Three ways to build a predictable revenue machine in an era of economic uncertainty

Paul Sullivan 3 BIAS Landscape - Global Banking | FinanceHow to use sales enablement programs and the latest AI to accelerate your pipeline.

Everyone, everywhere you turn, is feeling the pressure. From financial services, fintech, SaaS and beyond, businesses are hunting for bigger deals that close faster and customers that stay longer and spend more. Frustratingly, sales cycles are getting longer across the board, with start-ups in particular seeing these extend from an average of sixty up to 75 days. According to Gartner, they are also getting more complex: your sales reps have only about 5% of a customer’s time during their buying journey – and they will have to juggle a whopping six to ten involved individuals. With B2B churn levels at a record high, it has never been more vital to build a predictable revenue engine.

Paul Sullivan, Founder at award-winning agency Digital BIAS, believes there are three core tenets you need to build a successful sales machine. “We work with a lot of clients who come to us after having a difficult time hitting their targets. They know something is not working but throwing in more sales people, better sales people and more sales tech is not solving the problem. They also tend to be under the impression that their sales team is the only revenue generator in their business. This is the first challenge you have to tackle.”

Sales, marketing, and customer success are all crucially fundamental to your revenue goals – and alignment of these teams is the first building block to a predictable sales engine. The idea that sales sells, customer success only deals with customers and marketing is there as a lead generator is outdated and does not serve today’s modern buyer and their non-linear journey which requires deep agility and adaptability from revenue teams.

At its most basic, customer success feeds customer challenges, insights and positioning back to sales and marketing; sales add the buyer view and collaborates with marketing who then create sales enablement collateral that supports the buyer and resonates with them along each stage of their journey, from first touch through to customer. This is a constant loop and alignment of teams to holistically serve a customer experience – not a function – is a non-negotiable if you want this strategy to succeed.

Sales enablement is at the heart of your second approach. “We find that companies are in such a rush to get their offering to market, and then get buried by the rolling snowball of business, they overlook a lot of the fundamentals that help them succeed,” says Sullivan. “This includes buyer personas and positioning but particularly sales enablement, which includes all of the knowledge, content and tools your revenue team needs to enable a sale – but also retain customers.” If you do not have sales scripts, battle cards, one-pagers, eBooks, case studies to hand, but also in-depth competitor analysis in relation to your USP(s), a mapped out buying journey with sales tactics for each stage, a unified message and common language across collateral, you’re making your scaling efforts more difficult.

Finally, it is all about creating a highly optimized tech environment which enables team alignment and your sales enablement strategy. This means the right tech, not a lot of tech, one CRM, one source truth so you can get a 360-view of your customer. You must use that CRM and fewer third-party integrations than you currently have (50% of sales tech barely gets touched) to their optimal levels.

Sullivan outlined how his team builds customized, MEDDICC-based playbooks on HubSpot so sales leaders can reduce time spent on admin, increase sales activity, pinpoint weaknesses in rep skill sets so they know where to coach and upskill and only focus on deals with the highest chances of converting. The latest in AI functionality enables actionable intelligence and strategic decision-making based on market forces and adjusted team performance. Deal closure rates and velocity are boosted – but most importantly, it drives predictability in your sales cycle. A recent client saw their 90-day sales cycle decrease to sixty, with a handful of serious opportunities in a new market within two weeks.

In today’s economy, businesses cannot afford to miss out on sales opportunities. There is no time like the present to build a sustainable revenue machine.