Execution and the Art of Selling

CPQ can improve your sales representatives’ close rates.

CPQ can improve your sales representatives’ close rates.

According to the Aberdeen Group, 48% of best-in-class companies turn their quotes into orders, but 38% is industry average.[1] So, what are the main execution differences in best-in-class companies? They reduce time, friction, and red tape to get complex B2B sales closed. Easy to say, but hard to achieve, right?


Now, how can you adjust your selling process for better results? We offer three insights about sales execution and the art of selling that you can act on to improve your sales representatives’ close rates.

  • Reduce inter-departmental disconnection and internal stakeholder iterations.

Best-in-class businesses have 10% fewer iterations of the typical sales proposal or quote process than other companies.[2] They also have 18% fewer internal stakeholders involved in the process.[3] If done correctly, reducing department iterations saves time, decreases proposal errors, and reduces disconnects.

How do you achieve this? Make sure your departments are aligned to begin instead of aligning during the crucial proposal process. Marketing and Sales need to work together to agree on important customer questions, including what’s the target audience/persona and how to approach and deliver brand experience. Sales and Product also need to be on the exact same page, so everybody has real-time updates on product information without having to go through a product Q&A each and every time.

  • Improve responsiveness and deliver timely, relevant content.

Some proposal and quote approvals will still be necessary, but you need to make sure the approval process is as simple, clean, and fast as possible. Your responsiveness and delivery time are crucial to better sales. Responsiveness has a very specific meaning in sales: providing accurate information that answers the customer request or need in the shortest time possible. According to InsideSales, 50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first.”[4] Unfortunately, 47% of companies don’t respond at all, and the average response time is 61 hours.[5]

You need to ensure that you’re tracking how long it takes for your sales representatives to respond to customers overall and how long your proposal and quote process is. Create a goal time, and offer your sales reps the right tools to speed up the process while still delivering accurate and polished quotes.

  • Sell with confidence, intelligence, and preparation.

Information about the “disappearing sales process” is everywhere these days. According to CEB, “57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier.”[6] SiriusDecisions found that “67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.”[7] We encourage you to think critically about what these stats mean because the buyer journey isn’t as dead as a quick look makes it seem. However, changes in the buyer journey have made the sales process more challenging, which is why we recommend preparing for any possibility.

Your B2B prospects ARE coming in better prepared and further down the funnel than in years past. There also take several different routes to get to you, so their journey is more individualized than ever. Your sales representatives can use preparation to overcome the competition. They don’t need to know every possible answer to product questions, configuration possibilities, and discounting requests; they just have to be able to get the answer in seconds. Make sure your sales representatives are well trained, well equipped, and experienced with customer management.

If you want to read more about how you can successfully achieve these three recommendations and improve your company’s sales execution, download the Configure / Price / Quote: Better Faster Sales Deals Enabled Report from Aberdeen. Learn how CPQ specifically helps companies improve process workflow, increase quote and proposal responsiveness, prepare for even the most complex sales lead, and more.


[1] Ostrow P. Configure / Price / Quote: Better, Faster Sales Deals Enabled. Aberdeen Report. http://info.endeavorcpq.com/download-aberdeens-automating-sales-quoting-report

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] July 2014- Research Report: 2014 Lead Response Report. InsideSales. http://www.insidesales.com/resources/research_papers.php

[5] Ibid.

[6] Sell How Your Customers Want to Buy. CEB. https://www.cebglobal.com/exbd/sales-service/challenger/new-decision-timeline/index.page

[7] Heuer M. Three Myths of the “67 Percent” Statistic. SiriusDecisions. http://www.siriusdecisions.com/blog/three-myths-of-the-67-percent-statistic/

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