How potent are your sales drivers? They could improve the efficacy of your sales force

Considering sales purely as a numbers game often leads to brute-force approaches that are rarely effective.
Alternately, analyzing sales drivers and systematically maximizing their potency results in more sales with less effort. Sales drivers are factors that influence the probability of deal-closure, deal cycle-time, deal profit margin and the post-sale risk of failure.
Examples include a company’s reputation, notable product or service features, a salesperson’s skills and the state of the economy.
Common sales drivers are necessary for the deal to go through, and only the top drivers have the power to take the deal to closure. They are your cannons that blow through the resistance. While easy to list, identifying the top sales-drivers is challenging.
So how potent are they?
You should systematically identify, analyze and relentlessly exploit top sales drivers, and continuously update the list of top drivers. They may change based on the prospect, the product, the market-segment and even vary based on each sales opportunity.
The consistent identification of top drivers, overlooked by your competition, is the key to success in the marketplace.
Consider three examples of top-drivers for complex sales, which require clients to make significant changes in their organizations:
1. Compelling business event If the prospect is not faced with a compelling business event that demands a strong action, the likelihood of closing the deal will be low regardless of the salesperson’s selling skills, product features or prospect interest. By identifying, understanding and addressing compelling business events a salesperson can significantly increase the probability of closing the deal.
2. Executive-level internal champion Deals involving significant change fail unless the salesperson is able to cultivate an executive-level internal champion in the client organization. Organizations need to buy into change at various points and levels. As an outsider, a salesperson is ill-equipped to “work the organization,” and no amount of feature selling or pricing discounts can drive such a deal to closure.
3. Risk elimination Change involves risk, and a prospective buyer’s foremost concern is the risk of failure. It may take significant time and a lot of work for the client to realize value from instituting change, while the risk introduced is often immediate. Therefore, the prospect’s instinct is to maintain status quo. Hence, mitigating risk is a significant driver. Identifying the top sales drivers provides salespeople specific guidance on what is absolutely necessary to close deals.
Each deal/opportunity in the sales pipeline must be closely and continuously monitored to determine whether or not it is harnessing the power of the top drivers. Measuring the opportunities that employ specific top drivers and their success rate provides critical sales intelligence.

Collecting and measuring this data helps validate or invalidate the hypothesis of what comprises the list of top drivers and leads to active evolution of top drivers. Analyzing and exploiting highly potent sales drivers is a proven way to enhance sales productivity.