LevelEleven is a sales performance platform that helps you increase the capacity of your sales team. We launched in late 2012 as a sales gamification app and then found out our customers needed a heck of a lot more. So we let their greatest sales pain points evolve into an entire performance platform.
Picture this: you’re in a sales meeting with your team, and everything is going smoothly. Then, suddenly your boss throws out an acronym that everyone seems to understand; everyone that is, except for you. Believe it or not, this happens more than you would think. In the world of sales, there are many terms and acronyms that are unfamiliar to new employees, as well as seasoned salespeople. But since standing up and admitting your lack of knowledge during a meeting can be daunting, we put together a crash course on sales terms and acronyms to get you caught up on sales lingo!
While knowing sales acronyms is essential, it’s even more integral that you understand what the people using those terms do. So before we dive into the sales acronyms section, lets recap each sales roles you may run into, and their typical responsibilities.
Sales development professionals, sometimes called SDRs, are typically non-quota carrying salespeople whose job is to set up qualified sales opportunities for the inside sales and field sales teams. They usually are tasked with making calls and emails in high-volume and need to understand the ideal customer profile, including how to pursue those prospects.
Inside salespeople are often quota-carrying sales professionals who work remotely or from an office. Their common responsibilities include prospecting leads, hosting in-person meetings and conducting demos over the phone and web. Many of these salespeople work on sales opportunities that have been identified by a sales development team.
Field sales roles typically refer to quota-carrying salespeople who work face-to-face with customers in the field. They commonly have larger accounts and more complex deals, but handle less volume.
Account management roles commonly refer to team members who help existing customers obtain maximum value out of the solution or product sold by their company. They are closest to the customer and are therefore able to identify opportunities to upsell customers. They are also sometimes referred to as “customer success managers,” or CSMs.
Sales Acronyms & Terms
Now that you have the roles down, it’s time to get into the acronyms and popular terms used in the sales ecosystem. Whether you’re new to the world of sales, or just looking to brush up on your terms, this list will help you quickly understand sales lingo.
KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
A KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. They are typically established by sales management teams to help every salesperson focus their time on sales-specific behaviors that drive bottom-line results.
MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)
MQLs are prospects that show interest in your product or service but are not yet ready to commit to buying. MQLs are often assigned to sales development reps who strive to convert the account into an SQL.
SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)
An SQL is a prospective customer with clear intent to buy a solution or product. They are often vetted by some combination of marketing and sales teams to ensure they meet SQL criteria.
SAO (Sales Accepted Opportunity)
A SAO is a prospective customer who has been vetted by both the sales and marketing teams and is ready to move on to the next step in the sales process. They have displayed their intent to buy and it has been determined that they are the right fit for the product or service.
The sales pipeline shows where prospects are in the buyer’s journey. It includes every step of your sales process from start to end and prospects move down the pipeline based on activities such as demos. A sales pipeline is a great indicator of future deals and revenue.
The sales funnel is a representation of the number of prospects in various stages of the pipeline. Prospects don’t exit the funnel until they make a purchase.
NPS (Net Promoter Score)
An NPS allows organizations to measure a customer’s happiness, loyalty, and the likelihood that they will refer new customers. A portion of each customer’s score is often based on their response when they’re asked how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
A CRM is a technology that helps manage all relationships and interactions with both current and potential customers. CRMs also streamline processes and improve the overall profitability of organizations.
Although sales acronyms and terms can be confusing, they also have the ability to streamline internal communication!
Do you have a colleague that can benefit from this refresher? Share this article with them to get your entire sales team on the same page! Comment below if there any terms or acronyms that you think we missed!
For sales leaders, the end of Q2 offers a pleasant opportunity to look back and reflect on your team’s accomplishments over the past six months. But you don’t want to bask in past successes too long, as the start of the second half of the year means new goals, new challenges, and new potential. In order to build a plan for success in Q3 and Q4, you’ll need to look at the daily activities and key performance indicators (KPI) that your team is presently focused on, and identify areas for improvement.
To help get you started, LevelEleven created a comprehensive KPI report featuring the most prominent metrics being used by successful sales managers. Here are a few key highlights from the report.
1. Unique KPIs by Industry
Out of all of the industries we studied, technology had the most unique set of KPIs with more than 50 percent difference compared to the other industries. This is likely due to the technology industry’s products and services, which often require longer conversations and more customer interactions. Some of the most notable KPIs outside of the technology industry include event bookings, bottles sold, and paperless policies. These KPIs are simply a glimpse into the many unique metrics in use throughout various industries.
2. Most Common KPIs by Industry
Wins was the most common lagging metric that we saw in top performing sales teams, while meetings scheduled and calls were the most common leading metrics.Progressing opportunities and creating opportunities tied for the fourth most common KPI. It is notable that these common metrics appear across all industries that we studied, reinforcing the idea that motivating your sales team towards key behaviors is the best method to achieve organizational success.
3. Most Common KPIs by Role
For this portion of our research, we looked at inside sales, field sales, hybrid sales, and account management. The majority of sales professionals had wins as the most common KPI, with meetings and opportunity progression close behind. But Account Managers were actually more focused on activities and progressing opportunities. The takeaway: although salespeople and Account Managers are often grouped together, their KPIs should be tailored to their position-specific goals in order to motivate the right behaviors.
“Adding sales metrics is healthy and should make sense to the reps that are using and tracking them. If they understand how the metrics help shape their behaviors and activities, they are more likely to embrace them.”
Although the sales leaders involved in our study often use multiple time frames to monitor their KPIs, we collected data on which time frames were the most common. Notably, calls, meetings, and demos are usually measured weekly, while wins and progressing opportunities are most often measured monthly. Overall, monthly was the most common time frame for goals. It is important to remember that with Sales Management Systems, like LevelEleven, sales leaders and individual contributors are able to see real-time pacing towards their goals, regardless of the time period selected. This allows sales leaders to make course corrections in real-time instead of waiting for a custom report a month from now.
5. Setting up your KPI strategy
The KPIs that you employ to track and motivate your team’s performance should be uniquely applicable to job roles, industries, and the customer journey. It’s also important to choose just a few KPIs to focus on. Measuring too many things can result in data overload, which can cause your sales team and frontline managers to get lost in the day-to-day noise. To avoid this common pitfall, use the LevelEleven KPI Report to see what companies similar to yours are measuring, and decide what is best for your company.
To read this report and begin setting your KPI strategy for the remainder of 2018, download our Sales KPI Report. Also, be on the lookout for our new Sales Management Report, coming this August!
Here at LevelEleven, we are dedicated to making the sales process easier and more productive. A big part of doing so involves listening to the needs of our customers and using that information to improve our solution.
LevelEleven’s Scorecard and Manager Scorecard have always been popular solutions for front-line sales managers and individual contributors but our customers told us that senior leaders still needed better insight into how their entire organization is performing in real time. This feedback led us to build our new Executive Scorecard.
In addition to the real-time visibility into global performance that Executive Scorecard provides, this new solution empowers senior leaders to drill down into individual team performance, quickly compare how individuals and/or teams are comparing to one another, and identify correlations between different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Take a look at why this new tool is a must for sales executives and other senior leaders.
A Solution for Senior Leaders
In any organization, it can be difficult for executives to stay connected to the day-to-day activities of their individual contributors and front-line managers. Without daily touches and frequent meetings, it is even harder to obtain an accurate view of current team performance.
As a result, many teams find themselves spending a lot of time and resources on manual reports that still lack a holistic view of team performance. Business Intelligence solutions may be brought in to help solve this problem, but the output is often not in real-time which makes it difficult to course correct. This results in executives having access to snapshots of data that still fall short of providing a holistic view of company-wide data.
With these challenges in mind, LevelEleven has pioneered our Executive Scorecard to fill in these information gaps and provide VPs of Sales, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief Operating Officers, and other senior Leaders with the necessary tool to offer support using real-time insights and the ability to take action for specific teams or the entire organization.
How Does Executive Scorecard Solve These Problems?Roll Up and Drill Down
What a senior leader cares about is often different from what a front-line manager cares about. While a front-line manager is concerned with their team’s daily, weekly, and monthly performance, senior leaders have many teams across the organization for which they are responsible.
To help address this difference in focus and responsibility, Executive Scorecard allows organizations to track metrics at more senior levels that may not be tracked at the individual team level. These metrics can be aggregated across the organization, even if they are not being tracked by the leaders of the individual sales team. This allows senior leaders to run comparisons between different teams against a common set of metrics that they believe is critical to the sales process.
Score Overall Team Performance
Another way the Executive Scorecard empowers senior leaders is by providing real-time visibility into each team’s performance from one, convenient place. This allows them to compare teams against metrics that the senior leadership cares about and explore why one team may be outperforming another. Are the managers coaching their teams more? Are a given team’s metrics aligned with what the senior leadership cares about?
By leveraging the LevelEleven Performance Index (LPI), senior executives can see where there are problems and (more importantly) where they should take action. This goes beyond the ability to see if the entire organization is meeting its goals as senior leaders are now able to compare team performance and productivity in one convenient place without having to deal with a weekly report that they may not have time to analyze.
Focus on the Wildly Important
We already mentioned that LevelEleven’s Executive Scorecard gives senior leaders the power to view aggregated KPI data other than metrics being tracked at an individual team level. This solution can help provide focus and insight to the KPIs that you want your entire organization to focus on.
For example, a quick look at your KPIs might show that your organization is on track to meet its goals. However, when you use the Executive Scorecard to drill down into a division’s performance, you may find that one team is overperforming while the other is underperforming. You can then drill down into the underperforming division to see where the problem is originating and take the appropriate actions to solve it.
Furthermore, the Executive Scorecard provides a more effective way to coach your team at multiple levels within the organization. Coaching notes can then be sent directly to anyone that reports up to you within the hierarchy, whether it be a director, manager or individual contributor, to help reinforce the right behaviors and achieve your company’s objectives.
Identify Correlations Between Metrics
You now know the power that the Executive Scorecard gives senior leaders to choose which metric they want to track. Once you have your KPIs established you can then use the LevelEleven Performance Quadrant (LPQ) to determine if there is truly a correlation between these KPIs and overall performance.
This solution makes it is easy to determine which behaviors truly make a difference towards reaching your organization’s goals, which then allows you to drive the necessary change within your teams and keep organizational goals a top priority.
LevelEleven’s Executive Scorecard was designed with VPs of Sales, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief Operating Officers, and other senior Leaders in mind to arm them with real-time insights into their organization’s performance and empower them to take action where necessary.
Interested in learning more? Contact us or request a free demo today to learn how your organization can benefit from LevelEleven’s Executive Scorecard.
Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions deliver web-based applications over the internet. In an increasingly digital world, these types of applications continue to evolve exponentially making it one of the most widely used technologies for modern business. So why are SaaS solutions so valuable and how do you select the right SaaS partner among a growing landscape of competing providers?
How well does it integrate with your existing solutions?
One of the main benefits of SaaS solutions is their ability to integrate alongside and ideally inside, the very applications your business is already using on a daily basis. Whether it’s your email client, CRM, ERP or other business systems, seamless integration, native to your existing solutions are key. This eliminates the need for users to navigate in and out of a multitude of applications that only slow productivity and further complicate your ability to customize and scale. These days, most business platforms offer a library of available applications that integrate with their product to help you extend your user experience. Here are a few examples:
Customization & Scalability
How customizable is the solution and can it scale with your business?
With most SaaS solutions you can expect to be up and running relatively quickly but a great SaaS solution allows businesses to tailor the product for their unique business needs. While this might delay the implementation process, understanding how customizable the solution is and the level of expertise required is important if you’re planning to grow or have unique use cases to address. If you don’t have a dedicated technical staff, then applications that are easy for your team to customize should be an important factor in your buying decision. Just remember that the more customizable the solution is, the easier it will be to scale with your business and address changing requirements without downtime and without additional costs.
Consider the pricing model and opportunities for discounts?
The popularity of SaaS solutions is largely attributed to the fact that they provide a much more cost-effective solution. There are a variety of pricing models, depending on the type of software so make sure you understand the structure and that it makes sense for your business. Regardless of the pricing model, which will likely be out of your control, take the time to learn about what incentives might be available? Multi-year contracts, online billing, tiered discounts, and nonprofit pricing could be hidden gems that provide your business with more cost-effective options.
Company Health, Service & Support
Do some research and leverage references and reviews.
Imagine finding the “perfect” solution that you believe will really fit your business, only to find out after implementation that the company is going out of business. For this reason, researching the health of a company is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. You also want to consider the service and support that is offered by the companies that you are looking into. A solution can seem like the perfect fit, but if the service and support are lacking, where does that leave you? Here are a few ways to evaluate providers…
Leverage third-party review sites such as G2 Crowd to read reviews on companies from their actual customers.
Visit the websites of the companies you are considering to make sure their mission and culture align with your goals.
Ask for references from current customers and be specific. Ask to speak with customers similar in size, industry or use cases.
It is important not to select a SaaS solution based on any one of these criteria above, but to evaluate them on all criteria and make an informed decision. You will not regret putting in the time and effort to find a solution that best fits your company, but you will regret choosing a solution, paying for it, and then realizing that it is not a good fit. Ultimately it’s about selecting a partner that that can deliver a solution that will add value to your company. This allows you to grow while providing opportunities for increased productivity and efficiency.
LevelEleven is a SaaS solution and proud partner of the Salesforce AppExchange. If you’re a Salesforce user, visit the Salesforce AppExchange today for a comprehensive library of applications available to help extend and customize your Salesforce user experience.
If you’re like many sales leaders, you’ve experienced the challenge of having too much data in too many places. A combination of Salesforce reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, as well as other sales software programs can make it nearly impossible to extract the critical information necessary to take action. With LevelEleven, your critical sales metrics are tracked and available directly in Salesforce, consolidating the data you track, giving you the insights you need to make decisions and take action. The following are 5 ways to make data actionable using LevelEleven’s sales management system.
1. Set Critical Sales KPIs to Increase the Productivity of Coaching Sessions
With LevelEleven, data on the KPIs that are critical to your business are right at your fingertips, making employee productivity and effectiveness easy to track. This data can be seen monthly, weekly, daily, or even by the hour, providing sales leaders with the unique opportunity to coach their team in real-time and track their results. LevelEleven’s Coaching feature also includes a coaching notes features – a collaborative area for both sales leaders and employees to provide feedback and agree upon action items to address before their next coaching session.
The ability for sales managers to focus on the right topics so that they can make a real impact on their team during coaching sessions is a crucial use of data. LevelEleven makes it easy for a sales manager to view snapshots of how their team is performing against their goals at any given time. These snapshots are ideal to reference in coaching sessions, allowing for more consistent feedback with actionable takeaways to promote a more productive sales team.
2. Keep Your Sales Team’s Goals Front & Center
Reminding employees of company goals is crucial to keep the company’s vision alive. This, however, can be thrown to the wayside as people get comfortable, which can hinder production and negatively affect revenue. The good news is that LevelEleven and the Focus Box can help! Visible directly inside Salesforce, LevelEleven’s Focus Box is specifically there to help remind even the most experienced salespeople where they should spend their time. It provides increased visibility as to what goals they should be trying to reach, and real-time data on how close they are to achieving their goals. This feature keeps employees Engaged while also keeping the sales managers in the loop as well. The Manager Scorecard empowers sales leaders by providing a quick view of their entire team and how they are performing against their goals. This allows for real-time course correction as soon as the sales manager sees that their team is getting off track.
3. Make Individuals Aware of the Entire Sales Team’s Performance
Nothing promotes high performance and action like a little bit of healthy competition. In fact, the top two sales motivators (beyond compensation) are competition and recognition, so why not use your data to fuel the action you want your team to focus on? Channel11 allows real-time sales performance data to be broadcasted throughout the office, keeping everyone in the loop. This builds a culture of accountability and recognition by comparing scorecard metrics of individuals and creating leaderboards which allow data to be easily digested and turned to actions.
4. Easily Compare Past & Present Data to Stay on Track with Goals
The best insights into a company’s performance is a mix of subjective and objective feedback. Not only does LevelEleven’s platform allow for the collection of real-time data, it also empowers sales leaders to look back on data for the current period, last period, the last 4 periods, and year-to-date. Comparing historical data with more recent activities can expose which sales behaviors are working and which ones are not. This allows managers to course correct when needed, informing them if they should re-adopt old practices that produced results or discontinue recent, ineffective sales tactics. As Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics said, “Data is one of the most powerful mechanisms for telling stories.” These stories can be used to measure performance against goals, fuel meaningful coaching sessions, and ensure that a company is growing. Find out how Everbridge saw a 40% increase in activity using a structured coaching workflow.
5. Measure Employee Performance From Day One & Onboard Faster
Employees are one of a company’s most important resources, they are extremely valuable. Great employees are hard to come by, take time to train, and usually have some sort of adjustment period. With LevelEleven, new employees can begin using our platform on the very first day on the job. Sales managers can set alternate goals for new hires, allowing the onboarding to occur smoothly by showing the new employee exactly which activities they should be focused on. Goals can also be adjusted during the training period to help set more realistic expectations and training timelines. Sales Managers can use this tool to make sure that their new hires are meeting performance expectations, and take action to change any undesirable behavior. With LevelEleven, TZA was able to cut their onboarding times by 50%, getting new employees to their most productive state faster.
Data, according to many business leaders, makes the world go round. In a sales environment, being able to have relevant data right at your fingertips is very important. Here at LevelEleven, we help sales teams not only collect all important data in one, convenient place inside Salesforce but we make it easy to take action and see results quickly. Begin taking action with your data today and learn more about LevelEleven’s Motivate, Engage, and Coach features!
TZA Increased Their Sales Revenue by
Over 150% with LevelEleven!
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Parbs, Inside Sales Manager at TZA, to talk with him about the success his sales team experienced after implementing LevelEleven. TZA, a leader in Supply Chain Management Systems, relies on LevelEleven’s Coach and Motivate solutions to guide their Sales Team to success with onboarding, coaching, and defined career paths. During our time together, Tom shared how LevelEleven helps improve team performance and supports the organization’s overall success.
Accelerating the Onboarding Process
When Tom joined TZA, the implementation of LevelEleven was in its final stages. Tom quickly recognized the value of LevelEleven as he began building out his team of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and began using the onboarding feature to grow his team to 7 SDRs. Tom largely credits his onboarding success to LevelEleven’s platform, “Not only does it help set expectations, it also lets us know if someone is not ramping fast enough. We are then able to create an action plan to get them where they need to be.” He mentioned the effectiveness of getting new employees into the system on their first day which allows him to set their onboarding expectations week by week. Parbs commented, “I have been able to onboard, train, and ramp up new hires to be fully capable and producing within 1.5-2 months versus the 4-6 months, or longer, that it used to take.” Setting weekly goals from the very beginning of the onboarding process allows Tom to decide if their skill level coming in is above or below the curve and make suggestions and adjustments accordingly.
Establishing Metrics to Measure Success
Tom uses three primary metrics to monitor the success of his SDRs. The number of dials, the number of booked meetings, and the number of completed meetings – referred to as “sits”. These metrics are measured on a weekly and monthly basis. According to Tom, their sits increased 186% in the 10 months after implementing LevelEleven from the previous 18 months combined. In the same time period, This has also helped TZA increase their sales revenue by over 150%! TZA also uses their primary metrics as benchmarks for their career path program. For example, when 40 of an SDR’s sits have occured with potential clients, they’ve completed one of the requirements to advance along their career path. According to Tom, using achievement of TZA’s primary metrics as a way for his SDRs to advance their careers is a great motivator for his employees. “We use metrics in this way to give employees the ability to take their destiny into their own hands and accelerate it as much as they want, it empowers them,” added Tom.
Using Gamification to Encourage Results
TZA’s Sales Development Team leverages LevelEleven’s Motivate solution in a variety of ways including, real-time leaderboards, live TV broadcasts, achievement alerts, and sales contests to help boost productivity, track results and provide recognition. Tom put together a few creative contests to encourage his team to achieve their goals and create a healthy environment of competition and success. Tom tries to run a contest once a month to help his team stay productive, and most importantly have fun. “Using LevelEleven to display real-time contest alerts and updates on TV screens in the office keeps the team engaged and excited,” said Tom. He talked to us about some of his most successful contests and how they motivate his sales team.
TZA Poker Showdown
The SDRs were given a playing card for each qualified demo they booked, and each sit that was completed from the demo they scheduled. Employees needed 5 cards to be able to play, and whoever had the best hand at the end of the month won. Not only was this creative, it included a $200 prize which further boosted the competitive nature of his sales team.
Mario Kart Reimagined
In this contest, every employee starts with three balloons tied to their desk. When SDRs booked a qualified demo, they could choose to either steal a balloon from a co-worker or pop a coworker’s balloon. Each balloon contained a piece of paper with a dollar amount. If they chose to pop a coworker’s balloon, they got that dollar amount. If an SDR lost all of their balloons, they were out and could not re-enter the contest. At the end of the month, the last SDR remaining won the remaining cash prizes.
The Bottom Line
When asked if he would recommend LevelEleven, Tom said that he really can’t imagine doing his job without it. He claims that “To be an effective leader, I need to be able to manage my time effectively. Not only does LevelEleven make tracking my team’s goals easier, it helps with onboarding and keeping the sales team motivated.” Being a sales leader is not easy, but leveraging LevelEleven’s sales management system is helping sales teams focus on the right behaviors that lead to more sales, ultimately driving the company’s success.
Inside Sales Manager at TZA
To learn more about LevelEleven’s Motivate and Coach Features, visit our Product Tour Page.
Contests help to focus the efforts of an entire team around a common goal. However, that goal can vary from team-to-team and business-to-business. As situations evolve, business leaders need to know how to align their internal contests to meet the present needs of their organization, while still making it fun and engaging!
Here are five examples of specific business needs, and contest that can address them:
Scenario #1: Your Sales Team Isn’t on Track to Meet Your Q2 Quota
Sales managers know, not hitting quota is a big deal, and anything you can do to meet or surpass that all-powerful number is priority No. 1. If you’re in the final month of Q2 and worried you might not hit that mark, a sales contest could be the ultimate cure.
Create a contest for your sales team focused strictly on closing deals to hyper-focus their attention on that all-important number. However much time is left in the quarter, make sure the contest lasts up until the very last day to give your team the best shot at meeting their goal. Also, consider allocating a bit more budget to this contest, due to its importance. Since Q2 carries your team into summertime, consider a small summer getaway for the winner, or some well-deserved PTO hours.
Scenario #2: You’re on Track to Meet Your Yearly Sales Quota, So Your Team Gets Complacent
Success doesn’t come without its challenges, as being on top can create a sense of complacency. While you don’t typically need to coach a team that just made you look like a rockstar, if opportunities to close deals are being missed this needs to be addressed.
End-of-year budget surpluses present a prime opportunity to remind your clients how well your solution has worked this year and that they will need more licenses or product next year. Also, consider revolving the contest’s incentive around the holidays (e.g., a yearly Ski Pass or PTO). With the right contest structure, you can get the most out of your sales team to close the year while other companies are snoozing from too much holiday turkey.
Scenario #3: Your Company Needs More Customer Reviews
In today’s digital age, customer reviews are playing an even larger role in the purchasing process for many buyers. In fact, approximately 90 percent of people look to online reviews to influence their buying decisions. So if your company doesn’t have enough online reviews — whether they live on iTunes, Yelp or the Salesforce AppExchange — you aren’t likely to win as much business. 
Luckily, it’s likely that many of your customer service reps and account executives already have plenty of opportunities to get reviews, they just forget to ask for them. To address this, create a contest that reminds them to request them by attributing points for every new review. Advise whichever teams you want to involve — sales, customer success and tech support are likely candidates — on the best practices for quickly and respectfully requesting reviews from customers. Then, pick a universally desired prize, like an Amazon gift card, to motivate what matters!
Scenario #4: Salesforce Accounts are Missing Key Data (‘Salesforce Hygiene’)
From time to time some of your Salesforce data might start to look incomplete or mismanaged. While a few missed fields aren’t a matter of life or death, this problem can cause companywide disorganization and misinformation when it becomes the norm.
To refocus your team on your “Salesforce Hygiene,” create a contest that focuses every team on cleaning up their accounts, awarding them points for each data field or account they update. Also, if you want to get creative with the prize and theme for this contest, you can award the winner a free car wash for “cleaning the most accounts.” Not only will this immediately clean up your entire org and ensure it never gets too sloppy, but it will also reinforce the importance of keeping a thorough and error-proof routine.
Scenario #5: Your Sales Reps Are Not Hitting their KPI Goals
When your sales reps aren’t hitting their goals for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), it will ultimately affect your entire business’ success. So if your KPIs are trending downward, it could be that your sales team needs some added motivation to boost morale around what may sometimes seem like an onerous task.
KPIs tend to vary by organization and team. Some teams may care about the number of dials a rep makes every day. Other organizations may care about the number of new opportunities created in a given week or pipeline that will close in the next two months. Whatever your KPIs are, as a Sales Leader it is your responsibility to make sure you’re driving the right behaviors to achieve your desired outcomes.
To address this issue, create a sales contest that focuses on the KPI that your team is behind on and award points as the relevant items are updated in your CRM. Pick a prize that will generate excitement, like an extra day of PTO or an iPhone X. Also, consider the contest structure, as you can make it a two-team exercise (best for comradery) or every man for himself affair (best for rewarding top performers). In addition to improving your KPIs, this contest will give you a chance to observe who is struggling in this department and coach them accordingly.
Q & A with Derek Wong, Geopointe Sales Development Supervisor
Many modern sales teams are implementing a Sales Management System that integrates with their CRM in order to motivate, engage, and coach their teams around the behaviors that support their business goals. After implementing this type of solution, companies typically see a significant increase in their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). For example, Geopointe implemented LevelEleven this past winter. Since then they’ve increased their calls per month by 25 percent, brought in 73 more live connects per month and increased monthly sales opportunities from 94 percent to 107 percent to goal.
To learn more about Geopointe’s experience and the results they saw from using a Sales Management System, we caught up with Geopointe Sales Development Supervisor, Derek Wong. Here’s what he had to say about his team’s first six months with LevelEleven, and the corresponding results they achieved:
Q: How Were the Implementation and Adoption Processes?
A: I had a lot of questions during the implementation and LevelEleven’s CSM team was able to answer all of my questions right away. They showed me how to create contests, how to set goals for the Sales Development (SDR) team, and how to group teams since we have different levels of SDRs. In one quick 15-minute call they were able to walk me through all of that and give me a firm understanding of the basics of the platform. This gave me the tools to help motivate, engage and coach my team around the behaviors that drive results for our company.
Q: What Initially Excited You Most About LevelEleven?
A: As a sales manager, the Sales Contests excited me the most. We’re in sales and salespeople like incentives. For example, this month we’re having a contest revolved around new opportunities created for an Account Executive). At the end of the month, the SDR with the highest number of flips gets a $50 gift card of their choice. We just started the contest a few days ago, and we’ve already had 30 flips. That is a 50% increase over what we were doing this time last year.
Q: How Has LevelEleven Helped Your Team Focus on Key Sales Behaviors?
A: We make it clear to our SDRs that we want them to find and create new opportunities because that’s the most important thing for our sales team. But Molly [Geopointe’s Sales Development Coordinator] and I have also been increasing their focus and awareness of leading indicators, such as importing leads and making calls, because that is what they have control over and that’s why LevelEleven is so valuable. It helps every team member realize that they’re in control of their own destiny and they now have the tools needed to achieve their goals.
Q: What are the KPIs for Geopointe SDR Team?
A: We measure 3 KPIs for the SDR team: sales opportunities created, daily lead imports, and daily sales calls. SDRs are expected to import 25 leads a day and make 50 calls a day. By measuring the leading indicators of imports and calls, each SDR should have enough connected calls to bring in 20 sales opportunities a month. With the implementation of a Sales Management System like LevelEleven, we were able to improve our monthly sales opportunities from 94 percent to 107 percent to goal. Our Account Executives have taken notice and really appreciates the increased pipeline that we are generating for the business.
Q: How Has LevelEleven Helped You Visualize Your Team’s Progress?
A: We previously used Salesforce dashboards to keep track of our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), but now with LevelEleven, we see everything in one profile without having to look at multiple dashboards. Now I can compare multiple KPIs side-by-side in one window, rather than having a window open for each metric. Most people don’t have enough computer screens to do that, or enough time, for that matter.
In addition, we found that reports and dashboards often lacked context for individual team members to know how they were performing against their goals and what they needed to do to get back on track if they were behind. LevelEleven solves this problem so our team can make course corrections in real-time and not wait until the end of the month, week, or quarter to make adjustments.
Q: How Has LevelEleven Helped You as a Sales Coach?
A: Having a Sales Management System with real-time Scorecards with all of our KPIs readily available allows me to be a more agile sales coach. Whether I’m preparing for a formal coaching session with a struggling team member or just having a casual catch-up conversation at lunch or in the hallway, I can immediately see where that team member stands relative to their goals and provide feedback and advice as needed. That type of flexibility is extremely valuable as a sales coach.
With LevelEleven’s Coaching solution, we are also able to log those conversations and action items directly in our CRM so that we can reference them in the future. It really helps bring structure and context to our coaching discussions.
Q: How Has Geopointe’s SDR Team Used LevelEleven to Improve their Process?
A: The great thing about a Sales Management System like LevelEleven is that every SDR can easily keep track of themselves to improve their performance in real time. They can also ask me for help when they are not hitting their goals.
For example, an SDR may come to me and say,”Hey, I’m meeting my activity goals, but my connects are down. How do you think I should approach it?” That’s when I can step in and give them more granular advice, like to switch up their call times to increase their success rates. That type of feedback helps my team fine-tune their craft and earn more money, which in turn helps our company build pipeline and scale.
Q: Can You Give an Example of a Time You Successfully Coached Someone on Your Team with LevelEleven?
A: One of our SDRs was new to outbound sales, which requires that you focus on two primary behaviors: importing leads and making calls. Initially, he was struggling a little bit with managing his day. We looked at his LevelEleven Scorecard it turned out that he was not importing enough new leads into his cadence. It wasn’t that he wasn’t doing his job well, he just wasn’t efficiently importing leads because it was a new process for him.
Once we had identified the issue, we sat down and figured out how he could build a process that allowed him to import as many leads as possible in a two-hour window. From there, we saw a bump in the number of leads he was touching each day which allowed him to fill up his pipeline and hit his call numbers. Now, he’s consistently making 40 to 50 calls a day and hitting his weekly goal for new opportunities created. In fact, he already hit his new opportunities goal for this week with a day to spare.
Q: How Has LevelEleven Added Value to Your Team’s Day-to-Day Process?
A: Because everyone can see Channel11 (LevelEleven’s TV Broadcast) around the office or on their laptop, we are always aware of what contests we’re running and how the SDR team is progressing. That’s pretty cool because they’re able to get recognition when they have a big day or week. On the flip side, it also helps senior management quickly see how the entire team is progressing, which frees up time for them and us.
Q: How Has the SDR Team Used LevelEleven Boost Morale?
A: Every metric has a goal and every goal can have its own custom celebration that our SDRs can personalize. Whether that’s a theme song or a YouTube video, it comes on LevelEleven for everybody to see. For example, yesterday one of our reps hit his goal for new opportunities with two days left in the week, and everybody saw it and congratulated him afterward. That type of recognition really helps to build a culture of performance that centers around healthy competition within our team.
Ready to learn more about LevelEleven’s Sales Management System? Follow the link below to take a product tour!
Despite a recent run of bad publicity, Facebook still saw it’s monthly active users (MAUs) reach 2.2 billion in Q1 of 2018. What’s more, according to a 2017 report by HubSpot, salespeople have more success connecting with prospects on Facebook than on LinkedIn. All this considered, it’s important for you as a salesperson to establish a Facebook presence. But knowing where to start and how to stand out can be tricky. 
If you’re a salesperson looking to establish a social selling strategy for Facebook, here are the best practices for success:
Clean Up Your Profile Page
Create a cover image with optimal sizing (820 x 312 px) Select a profile image with optimal sizing (180 x 180 px)  Update your “About Me” section Remove old unprofessional images from your timeline
Your profile page is the first thing new prospects will look at before they accept a friend request or respond to a message you send them. So, make sure you select an image that is equal parts personable and professional. Choose an appealing cover photo with a high-resolution image that speaks to your personality. Lastly, update your “About Me” section to include your current company, title and contact information, so they know who you are and how to get ahold of you.
Share Quality Content
Share content that offers value to your audience Balance your posts with videos, images and links Use optimal sizing for post images (1,200 x 630 px)  Use optimal character count (40 to 80 characters) 
Look, there’s a ton of content out there, and in order to pull in prospects you need to truly differentiate yourself. After all, plenty of other salespeople just click “share” and call it a day, and you want to separate yourself from them, right? To start, use the image and character specifications listed in the “Best Practices” above. Within those parameters, share a variety of different content (e.g., videos, images and links) to pull in people with different interests, learning styles and attention spans. Lastly, always add a short but sweet message with the content you share. Even if it’s a three-word message accompanied by an emoji, it’s more personal when you share your two cents.
Join Topical Facebook Groups & Events
Find new local networking events Join relevant groups to find leads Join relevant groups to find & share advice Post valuable content inside groups and events
Facebook groups and events are a haven for connecting with new contacts specific to your target audience. For instance, if you’re selling a nutritional supplement, you can quickly search for groups and events that contain key industry buzzwords, like “nutrition,” “weight loss” or “abs.” Once you identify those groups, the key to leveraging them is to share relevant and valuable posts that bring people to your website or compel them to learn more about you and your company. But don’t be too forceful or salesy, as the moderators for Facebook groups and events will likely give you the boot.
Engage with Community Content
“Share” content from relevant brands “Like” posts in groups with potential leads Leave comments with valuable information
Whether you’re replying to a comment on a post from a business or a friend, Facebook offers you a wide-range of opportunities to build relationships chatting with others. So, if you recently acquired a new friend from a group you’re in that you view as a potential customer, a simple comment reinforcing their ideas or providing them with valuable feedback may help further their trust in you and your product. Also, there’s loads of valuable content shared on Facebook, so don’t be afraid to share it to reach new people.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Select the “Limit Past Posts” option Adjust so you can review everything you’re tagged in Allow people to search for you with your email address
The good news about the recent scandals surrounding Facebook’s data privacy is that they’re making a concerted effort to provide you with an abundance of privacy customizations. Select the “Limit Past Posts” option so that posts on your timeline that were previously shared with friends of friends, and publicly will now be shared only with friends. Then, select the option to “Review all of your posts” to ensure that no undesirable posts you’re tagged in show up on your page. Lastly, allow people to search for you using your email address, so prospects that want to connect can easily find you.
Want to learn to master other social media networks? Click the buttons below to read our guide to the best practices for Twitter and LinkedIn!
By Stephen J. Molen, Viewpoint Senior Vice President of Sales
When LevelEleven reached out to me to ask me to present my ideas and advice during their How to Build & Manage a Successful SDR Team webinar, I thought it was an exciting opportunity. However, I was unsure if I could fit all I wanted to say on the subject within a 30-minute window. After all, between hiring great talent, establishing effective messaging, developing compensation to drive behavior and creating a result driven culture, there were so many directions I could take it. So, I shifted gears and focused on something near and dear to my core beliefs – shaping demand.
Whether your company is in a traditional industry with long-term competition or an innovative startup your salespeople need to know how to educate buyers. After all, according to the Corporate Executive Board, most buyers are about 57 percent through the buying process when they contact a sales person. So, if you want to build a strong flywheel that meets monthly and quarterly targets, this is the first and primary issue you have to solve.
If a buyer is more than halfway through the buying process, it’s likely that they’ve had discussions with multiple competitors who have offered insights on how their solution can solve a critical pain point for the customer. So, to counter the competition, your sales team needs to focus on re-educating buyers to separate your product from the competition and showcase the added value and support that only your company can provide. The more tangible the better!
Reshaping the mindset of your buyer is a tough task that requires strong sales skills, exceptional fundamentals and a deeper understanding of what the customer is trying to achieve. In other words, you need to get to the “why,” which requires more meaningful conversations.
Another way to win more is to engage prospects when they’re still in the education phase of their evaluation process. Luckily, with modern businesses having increased visibility into critical digital engagement metrics (e.g., downloads, webinar registrants and social media engagement) it’s easier to connect with prospects during the research stage. But, those tools are only as useful as the team’s leveraging them, so be sure to instruct your SDRs to utilize those metrics to engage early and often.
Here are five essential tips to help your SDR team drive change and shape demand:
1. Engage Early & Often: Ensure your company’s web content is geared toward education. Provide your SDRs with content that helps them further the education process with prospects, versus product feature content. For example, white papers, infographics and case studies.
2. Prepare Your Sellers: SDRs that are not aligned with sales is the biggest momentum killer. Leads don’t come on a silver platter, and your SDRs need to adapt to the prospect, not the other way around. The prospect typically has a clear timeline, intent and budget allocated. Train your SDRs to expect this and ask the right questions so that the handoff to the seller is smooth.
3. Develop Tools: Your SDRs need to understand the stage each buyer is in and have the tools to address each stage accordingly. Provide your SDRs with tools to either help the buyer take a step back or get further education, depending on their stage of the buying journey.
4. Establish Metrics: Any successful sales & SDR team should have clear metrics-based performance and Key Performance Indicators. We use LevelEleven to create visibility and motivation.Here are a few examples:
■ Activities: Includes attempts and connections
■ Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): Number of handoffs booked by SDR
■ Sales Accepted Leads (SAL): Number of initial meetings into the pipeline
■ Pipeline Created: Dollar and units of opportunities
5. Monitor Results: By tracking win rates based on their stage in the pipeline, accepted leads that turn into bookings provide key insights into what is working and where your SDR team needs to improve. For example, if 80 percent of SQLs are being accepted that shows you that your SDRs are probably not qualifying enough leads, while 10 percent of SQLs being accepted means they’re likely qualifying too much.
Want to learn how LevelEleven can help you lead a successful SDR team? Follow the link below to download our free e-book!