This blog is part of a series focused on Sales Enablement, a modern business solution designed to help sales and marketing teams sell more effectively using information, content, and tools. Each blog will focus on a topic in the technology space that can help sales and marketing become more efficient.
Are you happy with the sales your team closed last week? Here’s one methodology that can improve the sales process for the entire team.
It’s safe to say that most sales teams miss the one thing that will help them increase their close ratios: the pursuit retrospective. This crucial part of the sales process helps teams understand exactly why some customers buy — and others don’t. Here’s how pursuit retrospectives can help struggling sales teams improve their chances of closing the deal.
What is a pursuit retrospective?
The fastest way to improve future sales success is to analyze past behavior. Most organizations and sales teams don’t have a methodical process for understanding the steps that led to a won or lost sale. Sales teams often have processes that are individualized, random, and informal. They rarely have a systematized series of repeatable steps that have been proven to increase their close ratios.
Sales teams that systematically review the steps leading to the end of the sales process (whether the deal was lost or won) can engage in a process of continuous improvement called a pursuit retrospective. These tools allow sales teams the perspective that comes from reviewing what went well and what could be improved for the next go-round.
Ultimately, the pursuit retrospective yields a more methodical, practiced process that allows for predictability, consistency, and sound forecasting. The ultimate benefit is an increase in closed deals.
Agile methodology and pursuit retrospectives
Project management professionals commonly use Agile and Scrum methodology for software development. But all kinds of teams use these tools to organize large projects to be more efficient.
A retrospective is a part of Scrum. It’s a process improvement tool that provides a candid look at the work accomplished, with the goal of becoming more efficient.
Sales teams can use these frameworks to review prospecting and sales activity. Sales can be chaotic and inconsistent. The pursuit retrospective uses Scrum and Agile methodology to define process bottlenecks and impediments to selling. Then the impediments are prioritized to systematically implement solutions to improve sales.
Without a pursuit review process, you will repeat the same mistakes without change. A pursuit retrospective can make selling a more predictable and controllable process. It helps sales teams:
- Analyze a closed pursuit to determine what worked and what didn’t
- Keep the process as simple and action-oriented as possible
- Avoid the blame game in favor of performance improvement
- Determine what changes to make going forward
There are many formats or methods for performing retrospectives, but the main objective is to drive change and improvement, unite the team, and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.
How technology can help
Building a formal plan to navigate pursuit retrospectives is a good start, but ensuring that your sales team uses it consistently requires technology. Many content management systems are good at housing information, but what about distributing, sharing, and finding it?
Ikaun helps sales teams succeed by serving as the hub for critical information such as pursuits, people, and prospect and client profiles. The product allows users to leverage their organization’s past experience and collective knowledge to push the deal along faster, and close more often. Rich profiles include the expertise, client engagement history, past pursuits, assets and employee skills necessary to add value to a sales pursuit. This data can be sorted using custom filters, or you can simply search with IKA, ikaun’s AI-powered assistant.
Ikaun is more than just a content warehouse. IKA uses natural language processing in an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered search process to find and distribute information to users in the natural way they speak.
Ikaun also makes it easy for sales teams to distribute knowledge internally and externally. Share standardized processes and procedures, winning assets, past proposals, and more with the click of a button.
Sharing with a prospect? Just pick the content and assets you want to include on a custom branded page for your client and send them a link, or export it to PowerPoint.
Educating your sales team? Kick off a Knowledge Campaign, otherwise known as an internal marketing campaign, and include recent news, marketing assets, client information, and more. Send to specific user groups at a cadence you choose and gain actionable analytics around who engaged with your content.
Ultimately, ikaun makes it easy to continuously educate your team and engage prospective clients. These tools give sellers the information they need to create a consistent buyer experience. A critical component of this experience for sales teams is the pursuit retrospective, ensuring no opportunity to learn and improve slips through the cracks.
Ikaun was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.
Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.
Ikaun’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your ikaun environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.
Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.
Leverage experience already unified in your ikaun platform to create beautiful on-brand proposals and pitches in minutes.
Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.
Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.