In a world of real-time data and the expectation of instant results, sales leaders face a ton of pressure to meet and exceed goals. Fortunately, there are proven best practices to drive consistent sales growth in today’s fast-changing business world. On April 21 at 11am PDT, join Salesforce Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Tiffani Bova on this month’s Series Pass as we welcome Thomas Baumgartner, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, and Maria Valdivieso de Uster, Director of Knowledge at McKinsey & Company. The webcast, titled “Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders,” in partnership with Conga, will put you in a better position to drive growth in today’s market.

Here are several tips to get you started today on improving sales growth.

1. Sell How Your Customers Want You to Sell

Most organizations know they need to meet consumers where consumers spend their time: a variety of digital, social, and out-of-home channels. But selling to customers with a multi-channel strategy requires nuance and complexity that extends beyond the current simplistic approach of many sales organizations. Valdivieso de Uster and Baumgartner write, in research released by McKinsey & Company about Sales Growth, “The successful multichannel leaders we talked to emphasized flexibility—to help customers shift between channels if they wish to provide the experience they want.”

The research points to four important aspects of multichannel management:

  • Blend remote sales and field sales
  • Integrate online and offline
  • Orchestrate direct and indirect channels
  • Bring customer service into the fold

2. Stay One Step Ahead of the Competition

It’s no secret that sales leaders should always look to what’s happening around them in the market, in order to understand trends and the future of their industry. But the best and most successful sales leaders, Baumgartner and Valdivieso de Uster write, are the ones who integrate forward-looking thinking into the sales planning process. As a result, they explain, these leaders are “perfectly poised to capture the opportunities created by sudden changes in the environment.” In order to capture the benefits of forward thinking, sales leaders:

  • Surf the trends: “Tap into the big picture, watching for strategic openings in economic trends or changes in customer sectors and regions.”
  • Invest ahead of demand: “This might mean making a small investment in analytic capabilities or beefing up the number of frontline sales staff ahead of the emerging trend.”
  • Make it a way of life: “Leading sales organizations have a built-in forward perspective and mechanisms to turn insights into action.”

3. Pay More Attention to Presales

The presales team, dedicated to helping qualify, bid, and win deals, is critical to a high-performing sales team. According to the study, “ A high‐performing sales organization should have about two‐thirds of its presales team undertaking technical presales activities (crafting solutions to customers’ problems) and the rest involved with commercial presales activities (managing deal qualification, pricing, and bid).”

Leading sales teams, according to interviews conducted by McKinsey & Company, do two things particularly well:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity, of leads: Use analytics to discover the most profitable deals so you aren’t wasting the time and resources of your sales staff
  • Use expertise appropriately before and during a sale: Giving customers access to readily available presales staff to answer questions ranging from basic to highly technical can make or break a deal.

For more great sales growth tips based on research done with hundreds of executives, tune in to the April 21 Series Pass webcast; you can register here.