past and current analytics reports to determine which tactics have proven to offer a high return on investment. Evaluate your growth—this will help you build a strategy for increasing sales.
Once you have created your strategy, implement it. A sales acceleration strategy requires measuring metrics and implementing changes to improve its results. Set a few goals before you roll out the strategy, then measure how well it's working against what you were hoping for.
7. Be flexible with your strategy.
The most important thing is to create a formula that works best for your business. No matter what combination of strategies you decide upon, it’s a process of trial and error—as well as an ongoing refinement. Flexibility is the key to surviving any change or shift in the market, no matter which industry you're in!
Keep an open mind about new ideas, and be willing to change existing methods. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends in sales by letting go of old processes that have become outdated or less effective in today’s marketplace.
5 Tips For An Effective Sales Acceleration Strategy.
Though you have a sales acceleration strategy up and running, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where you feel like something is missing.
Many businesses have a sales acceleration strategy, but they still find themselves struggling with the same issues over and over again.
Here are five tips for an effective sales acceleration strategy so that your company can move forward efficiently:
1. Establish a sales enablement program.
When it comes to sales acceleration, the first step is to establish a solid sales enablement program. This will allow you to ensure that your company has access to all the resources it needs and can quickly adapt when changes are needed.
Sales enablement is the process of providing the resources and guidance to your sales team that helps them to close deals fast.
If you have an established sales enablement program in place, you’ll find yourself far ahead of most other businesses still struggling with this aspect of their sales process.
Help them showcase your product's value with an interactive product demo that potential customers can access at any time without the involvement of a sales rep. This will allow you to increase the likelihood of closing more deals and improve your overall sales process.
Storylane allows you to create and share such interactive sales demos in minutes —without requiring technical expertise. With the drag-and-drop builder, you can quickly create a rich, interactive product demo that helps your sales team close more deals.
2. Align your sales, product, and marketing team.
These three teams are inseparable, and all must work together to ensure that your sales team is equipped with all the tools they need to close more deals. When these teams are aligned and working towards a common goal, you can increase your sales performance and achieve greater business impact.
When a product team works closely with a sales team, they can build a product more likely to meet customers' needs. When marketing and sales work together, they can create compelling content that will help prospects learn about your brand and want to buy from it.
3. Inform your strategy with data.
All revenue leaders know that content is critical to sales success—but they struggle with knowing which of their assets are elevating customer conversations and which aren't.
The reason is that they don’t have a way to measure the impact of their content on both sales and marketing metrics. The solution is to get a 360-degree view of your content by tracking its performance across different channels, including email, social media, website visitors, webinars, and more.
This will help you identify gaps in your strategy and determine which topics are most relevant for your audience at a given time. When you use an interactive demo on your website to collect leads, you can measure its success rate and optimize the same without much effort.
With Storylane, you can get a detailed analysis of how your prospects interact with your product demo.
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With this information, you can craft the perfect pitch to move prospects down the funnel rather than away from it.
4. Fill your pipeline with product-qualified leads.
If you're not sure what a product-qualified lead is, it's a prospect who has experienced the value of your product and wants to know more about it. They've already taken the first step by trying your product, meaning they're more likely to buy from you in the future.
Compared to MQL, PQL converts at a higher rate. It takes 84 days before sales-qualified leads become conversations—and only 6% of MQLs convert into actual SQLs. In contrast, PQLs convert into a customer 5 to 6 times more than MQLs.
To build your PQL list, you must offer a free trial or a freemium model. But the negative side is that you can get only 2-5% conversion rates with a freemium plan. This will cost you more.
Thus the best solution is to use an interactive product demo. This helps you show the product in action and is a great way for prospects to learn about your product. Storylane helps you create an interactive product demo with an opt-in. A great example is Ignition.
They embedded an interactive product demo on their website to collect PQLs. And through this interactive product demo, Ignition got a conversion rate of 20%. This is a great example of using an interactive product demo to collect PQLs from your website visitors.
This way, you can get a better conversion rate, which will help you generate more leads.
5. Boost sales productivity.
To accelerate sales growth, you need to boost individual rep productivity. But that will only happen if reps are freed from internal processes and tasks to focus on the most important activities.
Examining where reps spend their time can determine whether they have enough hours in the day to do everything that is required of them.
To free up more time for your reps, think about outsourcing or automating a process that doesn’t directly impact customers—and then put it in place. For example, if personalizing and creating custom sales demo is an issue for salespeople at your company, invest in a demo software like Storylane to automate these repeated tasks.
If your sales reps lose hours of productive time each week in meetings, it’s time to reevaluate how you do things. This exercise will help you cut unnecessary steps and accelerate your sales process.
Get your sales motor rolling!
Sales acceleration provides salespeople with the information they need to close faster by delivering it more efficiently and providing relevant context. With tools like sales enablement software, sales teams can spend less time searching for information and more time closing deals.
The key to sales acceleration is eliminating unnecessary steps in your sales process. You can focus more on activities that make a difference by cutting out those processes that aren’t adding value.
Storylane helps you focus on revenue-generating opportunities by cutting down the time you need to create a demo, training your sales reps, and filling your pipeline with product-qualified leads. All you need is a customized demo of your product.
Once it's done, you can use it for multiple use cases. If you are ready to increase sales and revenue, we’re here to help. Schedule a free demo, and we will guide you through creating a demo that will help you grow your business and increase revenue.