Performance Management

Best practices for boosting sales team performance, managing pipeline, and getting the most out of your sales tech stack.

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Can we set and track sales goals within the software?

Your sales goals are unique to your organization, so you want to track them the way your business works. But even more than that, you want to know what leading indicators identify deals that are at risk or are doing well so you know whether you will hit your overall goals. SetSail makes that possible by identifying which metrics and milestones matter most to your organization. Then it lets you select these goals for monitoring, if you want to use our dashboards. Even if you don't want to use a dashboard, SetSail will automatically push insights to your teams via email and Slack based on the goals that matter to you. Our AI will identify when deals are getting risky and goals are getting tough to meet so you can fix problems in your deals fast, and keep selling.

What level of visibility does the software provide into the sales pipeline?

SetSail provides instant access to insights about your sales pipeline and lets you dive as deep as you want to get the intelligence you need about your deals and accounts. How? SetSail AI gathers all activities that are happening on your deals and identifies where there are risks and opportunities for advancing deals. Users can get MEDDICC analysis that includes all relevant information about your deals simply by asking. Not one-off call summaries, but complete deal analysis. Users can even follow-up to get recommendations on the next best action to move their deals forward. Plus, SetSail will push deal analysis to users where they work -- in email or Slack. So there's no need to hope that your sales team will go into yet another user interface.

Can we track the progress of deals through various stages?

SetSail does more than just track the progress of deals through their various stages. SetSail can analyze your deals to identify which milestones truly matter by correlating deal progress with sales activities and with whom they are being executed. SetSail can push alerts to sellers via Slack and email whenever a deal is stuck in its progress, including recommendations for what to do next to get the deal unstuck. Now, sellers get more than just reports on their deals, they get a 24/7 revenue analyst that can help them spot risks in their deals and address those risks so they can keep deals moving to close.

Can teams share insights and updates within the platform?

Too often sellers don't know what's happening across their various deals. That's particularly the case for enterprise deals or deals with lots of participants -- from the sales side, like sales engineers, SDRs, and more or from the buyer side with lots of decision makers. SetSail captures and centralizes activity from every email, calendar, and call transcript. It makes that data accessible in your sales CRM but also via our AI analyst. The AI platform enables users to ask any question about their deals and accounts and get insights pushed directly to them via email or Slack. That real-time access to insights about deal health and status -- without needing to engage sales operations -- means that sales teams are always synchronized and can better execute on their deals.

How does the software facilitate collaboration among sales team members?

SetSail supports collaboration across sales teams in a few ways. First, it helps sellers to be more efficient by taking the burden of tracking their activities and inputting data into Salesforce off of their plate. They get more time back to collaborate and sell. Second, it identifies which sales behaviors are best practices, so sales leaders can encourage the replication of the right sales activities across their teams. Third, sellers can ask questions about their deals and other accounts and get deep intelligence about what's going on in their deals. Even when there's a large deal team with sales engineers and more, sellers can use SetSail AI to ask questions about their deals and get deep insight into what's going on. The result is greater collaboration and coordination across sales teams.

How do we use Tableau, Looker, or another analytics / Business Intelligence tool with our sales data?

Teams often have their own data analysis tools in place, but they need high-quality, well-organized data to conduct meaningful analysis of their sales activities. SetSail gathers data from virtually any sales activity across all of your revenue teams. It then populates that data into your preferred data lake or Salesforce. The consistent and accurate syncing of data that SetSail provides allows your instance of Tableau, Looker, or other BI tool to make the most of analyzing your data. Plus, SetSail offers an AI-powered revenue analyst that gives users instant access to insights into the data. There's no need to wait for an analyst to configure a report. Users get the answers they need about which deals are at risk, how sales performance is shaping up, and what to do to win more deals -- all with a simple question to the SetSail AI platform.

How does the system support goal alignment with overall business objectives?

One of the major challenges with getting sales teams aligned on goals is that you need to measure the things that truly matter. Generic metrics that don't actually affect deal health are a drag on resources and demotivating for teams. SetSail helps by identifying which metrics are correlated with successful sales. Users then have instant access to how well they and their teams are progressing toward these key milestones -- and toward the overarching goals. That means far greater alignment and an increased likelihood of hitting your sales targets.

Are there tools for adjusting forecasts based on changing circumstances?

Forecasting deals shouldn't be static or based on generic data points. It needs to be constantly evolving based on what activities sellers deploy with their prospects. Are the behaviors having an impact and should they be replicated across the team? Are they leading to a deal that is more likely to close. SetSail provides this level of insight and can push that intelligence directly to sales leaders. Leaders and their sales teams can keep a pulse on their deals and quickly course correct to get stalled or failing deals back on track to close.

How accurate is the forecasting feature in predicting future sales based on current activities?

Predicting whether a deal is at risk or will close is a science. And SetSail has data science at its core. Rather than relying on generic data points about deal health, SetSail evaluates what is truly happening in your deals. What have your sales teams communicated? Who did they communicate that information to? What was the persona's response? And more. The result is that SetSail has deep insight into which activities are correlated with sales results. Sellers can probe their accounts and deals to see which deals are at risk and how to move them forward. Plus, SetSail's AI agent can even push alerts about deal health and risk to reps where they work -- in email and Slack. The result is not only a more accurate forecast, but a HIGHER forecast because reps are able to take the steps they need to do to close more deals.

How does the software help in tracking and managing leads and opportunities?

Sellers and sales leaders must be able to track what's happening with their leads and opportunities. Consider what happens when an account is transferred from one rep to another, or a leader wants to guide one of their sellers. If they don't have the latest intelligence about what's been communicated to the account (via email, meeting, video call, etc.) then they won't be able to support the account or their sales team. By having instant access to all activity data in Salesforce and via the AI powered revenue analyst, sellers are instantly up to speed on what's been happening in their accounts even when there are dozens of players communicating. Users can simply ask SetSail's AI analyst any question and get instant intelligence on what's happening in their deals.

How do we use Snowflake or Databricks to store our sales activity data?

You want to access your sales activity data in your preferred data store. For some organizations, that might be in Salesforce. For others, it's in a data lake like Snowflake or Databricks. SetSail makes it easy to manage your sales data where you want. We collect and orchestrate your sales data from across your entire go to market stack. Every email, calendar, call transcript, and more. That sales data can be easily synced to Snowflake or Databricks and organized in the way that makes sense for your data architecture - accurately, completely, and in an automated fashion that ensures consistent data collection.

What key performance indicators (KPIs) should I track for my sales team?

Traditional metrics to track include conversion rates, sales cycle length, and customer acquisition cost. Rep activity metrics like the number of calls, emails, or meetings are also typically tracked, as is quota attainment. 

These are important to keep an eye on, but leading indicators are just as valuable to look at — if not more so. For instance, you might want to track multi-threaded deals, meetings completed with ICP, Director+ contacts, and pricing discussions. Tracking these KPIs may yield better results.

What is the best way to onboard new sales reps?

A successful rep onboarding is critical in setting them up for success. It’s easier said than done, but there are certain best practices that can make the process smoother and more effective for all parties.

For instance, we recommend having a detailed and structured onboarding program that involves welcome materials, introductory content to the sales process and product, and access to the necessary tools as soon as possible. Then, a welcome orientation should introduce them to the team and cover the company’s mission, vision, and value.

Trainings come next. They should meet with the Product and Marketing teams for deep dives on product functionality and personas. They should also get in-depth trainings on the sales process and your tech stack, and that should be supplemented by role-specific training. 

But, it’s important not to get bogged down in training. Get them doing mock pitches and demos as soon as possible. Start them on a mentorship program. Get them listening to calls and sitting in on meetings. Provide clear performance expectations. Set a cadence for continuous feedback, coaching, and evaluation. And remember to celebrate milestones as they continue to ramp.

How can I motivate my sales team?

Common strategies for motivating your sales team include training and development, recognition and appreciation, incentives and rewards, and career planning and growth.

We recommend investing in ongoing skills training as well as intermittent conferences, workshops, or other learning opportunities. For recognition, celebrating achievements both privately and publicly goes a long way. In terms of incentives, commission structures should be competitive, and other performance-based bonuses can help keep morale high. Finally, every rep should have a clearly defined career path that includes mentorship and coaching to help them reach their goals.

How do I handle underperforming sales reps?

Start by pinpointing the reasons for underperformance. Is it a lack of skill, will, or something else? Then, open a line of dialogue, allowing the rep to express their concerns and challenges. Offer support and resources, and if necessary, set a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP should outline clear goals, timelines, and measurable objectives. You should then have regular check-ins to track progress against the goals and offer feedback and guidance. Provide positive reinforcement throughout, assess and adjust goals as needed, and if necessary, consider alternative roles in the organization. Keep careful documentation of every, and be prepared for tough decisions if the sales rep doesn’t meet expectations and a termination is necessary.

How can I foster a positive team culture on my sales team?

Building a collaborative and supportive environment, team-building activities, and communication strategies.

Culture is both bottoms-up and top-down. “Bottoms-up” culture comes from the sales reps, but can be influenced by hiring the “right” people and by creating a positive physical environment in terms of lighting, seating, aesthetics, and personalization of workspaces. Note that by “right” people is not about homogeneity. In fact, “culture-fit” should be redefined as “culture add”. That way, you’re thinking about how new hires can contribute to your culture; not how they can blend in. 

“Top-down” culture includes leading by example and being explicit about the values and expectations you have for your team. For instance, you should demonstrate the values and behaviors you want to see in your team, and also communicate the work ethic and commitment you expect.

What is the ideal sales team structure for our orgranization?

There is no such things as the “ideal sales team structure,” but there are some best practices and common strategies. Ultimately, the size and structure of your team depend on your organizational goals and resources.

To start, look for sales leadership (Directors and VPs) to provide overall leadership, set strategic direction and oversee sales operations. Under them, assign sales managers and team leads to manage and support individual sellers. Much of the coaching, guidance, and mentoring takes place at this level. Note that a CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) isn’t always immediately necessary when building out a sales team. Consider waiting for the right time and right person to fill that strategic role.

Depending on your GTM strategy, you might want an Inside Sales team. BDRs/SDRs there focus on prospecting with cold calling and emailing, qualifying leads, and passing them on to AEs.

Outside Sales includes AEs and Fields Sales. They’re responsible for managing and closing deals, often acting as the “lead” in a deal and even spending time on the road to meet clients in person.

Solution Engineers are helpful in more complex sales or more technical products. They can work alongside AEs to develop custom solutions and presentations.

Sales and revenue operations then manage the sales process, analyze data for better decision-making, and ensure the sales team has the necessary tools and resources.

Finally, consider a dedicated sales enablement position to provide the sales team with continuous training, skill development, and collaboration with product and marketing.

What sales methodology should I use?

The right sales methodology depends on a lot of circumstances. Consider your industry, target audience, product, and sales team, and choose the methodology that makes the most sense for you.

Some common ones include SPIN Selling, Challenger, BANT, and MEDDIC/MEDDPICC.

SPIN is great for complex sales that require you to uncover a lot about the customer before making the sale. Challenger is good if you have reps who can guide the customer’s decision-making process. BANT is more straightforward, and primarily helps in prioritizing leads. MEDDIC/MEDDPICC and well-suited for complex B2B sales with lengthy sales cycles. Ultimately, choose what works best for your situation.

What technology tools are essential for managing a sales team?

There are a handful of teams that sales teams of every size need. To start, a CRM is essential. It can manage leads, track interactions, and provide baselines forecasting and reporting. From there, collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom facilitate internal alignment. Lastly, sales engagement tools and sales data tools are needed to scale outbounding, identify leads, and capture activity and intent data.

As sales teams get bigger and their deals get more complex, revenue intelligence tools become necessary. They provide key insights into sales performance that support data-driven decision-making. These tools often use AI to detect insights that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Other less essential but still helpful sales tools include learning management systems (LMSs), specialized forecasting software, and sales chatbots.

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