There are multiple stakeholders involved who have varied views on this topic. Let’s first take a look at two key internal stakeholders and understand their vantage point:
- Financial: CFO – The CFO is focused on driving revenue and being cost efficient and effective. He looks to understand if all the resources involved in each sale are necessary. If they aren’t, he will most likely look to minimize them. Catch Phrase: “Your cost of sale is too high.”
- Sales: Sales Leader and Account Executive – Account Executives are constantly asserting that they need more sales support resources in order to move their opportunities through the buying process. Sales leaders are then continually trying to balance what the Account Executives are requesting in order to meet their revenue targets. Bottom line is that Sales Leaders and Account Executives generally feel that they need more Sales Support Resources. Catch Phrase: “I could sell more deals if I had more resources.”
Each lens (Sales and Financial) undoubtedly has a valid point, piece of data or anecdotal evidence to support their respective position. So as the VP of Sales, what’s your solution? How do you determine if you do have the proper Sales Support Resources allocated to your Sales Team?
Customers Are Your Best Sales Strategy Resource
As VP of Sales, you could spend countless hours investigating each internal stakeholder’s view, but you’ll be doing little more than “thrashing” around. Before you “thrash,” you should first take some time to understand the most important perspective: Your Customers’.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- How does Your Customer value the Sales Support Resources during the buying process?
- Which Resources did they find the most beneficial?
- Which Resources pushed them furthest along towards their eventual buying decision?
Don’t be shy – jump in with both feet and get the information that matters the most to help you make these tough sales strategy decisions. You have multiple ways to get this information:
- Electronic surveys
- Phone interviews
- Client councils
- Advisory boards
- Or ask a third party to conduct interviews
At this point you can ask the customers questions concerning the Sales Support Resources you are contemplating. Some examples of the roles in the selling process you may be questioning are: Account Executives, Sales Engineers, Sales Consultants, Architects, Business Consultants, Subject Matter Experts, and Inside Sales.
Regardless of the format you choose for your customer feedback, you must ask questions for each role in the selling process to understand the value each resource played through the customer’s eyes. By understanding the importance the customer places on each of these roles in terms of the buying process, you can adjust your sales strategy accordingly and therefore utilize the perfect quantity of Sales Support Resources. Below you’ll see a list of a few example questions to gather this information from your customers.
Sales Support Resource Customer Survey:
- Rank the importance of the contributions by the (Role) in helping you assess the (Product or Service)? – Ranking scale.
- The following roles help overcome obstacles within my company when I am trying to buy a (Product or Service). – List roles.
- I require support from the following roles to help me leverage (Product or Service). – List Roles.
- When I purchased a (Product or Service), I placed trust in which of the following roles? – List Roles.
- Please rank the influence each role had in your making the decision to choose (Product or Service) as the vendor to this solution? – Ranking Scale.
- Throughout your buying process for (Product or Service), how many interactions (defined as face-to-face meeting, set phone meeting, or a conversation at least 15 minutes that helped move the process forward) did you have with each of the sales resources listed? – List Roles with Number Scale
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily sales grind and all of the internal workings of your business. Sometimes all it takes to find the answers to your most trying questions is a pointed look outwards at the very people who make your business run. Reach out to your customers and you’ll acquire all kinds of helpful data to improve your sales strategy.
Have more questions about your Sales Support Resources or Sales Strategy? Request a free demo of sales strategy best practices and our sales benchmarking methodology.