FLOW STATE

The foundation of sales excellence

While your sales team is unique, the ingredients of an effective sales team are the same for everyone.

Over the years, we’ve seen that successful sales teams have mastered specific key aspects of the sales process. We refer to these skills as the 12 pillars.

By using this framework, we’re able to quickly and consistently identify which areas of your sales organization need attention, and help your teams break through plateaus to reach new heights.

Sales Competency Framework

A Sales Competency Framework provides a common definition of desired skills, mindset, knowledge and practices required to drive high-performance. This will impact a wide range of your talent and content development initiatives including training, coaching, curriculum design and career progression.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

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Sales Talent Assessment

A Sales Talent Assessment allows you to get the right people in the right role. By assessing your candidates’ skills and motivations, you can ensure they’re on the right career path to perform at their best in their current and future roles.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

According to The Recruitment & Employment Confederation, a substandard hire could cost a business up to three times the salary paid.
When factoring in the additional management time and resource investment of running lengthy interview processes, re-allocating accounts, pipeline and ramping up new hires, this figure increases even further. Without the right people in the right roles, high performance becomes almost impossible.

Sales Talent Onboarding

Sales Talent Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee within the company and its culture through a formalised induction programme. This provides new hires with the knowledge, tools and relationships needed to become a productive member of the team.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without the right onboarding programme, a new sales hire will struggle to hit the ground running, damaging their confidence and increasing their ramp time.
As a result, their ability to amass critical knowledge, build meaningful pipeline and deliver successful results greatly decreases.
A suboptimal onboarding experience can mean it takes reps 6-9 months to start contributing to their number, in turn leading to chronic organisational underperformance, damaged staff morale and increased sales costs.

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Sales KPIs & Performance Management

Sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are leading indicators or signposts that help sales reps and their leaders gauge how effective their efforts are.
These metrics enable you to evaluate your team’s performance against your sales and organisational goals and effectively identify, manage and resolve underperformance.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without measuring performance, sales is reduced to a guessing game. It’s vital to be able to identify the right inputs so that you can drive the most successful outcomes.
Without having correctly aligned leading indicators—or relying solely on lagging indicators—you simply can’t optimise or scale what you know is working effectively. This results in poor sales productivity, inefficiency and inconsistent performance and target achievement.

Sales Methodology & Curriculum

Sales Methodology and Curriculum provides the knowledge and content framework to drive ongoing learning, development and best-practice across the sales organisation.
The methodology forms the basis for the way you sell, supported by the curriculum which should be disseminated via multiple formats, programmes and modules to establish a common understanding and standard of excellence. This applies to your sales techniques, value propositions, product/service offerings and case studies, as well as other relevant information on the industry, target buyer personas and their challenges.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without up-to-date, well developed and easily accessible sales training content, knowledge isn’t effectively developed and skill improvement stagnates.
Articulation of the product, solution and its value becomes inconsistent and diluted. When sales reps leave the organisation, their working knowledge is also lost and the business consequently faces significant challenges in transferring this knowledge to other team members.

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Sales Training Delivery

Sales Training improves a sales team’s performance by sharing knowledge, developing new skills and creating a common reference point of what “good” looks like in relation to sales methodologies, techniques, industry, persona and market knowledge.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without regular sales training, organisations find it difficult to transfer knowledge, establish best practices and develop the critical skills needed to achieve consistent results.
Consequently, reps stagnate in their development, underperform against their targets and may struggle to progress in their careers. The resulting business impact can include low or incoherent standards, departmental underperformance, poor staff morale and, ultimately, staff churn.

Sales Coaching Capability

Sales Coaching is a vital role that line managers play in developing their people through embedding newly-learned skills, improving their confidence and helping them achieve mutually agreed performance goals. Sales coaching is best thought of as a behaviour rather than a task, where the focus is on regularly helping team members self-assess and self-discover ways to solve problems, grow and develop positive new sales habits

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without frequent, proactive, effective sales coaching, the time and monetary investment of sales training is quickly lost. Reps inevitably fall back into old habits or form unproductive new ones.
In turn, this can lead to fixed mindsets and an inability to self-identify blind spots or areas for improvement, resulting in a culture of reps needing to be “spoon-fed”. Reps don’t realise their full potential because they’ve failed to hardwire best practices and haven’t learned how to develop problem-solving skills and thought processes. Ultimately, the organisation dips in revenue performance, staff development, retention and progression.

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Sales Management Development

Sales Management Development is the provision of training, coaching, mentorship and guidance to sales line managers. This enables them to learn new skills and methods, but also provides an opportunity to discuss their ideas, plans, problems, ambitions and development needs. As a result, they can enhance the impact they have on their own—and their team’s—performance.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without frequent, proactive, effective sales coaching, the time and monetary investment of sales training is quickly lost. Reps inevitably fall back into old habits or form unproductive new ones.
In turn, this can lead to fixed mindsets and an inability to self-identify blind spots or areas for improvement, resulting in a culture of reps needing to be “spoon-fed”. Reps don’t realise their full potential because they’ve failed to hardwire best practices and haven’t learned how to develop problem-solving skills and thought processes. Ultimately, the organisation dips in revenue performance, staff development, retention and progression.

Deal Qualification & Forecasting

Qualification is the practice of progressively assessing and validating that a buyer and seller are aligned on their understanding, intentions, commitments and processes at any given time throughout the opportunity lifecycle. This increases the chance of a successful transaction.
Sales Forecasting is the method and process of estimating future revenue by predicting the amount of revenue an individual, team, department or company will sell in a given period. Whilst there are many ways that one can forecast, there’s an intrinsic link between how well-qualified opportunities are and the sales forecast accuracy.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

The consequent impact on sales forecasting accuracy creates revenue unpredictability at the rep, management, leadership and, potentially, board level. Making informed decisions on where to allocate future resources becomes far more challenging and potentially damaging to profitability and investment strategy.

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Guided Sales Process

A Guided Sales Process is a set of clearly-defined steps that guide a sales rep through the essential activities required within each stage of the buyer engagement cycle, from initial contact through to contract approval. For both new business and renewal, these guided and repeatable steps allow sales reps to progress opportunities and manage their pipeline according to specified criteria.Sales Forecasting is the method and process of estimating future revenue by predicting the amount of revenue an individual, team, department or company will sell in a given period. Whilst there are many ways that one can forecast, there’s an intrinsic link between how well-qualified opportunities are and the sales forecast accuracy.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Failing to consistently execute the multitude of tasks, commitments and information-gathering activities required within each stage of an opportunity makes it very challenging to effectively progress a deal or know exactly what to do next.
When organisations lack a formalised guided sales process, it often results in key information being missed in deals, opportunities “falling through the cracks” and deals suddenly slowing down or speeding up suddenly. Ultimately, reps lose control of the opportunity and their ability to effectively forecast.

Sales Enablement Technology

Sales Enablement Technology consists of a large and diverse category of software as a service (SaaS) platforms that assist sales teams. This can cover a wide range of activities, such as improving sales productivity, buyer engagement, data management and overall effectiveness in role.
Technologies such as AI and automation have revolutionised certain sales tasks over the past decade, creating major improvements for sales teams in terms of efficiency, analytics and decision-making.

Primary technology categories include:

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without a well-considered sales enablement tech stack in place, it’s challenging to manage customer and opportunity data, extract valuable insight, manage processes, report on performance, automate time-intensive tasks and improve efficiency and productivity.
The volume of manual administration is increased, vital details are missed, data is siloed and best practices aren’t scaled—ultimately resulting in inefficiency, underperformance and revenue loss.

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Sales Enablement Technology

Sales Performance Intelligence provides data and insight into your team’s pipeline, performance, skills development and knowledge adoption—typically via CRM reporting and dashboards along with other learning assessment tools.
This intelligence is critical in understanding and predicting how your sales teams are performing, in order to increase conversions, revenue and behavioural change.Technologies such as AI and automation have revolutionised certain sales tasks over the past decade, creating major improvements for sales teams in terms of efficiency, analytics and decision-making.

Common challenges when this pillar isn’t properly developed

Without the ability to accurately analyse sales performance and customer interactions using the power of data, it’s impossible to fully understand how teams, products and divisions are performing, what underlying trends are at play, where the risks in pipeline are, which skill development areas to prioritise and why customers are being won or lost.
An over-reliance on subjective opinion, conventional wisdom and gut feeling can often result in significant business risk due to the inability to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Discover what sales excellence looks like for you

Want to see the benefits of working with Flow State? Book a discovery call with one of our experts today.
You’ll get a review of your sales team structure, along with suggested next steps to help you overcome your most pressing challenge.

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