How to Increase Sales by Transforming the Sales Structure, with Steve Niemiec, Episode #124
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If your goal is to increase sales, is it merely a matter of getting more qualified leads into the sales pipeline or does it depend on other aspects of the customer journey? Steve Niemiec believes that there’s a lot more to it and that the sales structure companies utilize can dramatically impact sales growth across the board.
Steve is the Senior Vice President of Sales for TechTarget where he helps bring the power of purchase intent-driven marketing and sales services to technology companies. Steve spent his entire career in B2B Tech – and the last 14 years at TechTarget. In that time he’s built a reputation for helping his customers accomplish their goals faster and with greater success.
In this episode of #SellingWithSocial, you’re going to hear Steve describe how TechTarget has shifted its sales structure to increase sales growth, and why they made the decisions they did. Don’t miss a second of this valuable episode.Listen to learn how to drive #sales growth by transforming your team’s sales structure. Join @M_3Jr CEO of Vengreso and @SteveNiemiec of @TechTarget to hear how his team did it, on this ep. of #SellingWithSocial. #DigitalSales #Gong #RevenueSuccess @Gong_ioClick To Tweet
This episode is brought to you by Gong.io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to http://bit.ly/gongio to get started.
You Can Increase Sales By Focusing Sellers On The Stages Of The Sales Cycle
After living on 90-day sales cycles for years, Steve’s team recognized that a shift was needed in the way they were working so that they could bring in more leads and move customers through the pipeline more effectively. In order to do this, they broke down their core set of sellers (Account Executives) into very specific functions.
They now have a dedicated SDR team that goes after and turns over net new calls. There is now a team focused on helping net new customers understand the value of what the company provides in its new annual subscription model. There is a team of sellers specifically focused on customer retention and growing their top customers. They even have sellers inserted into their customer success teams to help customers get the most from their products.
Steve wants to ensure that there are clear goals and objectives in each of those areas of specialization. That’s been instrumental for the company’s growth. Listen to hear how it has been working and how you may want to rethink your sales plan.
The Burning Questions Sales Managers Ask: Are They Being Answered Effectively?
Most sales managers are asking a handful of important questions…
- How do you increase productivity?
- How do you get more conversations?
- How do you increase revenue?”
Those are the right questions to ask but the assumption sales managers often make – that their current sales team is going to address all those issues (and that they will hover over them, analyze their metrics, and require more of them) – is not the best solution. Steve says you might be successful with that model but that you’ll be more successful if you carve out specific portions of your teams to accomplish those specific goals and effectively coach them to success.
For example – Steve’s SDR team is dedicated to one thing: Setting qualified appointments so the field sales team can have good conversations that enable them to learn about the customer, their needs and whether TechTarget can provide true value for that customer. They don’t set appointments just to set appointments – it’s about helping customers through their pain so that they can accomplish their specific goals.
Is your field sales team overloaded? How might the overall sales process benefit from dividing them into specified roles with clear objectives?How would you answer the burning questions #SalesLeaders ask? Join @M_3Jr CEO of Vengreso and @SteveNiemiec of @TechTarget to know what they are and to get to the right answers, on this episode of #SellingWithSocial. #Sales #Gong #RevenueSuccess @Gong_ioClick To Tweet
Customer Retention Is Just As Vital As Getting New Leads Into The Pipeline
The Customer Retention Team at TechTarget is learning to use the data they have about their customers to increase the effectiveness of their solutions for those customers. That enables them to keep the customers they’ve landed as long-term customers. Steve believes that making customers successful, faster will increase sales. Tracking that information is imperative to a successful sales organization, which is why it is step number nine when launching a digital sales program.
TechTarget has made this retention process a matter of clear process – focusing on the specific goals each customer has as they methodically transition the customer from the field salesperson who landed the account to a customer retention person who will be responsible for the customer’s ongoing success. It takes time, face to face meetings between the field account executive and the support team, and a process that enables the customer to feel that the transition is seamless.
Listen to hear how Steve’s team has refined the modern sales process to demonstrate to customers that they’ve truly listened and are working to accomplish their unique goals.
Successful, Quota-Carrying Sales Reps Move Into Customer Success Role
One of the huge changes Steve made to his team’s sales structure was to take successful sales professionals on his team – people who had 5, 6, even 7 big-number quotas – and move them into a customer success role. Why? He believed that the customer’s adoption of their tool and the life cycle of what the company needs to get from that customer relationship was equally or more valuable than what that salesperson was driving from the net new side. Be clear – these were not what Steve calls “salespeople lite” – they were successful sellers who were reassigned to this vital role of Customer Success Account Directors.
What might happen in your organization if you made that kind of pivot? Listen to hear how Steve’s team at TechTarget made it happen and the incredible benefits they are experiencing as a result.Why would highly producing #sales reps move into a customer success role? Find out why @SteveNiemiec and the @TechTarget team made the change, on #SellingWithSocial with @M_3Jr CEO of Vengreso. #SocialSelling #Gong #RevenueSuccess @Gong_ioClick To Tweet
This episode is brought to you by Gong.io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to www.gong.io to get started.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:07] Why Steve sometimes feels like an old-timer in tech sales
- [8:23] Driving growth by transforming the sales structure at TechTarget
- [17:05] How long should sellers hold onto an account before passing it to a Customer Retention professional?
- [20:49] How Steve has inserted experienced sales professionals into the customer success organization
- [28:22] When is the right time to split a sales organization to spur sales growth?
- [33:07] How TechTarget has successfully moved to an annual subscription model and has implemented Friday sales meetings to make the shift
- [40:41] How culture plays a role in team retention and customer satisfaction
- [43:43] Challenges sales leaders are facing today
- Steve on Twitter: @SteveNiemiec
- Steve on LinkedIn
- Steve’s all-time favorite movie: Caddyshack
- Previous SWS episode featuring Aaron Ross
- Modern Marketing Engine Podcast – Bernie Borges
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Click to Tweets:Is your #sales team highly focused on the various stages of the sales cycle? Join @M_3Jr of Vengreso and @SteveNiemiec of @TechTarget to learn how to diversify and focus your team, on #SellingWithSocial. #SalesLeadership #Gong #RevenueSuccess @Gong_ioClick To Tweet Learn why customer retention is just as vital as getting new leads into the #sales pipeline. Join @M_3Jr CEO of Vengreso and @SteveNiemiec of @TechTarget on this episode of #SellingWithSocial. #DigitalSales #Gong #RevenueSuccess @Gong_ioClick To Tweet