Creating and implementing a sales process and corresponding sales funnel is a core part of any successful sales team and business. But once you create your process, that doesn’t mean it will stay perfect.
Your industry is always evolving, technology improves, customer’s pain points change, and so on. “Set it and forget it” is not something you can do with your sales process if you expect to be successful. You should be taking a proactive deep dive into it several times throughout the year to see what is working, what is not, and what should be changed.
In doing this, you are optimizing your sales process to help your team improve sales effectiveness, close more deals, and keep your current customers happy. Many sales process experts agree, optimizing your sales process and sales funnel are just as important, if not more, than actually creating them in the first place.
Source: Sales Leads Inc.
Implement Sales Optimization For Your Sales Team
Taking the little extra time to evaluate where you can improve and by utilizing several powerful strategies, you can implement sales process optimization for long-term success.
You probably don’t have to look far for in-depth information that can give you a glimpse into ways you can quickly kick your sales teams’ process up a notch. Especially if you are using a CRM and regularly tracking sales data. Combine this with some easy-to-implement strategies and you will improve efficiency, productivity, close rates and more. Improving these things will always equal more revenue.
Let’s take a look at some of those strategies:
1. Use The Power Of The Data From Your CRM
Your CRM is a treasure trove of useful data to help you drill down and discover any leaks in your sales funnel or untapped opportunities. Look beyond just the surface numbers of closed deals or sales goal numbers. It is more important to look at KPI numbers that will give you a better perspective of what is working and what is not and segment those numbers. Things like volume, conversion rates, and time in the sales process can be broken down further by things like industry type, lead source, territory, etc.
Then, you can look at the big-picture view of this data and see what lead sources might be producing larger closed deals, which industries are spending too long in the sales cycle, where a large number of leads are dropping off, and so on. You can utilize in-depth KPI sales data from your CRM to discover any leaks in the sales funnel or untapped opportunities that you could quickly capitalize on.
Using this data will also help to identify costly bottlenecks in your sales funnel. When prospects spend too much time at one phase of your sales cycle before being moved to the next, there is a very high probability of you losing them as a prospect. Utilize sales funnel views in your reporting to pinpoint any bottlenecks and you can then accurately devise a plan of attack to correct them.
Source: ATS Services
2. Automate The Process
It is no surprise that daily administrative tasks that sales reps have to keep up with can take up a lot of valuable time if not done efficiently. As a sales manager, you want to have your reps being able to focus as much of their time actually selling as they can.
That is why one of the easiest and most effective ways to optimize your sales process is to automate as much of the process as possible. There are many sales tools available now that have the capabilities to allow your team to create time-saving workflows like automating communication with prospects and customers, easily tracking and maintaining client notes and optimized route planning.
Sales automation of everyday administrative tasks saves a lot of time and allows your reps to focus on building profitable relationships with clients versus manual data entry.
3. Utilize Mobile Optimization To Improve Sales
Taking the tools mentioned above out of the office and into your rep’s hands on mobile devices on the go takes the sales automation one step further. According to US Census data from the end of 2018, there are 5.7 million sales professionals who sell remotely or face to face. Outside sales reps, who spend most of their time out in the field servicing accounts and prospects, are projected to make up 55% of that total by the end of 2019.
That is why mobile capability is crucial. Mobile optimization has given a huge boost to sales processes and you can now find some of the best CRM and outside sales tools available on mobile devices. By giving your outside sales team access to these mobile tools you can improve your sales and optimize your sales process.
These tools allow sales reps to spend their time focusing on selling while still being able to efficiently keep log and record of customer communication, respond quickly, optimize their routes, and ensure they are working with maximum efficiency.
Access to this information, as well as real-time CRM based data and insights on the go, ensures your sales reps are armed with all of the information they need to walk into sales meetings prepared and confident. By having access to this kind of information on mobile devices you will also know that your reps are making the right sales calls to the right customers offering the most opportunity within their territories. They can also track their activity, add to client notes, update CRM data, and fill any dead time with new prospects nearby.
Source: Map My Customers
4. Reduce Churn Rate & Satisfy Your Current Customers
Keeping your current customers happy proves to be extremely beneficial and rewarding in the long run. It costs businesses five times as much to gain one new customer compared to retaining a current customer. That is why reducing your churn rate is such a beneficial part of optimizing a sales process and means more revenue for the company.
Happy long-term customers have a higher chance of producing upsell opportunities for your business and will generate some of the strongest leads as they advocate for your brand to people who trust their opinion. This is why implementing customer relationship marketing is a great starting point for reducing your churn rate.
5. Improve Communication
Another important place to evaluate when aiming to optimize your sales process is your communication. Both external communication with clients and prospects as well as internal among your team. This will help to shorten the sales cycle and prevent bottlenecks and also ensure your team is always on the same page. This is also an easy way to start to reduce your churn rate.
By keeping your lines of communication open, you will continue to improve your sales process. You want to do this for all interactions you have with prospects, customers, vendors, anyone you do business with. As well as the rest of the sales team and sales management. Ensure that your sales reps are following suit also. When lines of communication are open and being utilized the needs and wants of everyone involved are clear.
Assumptions in the sales world can be dangerous and costly. By assuming a long-time customer is happy and not keeping lines of communication open, you risk losing a customer who may actually have an issue. Or assuming you’ve reached out to a prospect enough times and they still haven’t closed yet, you risk losing a valuable business opportunity who may have needed just one more example of how your product can provide the solution they are looking for.
6. Continue To Tweak Your Sales Optimization
When you first make the effort to implement sales process optimization that doesn’t mean you do it once and stop there. Your company’s product offerings may change over time, your customer’s needs or pain points change, technology changes. So you should always be looking to continue to tweak and improve your sales process.
This also gives you, as the sales manager, the opportunity to drill down into your sales data more and see if any leaks or bottlenecks are reemerging in the sales process. You can catch any problems early and proactively correct them quickly so you can ensure continued growth in sales and revenue.
Wrapping It All Up
By taking the time to implement some of the above strategies you can successfully optimize your sales process for continued growth in sales and revenue. Sales process optimization provides increased efficiency and productivity in your sales reps. Then, they can focus on selling to the right prospects who are looking for your products or services as solutions to their needs.
The important thing to remember is that once you utilize sales optimization you are not done. As a successful sales manager, you should continually look at what areas can be further optimized, if there are any leaks or bottlenecks reemerging in your sales funnel, and if any opportunities should be capitalized on.