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How Sales Leaders can Optimize Their Pipelines to Keep Sellers Motivated Amid Disruption

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As businesses close the books on a tumultuous quarter, sales organizations are under increasing pressure to deliver on revenue commitments for the remainder of the year. Marketing and sales teams are scrambling to stay aligned with one another as they reevaluate the sales pipeline — and with their CFOs to ensure accurate forecasts and timely operational changes.

This article will help you to optimize your sales pipelines and to maintain an emphatic connection with your customers amid COVID-19 lockdown.

Shake-Away Obsolete Territory and Quota Assignments

At the same time sales leaders are being tested by their ability to manage morale and motivate sellers who have had deals delayed or canceled and are scrambling to drive relationships with key customers and prospects without in-person meetings or events.

In addition to normal sales channels and strategies being impacted, buyer circumstances have changed for the foreseeable future which in turn affects the sales force, whose territory and quota assignments may have been disrupted or become obsolete.

Market volatility has also created inaccuracies in the revenue forecast, which can cause many negative downstream effects. It can create confusion as to which deals in the pipeline are still viable, allowing bad-fit deals to exist longer than necessary and wasting seller time and resources. Having sellers focused on unwinnable or bad deals will not only dampen morale but make it difficult for sales leaders to calculate accurate projections for future quarters. And, if the forecast is inaccurate, sales teams will be hard-pressed to achieve corporate objectives and meet new revenue goals.

AI and Automation: The Joint Force of Intelligence

During economic uncertainty, a healthy pipeline is paramount to keep sellers motivated to drive revenue and position the organization for recovery. So how can sales leaders secure the revenue line and objectively evaluate the health of their pipeline to ensure sellers are focused on the right prospects?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and third-party insights may be the key.

Today’s level of disruption is unprecedented, meaning sales leaders can no longer rely only on historical data or existing assumptions about buying behaviors to develop accurate sales plans. Instead, artificial intelligence (AI) and third-party data should be leveraged to help sales leaders be more predictive and better identify which deals are still desirable and winnable, and which accounts should receive the most attention. This intelligence will help enrich the data that organizations have internally with predictive, third-party attributes and buying signals, arming salesteams with more robust insights to understand who is still buying, what products they are interested in and when they are likely to buy.

From there, sales leaders can feel better prepared to build an optimal pipeline that will empower sellers, inform marketing efforts, eliminate wasted time and maximize revenue.

Maximize Sales in the Cloud

With the pipeline optimized, sales leaders can further leverage AI and Predictive Insights to make necessary adjustments to the sales plan that will help ensure sellers are challenged and empowered to hit revenue targets.

This includes — calculating the quota attainment, estimating the compensation payouts, realigning territories and determining quota relief as necessary.

With sales teams working remotely, greater visibility will also be crucial to maintain morale and ensure sellers are aligned with the organization’s changing priorities. Leveraging cloud technology can help sales teams create and manage a single source of truth that not only houses data from across the sales organization and the broader business but incorporates real-time external insights. This line of sight will also help sales, finance and marketing leaders stay connected on deals and campaigns that are critical to business continuity and will help ensure decisions from across the organization align with the current go-to-market strategy.

See Opportunity in Every Sales: Think like a Frontline Healthcare Pro

As uncertainty continues, sales leaders will be tested by their ability to quickly assess the health of their pipeline and make real-time decisions to secure short-and long-term revenue sources. Keeping sellers motivated will be crucial to drive productivity and efficiencies critical to the organization’s resiliency amid disruption. By leveraging Predictive Insights, sales leaders can fill their pipelines with realistic, winnable opportunities that improve sales performance, optimize marketing spend and increase morale amongst sellers.

With a healthy pipeline, strong sales and marketing plans, and empowered sellers, sales leaders can help drive the business forward today while setting their organization up to accelerate out of the curve once recovery begins.

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