The TOPO Sales Summit in San Francisco this week brought together more than 650+ sales leaders responsible for more than $2 billion in revenue. Topics covered not only unveiled the playbook of the fastest growing sales organizations, but also provided strong validation of key marketplace trends relevant to the challenges we are solving for clients everyday.
In case you didn’t join us for the conference, here are some of the big take-aways:
The proliferation of analytics tools now available to sales leaders means that data can inform virtually all the big decisions of high-growth sales teams. By leveraging market data, behavioral data, and internal metrics such as conversion rates, organizations are able to correlate performance and operational information to both define and refine their sales processes for the greatest impact.
The Specialization of Sales
Data, including a company’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is also allowing companies to create discrete roles within their sales force, driven by variables such as account assignment (vertical, company size, etc.) or tasks (activities completed by SDRs versus field reps.) This not only enables sales teams to bring new focus to everything from sales development (pre-sales) programs to customer success (post-sale) activities, it also allows team leaders to capture key lessons and iterate quickly as conditions require. To their relief, it also solves the challenge of asking your reps to do it all.
Value Meets Volume + Velocity
Building a highly scalable sales model, as fast as possible, has been the mantra of most high-growth companies in recent years. These models prioritized volume and velocity over value, leading to limited to no discovery, “fire and forget” proposals, and what TOPO amusingly calls, “demo roulette.” But increasingly leading sales organizations have begun adding “high value” practices to this mix. These include tactics such as targeted discovery sessions designed to uncover pain before a demo is given, or hosting stakeholder workshops in more complex sales cycles where multiple business owners must reach consensus on a buying decision.
Account-based marketing is all the rage, and for many companies, this highly targeted approach makes sense. But for some organizations it may not be sufficient to reach their goals. As a result, TOPO advocates for “Account-Based Everything”: the orchestration of high-value, highly personalized marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success efforts as a means to drive engagement within targeted accounts.
The Rise of the Sales Tech Stack
Sales technology tools are not only changing how reps perform their jobs day-to-day, they’re actually defining – and improving – how we sell. As the sales stack evolves, we’ve seen the growth of applications that simply record activities to ones that fully manage them. So what’s the next big step? Enhancing human sales skills, ones that simply can’t be automated. (Hint: Qstream can help with this!) But despite the potential, rep adoption of new technology remains the number one challenge for sales leaders today and must be carefully managed.
How do these observations compare to your own efforts to build a high-performing sales team? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Tweet us @Qstream