The average full-time U.S. employee works 47 hours per week, and for most enterprise sales reps and managers, that number is much higher. As resolution season comes to a close, it’s time to hunker down and make those long work hours the most productive they can be. 

2015 is the year savvy sales reps exceed their quota, despite the depressing stat that new deals have only a 30 percent chance of closing. How? They’ll use data to determine which deals are likely to close and what strategies work best. My team and I huddled around to determine the most important factors to increase the likelihood of a deal closing. Here are three New Year’s resolutions sales execs should make to nail their number in 2015:

1. Welcome Your Competitors to the Party

When a competitor enters the battle and reps find themselves in a bake off, their first reaction is often fear of being knocked out. Conventional wisdom says competition is a threat. But in reality, our data shows competition in the game is a good indicator the prospect is serious about buying. Encourage sales reps and managers to consider competition as a positive sign that budget is allocated and the prospect is committed to making a purchase. Competition means it’s time to double down and make sure you’re the one who gets the order.

2. Cozy Up With At Least 3 Customer Contacts

Closing a deal doesn’t just depend on “gut and golf” anymore, but there’s still something to be said for having a beer with your customer. Especially if it’s a group affair. Our data shows reps are most successful when they receive support from at least three customer employees or execs. It’s rare that someone acts as a sole decision maker. That finding alone may not shock you, but have you resolved to use it to your advantage? When it’s happy hour, don’t just invite your go-to contact — invite the whole team.

3. Call in Exec Cavalry

When a sales rep gets signals a deal is at risk, it’s time for action, but what kind? Most reps are independent and prefer to handle issues themselves rather than ask for help — particularly from their boss. Unfortunately, a go-it-alone tendency puts deals at higher risk. Yet it turns out inviting a company exec to join a rep at a pitch is the number one thing that moves a deal from yellow to green. Plus, it feels great to have your manager doing something other than asking for a forecast update. Both rep and execs benefit from windshield time, and they’ll close more business together.

Across deals, sales teams, and individual reps, these three sales strategies work. How do you add strategies to this list, specific to your customers and your team? Make sure you have tools making it easy for managers and executives to distill data from your deal history and uncover hidden insights.

Research has shown that "challengers" win more deals. Are you a challenger? Find out by downloading the free e-book. 

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