Part three in our Q4 sales success series helps you pinpoint major problems that could be hurting sales. Addressing these issues is crucial in order to obtain sales and lead quota before EOY.

The simplest way to detect such issues is to begin asking yourself some hard questions. Discussing the answers in a group setting can also help sales teams get all of their hangups out in the open. With this work out of the way, teams can regroup and develop sales strategies that help them finish off 2015 with a bang.

Question 1: Do I Feel in Control of My Sales Pipeline?

In a joint study by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association, 44 percent of surveyed executives revealed that their organization felt ineffective at managing their sales pipeline. Symptoms of this problem included that more time was spent on administration activities than actual sales, and that the sales cycle was stretched far too long. In fact, 27 percent of sales reps in a CSO Insights study complained that their long sales cycle was the number one barrier to sales success.

Solution: Determine where prospects get jumbled within the sales pipeline, but also look for individual sales reps who are not keeping accurate track of their sales activities and lead progress. Everyone should be on the same page in the way they document and handle each pipeline stage.

Question 2: Are the Goals of Marketing and Sales Aligned?

Marketing should be setting up sales with well-nurtured leads who are educated about your product. Inbound marketing techniques can even bring in leads that are quite interested at the idea of a sale.

If sales teams are not in sync with these programs, they will work at cross-purposes with the work marketing put in. By the same token, if marketing has not aligned their message and content to enable sales success, no amount of savvy sales strategies can compensate.

Solution: Start with a clear picture of the customer experience which will require outlining all marketing and sales interactions that an individual has with your company, on every channel. This mutual insight allows your marketing and sales teams to share a common definition of your ideal customer and create campaigns around common goals — and without mutual insight and common goals, you’ll never be able to align your two teams.

Question 3: Does Every Sales Rep Have the Needed Skills for Sales Success?

No two sales reps are identical, but these variations are not an excuse for sales reps with major shortcomings. Every sales rep should possess the minimum skills to bring leads all the way through the pipeline. Otherwise, their numbers will suffer.

Solution: You will need to identify the needed skills that fit within your set sales strategies. Then, you can measure where each rep falls using sales training metrics.

LearnCore’s sales training product can help identify every rep’s skill attainment level and respond to their unique needs with custom-crafted learning modules you create. Video sales training can also help reps learn from one another to excel in Q4 and hit EOY goals with zeal.

Answering these questions throughout Q4 may be tough, but it is a necessary step in aligning sales strategies so that they can be as effective as possible.
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