How to Maximize Your Sales ROI

Sales Management | Sales Training

Do you wonder why the most successful sales leaders in your organization reach their goals every quarter? They focus on ROI when engaging with customers and prospects.

That means analyzing their book and spending the most time on the prospects and accounts that can yield the greatest Return on Investment (ROI) of their precious selling time.

How can you train your sales team to replicate their methods? It simply comes down to having them review two main factors:

  1. Likelihood of Engagement: Which of your prospects or current accounts are most likely to engage with you?
  2. Revenue Potential: Which of your prospects or accounts have the most potential to spend money on your solution?

An opportunity’s potential return, or expected value, is a function of the total opportunity size multiplied by the probability of engaging. By focusing on these factors, you can prioritize your prospecting and account management time on those accounts and opportunities that offer the highest potential return.

It seems obvious, but often we see salespeople fall into the trap of either:

  1. Hunting whales where the engagement level is poor (low probability of closing.)
  2. Spending time going after minnows that they can catch but won't move the dial to achieve the sales goal (small opportunity size).

Focusing too much on either extreme will reduce your overall sales results as you focus on opportunities with low potential ROI.

Identifying Top Opportunities

It’s relatively easy to find large prospects that meet your basic qualification criteria or Ideal Client Profile (ICP). However, it’s more challenging to objectively assess the likelihood of that target engaging with you.

In my experience, the top sales performers are the ones who make this assessment frequently and objectively. As a result, they don’t waste time on big deals that have a low probability of closing because of poor engagement with key decision-makers.

So, which factors will have the most significant impact on your ability to engage with your key prospects or accounts? Consider these:

  • Quality of your existing relationships within the account, if any.
  • Who else is already in the account, or will you compete with for the business.
  • Decision-maker access. How can you leverage relationships for getting high-quality sales referrals to access key executive decision-makers?
  • Social/network connections. Are you connected to key people in the account that can become coaches and/or provide referrals?

The truth is, you should consider all these factors to some degree when prioritizing your efforts. You should, of course, adjust the relative importance of each factor based on your territory, industry, account size, etc. Based on how you weigh these factors, you should be careful not to over-invest selling time with opportunities where, for whatever reason, your ability to engage is low.

The second factor influencing ROI, revenue potential, is simple math. Is the revenue potential not worth the effort? Or perhaps the opportunity has such high revenue potential that it warrants some level of action even if the likelihood of engagement isn’t as high as you’d like it to be.

Maximizing your selling efforts requires balancing two factors: the likelihood of engagement and revenue potential. High-performing salespeople are disciplined and avoid sales opportunities where either factor is too low.

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About Ray Makela

Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.