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The Data Driven Approach To Sales

5 min read
June 23, 2015

The rhythm and cadence of the sales process is constantly evolving.

As sales development continues to infiltrate the sales community, companies are quickly recognizing the need for a strong model to employ these levels of specialization within their teams.

Last week, our CEO Kyle Porter shared our data driven approach to sales, implemented to help build a model that executes that specialization with accountability and efficiency.

In the recap of the Mattermark webinar below, you’ll get an inside look into the process and strategies we employ to define the three levels of sales data, and the specific benchmarks set within each of those levels.

The 3 Levels of Sales Data defined by our data driven approach:

The key responsibilities of the sales process are divided throughout these three roles: the Sales Development Rep, the Account Executive, and the Client Success Managers and Business Owner.

1) Set Qualified Appointments

The SDR is responsible for reaching out to prospects to set qualified appointments and schedule demos.

2) Acquire Customers

SDRs hand off qualified prospects to the AE who then acquires the customer through product demonstration.

3) Retain + Grow Company

Once a customer is acquired, the responsibility of retention and growth then shifts to the CSM & CEO.

Accountability Rhythm

The purpose of using data within your business is to create an internal rhythm and cadence that holds your team and leaders accountable.

At Salesloft, we do this through the following methods:

  • Daily standup
  • Leaderboards & Coaching Sessions
  • Weekly tactical & Weekend update
  • Monthly breakfast
  • Quarterly one-page-strategic plan

Missed the webinar last week? Check out some of the pressing questions on viewers’ minds, and Kyle’s advice on how to tackle each issue:

In customer acquisition cost, do you ever use gross margin percentage as part of an LTV calculation to understand the overall profitability of a client, as well?

Different businesses do it different ways, but what matters most is that you communicate what you’ve used for your formula. In SaaS, margins are high, depending upon how much cost you have going into the product you’re offering (usually somewhere around 10%, sometimes 15%). We don’t use it ourselves because it’s so low for us, but other people have and other people will, and for the people who do: the main thing is to be clear with it. If you’re presenting it to investors, or presenting it to the team, just make sure that you’re aware of what those numbers are and why they matter. For more information on this, read David Skok’s blog.

How do you prevent churn? What are some best practices and strategies at Salesloft?

There are three main ways to prevent churn.

First, make it a huge priority. Put it up on the big screen. Put it in the weekend updates. Pay attention to it ALL THE TIME. Don’t let it be the unmentioned elephant in the room.

The second is to have someone at the organization that is entirely dedicated on that churn number. Katie Rogers is the head of our services department, and she’s entirely focused on driving this number down.

And finally, the third is to have a good, easy way to measure it. You need to be able to see it at any given time. Measuring usage is vital — measure where people are using applications, when features are going unused, and then compare that to the size of the organization. We then have a CSM team that is focused on touchpoints, who actually use Salesloft Cadence to make sure that customers are happy and getting what they need.

How would you leverage SDRs in a hardware-driven business, where you’re selling durable goods, and a typical demo may require being onsite with the prospect?

It all boils down to this: what is the buying cycle for your customers? Understanding who the right decision maker is, how they come about making decisions, and how to get in touch with lots of those people with a rhythm and process in order to set up that appointment for the Account Executives. Start with 2 SDRs and then find a list of all of the people that could possibly buy the product. Have them set up on this rhythm of emails, phone calls, referrals, and social touches in order to set appointments with the prospects for the AEs.

One of the biggest objections CEOs have with this model is that they don’t want to pass off a prospect, but when the SDRs are engaged with the prospect and it’s time to handoff to an AE, they need to position that as an upgrade for the buyer. They need to look at that as an opportunity for the buyer to learn more and to engage more with the product, and to talk to someone with more experience and a larger skill set when it comes to asking more in depth questions. With SDRs focused on getting more and more appointments, your AEs can spend less time navigating prospect landscapes, and more time engaging deeply with people they want to be selling to.

Have any more questions about tracking your sales data to measure and improve your team’s efforts? Leave a comment below so we can help!