How to optimize your sales process?

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Workers at Force Protection Industries Inc., make Cougar H 4 X 4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles at the factory in Ladson, S.C., Jan. 18, 2008. The factory at Force Protection Industries, Inc., one of the biggest MRAP producers, keeping up with demand for the vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called Òa proven lifesaver on the battlefield.Ó Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby (released)

Creating a sales team and managing the sales process is not easy, especially if you try to be wise about your budget and other resources, such as stuff, and time. But you can still reach maximum results even with limited assets. And it doesn’t matter what industry you represent, or how old your company is. You just need to optimize your sales process. In this post, we’ll give you some optimization tips that will help your sales department become more effective. Keep reading!

Choose KPIs wisely
Monitoring too much data is equally bad for your sales process as monitoring too little of it. Many sales teams get caught up in these extremes. As experience shows, both are detrimental for business, so it is fundamental that you find a happy medium and select a limited number of KPIs (key performance indicators). The metrics that you’ll choose to pursue must reflect the performance of critical areas in your business. Normally, you don’t need to follow more than 20 KPIs to obtain a comprehensive picture. At the same time, by choosing less than 10 metrics, you won’t have enough data. Therefore, essential information is pretty easy to get but you need to know what you are looking for.

Get your team on the same page
Very often, people in the same sales team pursue different metrics. For example, customer success representatives may focus on customer happiness score, whereas outbound agents may concentrate on connect rates. As a result, the sales teams don’t have a single metrics, and in a situation when everybody follows their own agenda, it’s very difficult to preserve a shared vision. To prevent this from happening, single out one metric for a certain period that would reflect the team efforts and improve it. Then, select the next one, and the next one… Optimize them one by one until you address all inefficiencies. If you approach sales optimization from this perspective, you’ll be able to improve the work of your team on multiple levels.

Find holes in your sales funnel
It is vital to align KPIs with the sales pipeline in order to find possible gaps and address them. Say, if you know that it normally takes 4 months to convert 1 customer, your conversion rate is 1 in 3, and your goal is 3 new customers a month, you need to involve no less than 36 prospects in your funnel. If there’s a hole in your funnel at this stage, you won’t be able to achieve the desired result. That’s why it’s critical to inspect your sales funnel for gaps and inefficiencies. The earlier you spot the problem, the faster you’ll fix it.

Generate leads smartly
Oftentimes, sales professionals get so accustomed to some prospecting channels that they fail to see new opportunities. These days, generic ads, emails, and cold calls bring very few leads compared to the numbers that can be attracted via social media, surveys, trade shows, and even the existing customers. The most effective strategy is to combine all the resources available to get the best results. However, you need to know when it’s the right time to generate leads and when to expect the results of your work. Namely, if you increase lead generation efforts two times now, you’ll see the growth in sales in a year or so.

Use decent software
It can be so much easier to organize and keep track of all the sales efforts if you implement the right sales automation software. At present, it’s possible to find corresponding software for every stage of a sales cycle. It’s really important that you identify the needs of your sales team, and complement them with the right sales automation software. A well-crafted sales automation platform will organize customer information and enable your sales to establish a personalized contact with prospects, and help them do it at the right time and in the right way. For example, if you are into inside sales, a decent cold call software with a lead management is a must for closing more deals.

To conclude…
Your sales reps might be the hardest-working people on the planet, but their efforts will be in vain if you don’t organize a proper sales process or fail to optimize it from time to time. Use our tips to increase the efficiency of your business and you’ll be able to achieve some really impressive results.

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