A coordinated, all-round engagement approach that cuts across channels and levels, aimed at building a high value deal pipeline in the mid-term.
Account Mapping is the act of mapping a prospect account’s key stakeholders who may influence a deal. While the account mapping exercise maps the formal organization
Money which a company is yet to receive. Outstanding invoices of a company is referred to as ‘accounts receivable’
AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. The assumption is that a prospect passes through this funnel with the end result being purchase.
Champion is an employee in your prospect organization who is at a level in the hierarchy where they can support your pitch and rally his/her team to view your proposal in a favorable light. Champions help you navigate through the decision making maze, implicit and explicit power centers and guide your approach in a manner that helps you win the deal.
Closure rate is the number of closed deals for every 100 sales-qualified leads.
A derisive term used to refer to sales reps who are motivated only by extrinsic incentives. Just like how a coin operated telephone works only when the coin is put in, such sales reps get motivated only when a carrot is dangled.
Days of sales outstanding (or DSO) is the number of days a company takes to collect revenue after an invoice is raised. Sales reps have to be incentivized to collect the payments and not just close deals.
Booking is the value of the contract that has been signed for a certain period.
Billing is the value of the invoice generated. They may not correspond to booking.
Example: $20 per month with 1 yr subscription. $20 is billing for this month, for which an invoice has been raised. $240 is the booking value.
Collection is when you receive the billed amount from cusotmers.
Suspect is any potential buyer in the market. They don’t have to be interested in your product or looking to buy. A suspect has to be approached and/or observed and qualified before being labeled a prospect.
Prospect is a qualified lead. When a suspect shows interest in your product for solving his/her problem and has the means to buy it, he becomes a prospect.
Funnel is the journey of a prospect from awareness (knowing about the product) to action (actually purchasing the product.)
Gatekeeper is the person in the organisation responsible for keeping the decision-maker from being bothered by unsolicited sales pitches. Gatekeepers are important because they hold the access key. Respect them and respect why they ask tough questions to you.
Hunters are sales reps focused on winning new customers. They are good closers. They win accounts and move to the next set.
Farmers are account manager who grow a customer account by upselling and cross-selling into the account. They are good at relationship nurturing and strategic customer account management.
An Ideal Customer Profile is defined by a set of attributes that are a leading indicator that a company could become a sales rep’s prospect. Typical qualification attributes for ICP could be revenue, number of employees, technologies implemented, number of stores etc.
An Ideal Buyer Profile is a person in the buying organization who either feels the need / pain or has the authority to make a purchasing decision. Often, instead of one buyer there could be a buying center that decides on a deal. A buying center could typically have a line manager who needs your offering, a department head who has the budget and probably an executive sponsor for the initiative, if it is strategic.
Inside Sales is a sales organization design wherein the sales reps typically reside within the campus of the selling organization and interact with prospect primarily over phone, email and social media. Depending on the deal type, inside sales teams could close the deals over such media or handover to account executives who travel, meet the prospects and close the deals.
Key Accounts are prospect accounts or customer accounts that are of strategic important to the selling company.
A list of prospects that your company can reach out to and convert is called a lead list.
Lead scoring is the act of ranking leads to determine their worthiness to the organisation. The rank/score is assigned based on various qualifying attributes that are relevant for the offering being sold.
Inbound Lead Scoring is the act of ranking leads to determine their worthiness to the organization. For inbound lead scoring, typically companies track metrics related to the time a prospect spent on the website, marketing assets they downloaded etc. and assign weights to such engagements, to arrive at a lead score.
Lead time to closure is the time taken by a sales rep, on an average, to close a deal after it enters the sales pipeline as a qualified lead. Lead time is a key metric that helps the management forecast sales revenue for a given period.
Leads who aren’t ready to buy but who are ready to be nurtured by marketing are MQLs.
Outbound Sales is a sales approach where the sales team identifies prospects and proactively reaches out to them.
Inbound Sales is a sales approach where the sales team handles incoming inquiries through their website or other media. In such an approach, the prospects have opted in to be sold by the organization. Inbound sales is not Inside sales.
Sales Pipeline, is a figurative way of depicting various stages in a sales cycle. Ideally a sales pipeline is one where the prospects move from one stage to the next, with each stage adding to the confidence of the sales rep that the deal might be closer to getting done. In the real world though, often prospects move back and forth between stages.
A pipeline stage marks a distinct milestone in a prospect journey. For example, a prospect could see a demo and then later ask for a proposal. These are two distinct stages. Attending a demo signals interest while asking for a proposal signals urgency.
The growth of qualified leads, measured month-over-month, every month is lead velocity rate
Not all stages in a pipeline carry the same weight. A customer asking for a proposal is not as qualified as a customer asking for a demo. Revenue visibility increases as the prospect moves from one stage to the next and this reflects in the weight we associate with each stage.
The process of checking if any lead matches all the criteria (revenue, size, etc.) required to be labeled as a qualified prospect is called qualification.
SQLs are leads who are further down in the funnel. They have very specific queries and are ready to get on the closing call with the sales team.
Sales Quota is a quantifiable goal set for a sales rep. In its most simplest form, this could be a combination of booking, billing and collection targets. Depending on the context of the organization, additional quotas could be added. For example, number of new mid-market deals acquired that month could be an additional metric.
SPIN is an acronym for the 4 types of sales questions designed to evoke interest in a prospect and convert it into a sale.
Situation questions to develop the understanding of the situation a prospect is in.
Problem questions to make the prospect aware about the problem s/he is facing.
Implication questions to make him/her realise the repercussions of not addressing the problem.
Need-payoff questions to make them consider how valuable a real solution would be.
Top of the funnel is where the prospect gets introduced to your company. The more such prospects get introduced to your company, the more the chances that your pipeline will swell and result in a healthy conversion to customers. Typically marketing departments play a big role in bringing prospects to the top of the funnel.
Middle of the funnel is where the prospects that are qualified are actively engaged with your sales team. Engagement could be a demo or a proposal review or a site visit. A middle of the funnel prospect is a highly qualified and engaged prospect who needs to be proactively engaged with right set of marketing assets and personalized touch.
Bottom of the funnel is where a prospect could convert into a customer or drop out of the pipeline as a lost deal. Typically senior sales reps / account executives engage one-to-one with the decision maker or the buying center and push them to closure. At the bottom of the funnel, every day (or even an hour) matters and savvy sales reps keep a keen watch on signals that point to whether a prospect is ready to sign or ready to move on.