The sales department is the most important department in your company.
How can it not be when your sales team is responsible for driving the majority of revenue?
Most businesses, especially marketing agencies, SaaS businesses, and professional services, hold their sales team directly responsible for supporting the growth of the business.
Not only are they responsible for driving new revenue, but they make sure your customers view you positively.
They’re the guys sitting at the forefront of your industry, which puts them in the position to be the best advisors for new innovation and strategies.
The best way to build a successful sales strategy is to take a look at those who are successful.
The most successful sales strategies are the ones that align their sales processes with their customer resource management (CRM) (Related: How to Win Friends and Influence People? Vs. What is CRM?).
And having a strong prospect management process is at the heart of getting the most out of your sales people and their time.
According to Salesforce, high-performing sales teams use nearly 3 times as much sales technology than underperforming teams and are 8 times more likely to be heavy tech adopters than under-performers.
As a Sales Director, it’s your job to make sure the sales team performs, and that your sales technology operates efficiently along with your processes.
There are many reasons your sales model could be failing…
In this guide we’ll go over some of the most common things we see standing between struggling sales team, and huge breakthrough success companies:
Spending too much time on data entry
One of the biggest common complaints of failing sales organizations is that their teams are spending too much time on data entry.
Manually entering prospect and lead information into the database isn’t something your sales team should be spending a lot of time on.
The right CRM will do a good job of collecting data from leads, and updating their information simultaneously so your sales team doesn’t have to spend time doing so.
You’re spending too much time generating sales reports
Sales reports are the main time suck for Sales Director. If your data is being entered manually because your sales technology isn’t in alignment with your processes, pulling reports is going to be a time consuming task.
The minute you’re asked to produce a sales report on this month’s success, and your sales technology doesn’t align, two negative things could happen:
- The first is the hardest to swallow – your sales numbers are reflecting worse performance than your team is delivering.
- The second – your numbers are inflated, which looks suspicious if your numbers aren’t matching up with revenue.
Either way, you’re going to be in trouble when this happens.
And I can almost guarantee that…
You’re spending extra time on your sales reports because of this.
You’re pipeline visibility isn’t accurate
When your data isn’t clean, or your manually entering data, you’re not tracking key stages into prospect lifecycle. This is a problem, because you won’t get real visibility into your pipeline.
Without real visibility into your pipeline, you won’t be able to accurately track your team’s sales process in real-time.
Why’s that important?
Well, if at only the end of the month/quarter/year you take the time to gain an understanding of where you’re at, you’ve already lost the sales game.
Sales teams that have real time visibility are 42% more likely to meet quota than those that don’t!
That’s huge! But think about it…
A successful sales organization knows whether or not they’re going to hit their goals ahead of time, and adjusts in real-time in order to make or surpass those goals.
Your sales tool doesn’t support internal challenges, or a modern day sales process
The worst thing that a sales tool can do is try to pigeonhole you into the process it believes is best.
For example, if your sales method is founded on inbound leads, you may purchase a tool that only allows leads to move through the pipeline in one direction – forward.
This may be a challenge for you when you stumble upon those exceptions to the rule, or prospects you might have to nurture a little more to move them through the pipeline.
Now you’re stuck in a CRM where you can’t move leads backwards in your lifecycle stage. The system is assuming it knows the solutions to your problems better than you do.
BUT… Your sales tool should be able to support these problems, not try to fix them for you and force you into processes you don’t want or need.
Related: 7 CRM Best Practices for 2017
Your tool isn’t reliable when your sales team needs it most
Your sales tool needs to be there for you always.
At some point, there will come a time where your sales team needs support working with your sales technology. And If you’re working with a sales tool that doesn’t have an office in your country, has limited support hours, or can only be contacted in limited ways – they’re not there for you.
It’s in these instances where sales teams get the most frustrated.
They need their tool to work for them now, so they can move on with their day, update a lead, view a report etc.
So, If your sales technology isn’t reliable, you’re wasting time.
Your customer lifecycle stages don’t mirror reality
Some sales technologies force you into lifecycle stages that you don’t have in your organization.
For example, some out of the box CRM lifecycle stages include MQL, SAL, SQL and so on.
If you run a smaller organization, you might be skipping the conversion from SAL to SQL, but have to go through the conversion process anyways because your sales technology is forcing your hand.
If your lifecycle stages aren’t mirroring reality, this is also giving you unrealistic visibility into your pipeline and will affect reporting and optimization tactics.
Your sales solution isn’t mobile
Fact: Sales people don’t usually sit at their desks all day.
They’re mobile workers.
They’re working trade shows, going to sales meetings with potential clients, and traveling often. Having a mobile application for your sales team to lean on is key to monitoring real-time success and pipeline movement.
If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them.
So can you imagine the power that comes with being able to access everything you need about a contact right then and there?
The right CRM can help assist you with all of these points that may be causing your sales processes to fail.
In fact at Teamgate, we pride ourselves on helping businesses all over the world streamline their sales process, so that they’re selling to prospects the same way they like to buy.
Sales has changed, and you need to start selling to prospects the same way they like to buy. This starts by making sure your sales CRM solution supports all of the above:
- Get automatic data entry – stop wasting your time here
- Produce sales reports in seconds – not several days
- Real time reporting on sales pipeline – increase your chances of hitting quote by 42%
- Avoid human error with a solution that keeps you in process – never drop another lead again, and have them think you’re a mind-reader!
- A reliable tool your team can access anytime, anywhere – Remember, 5 minute follow ups increase chances of a sale by 900%!
- Make sure your lifecycle stages match reality
The bottom line – you need a CRM that can work for you, not against you. The right sales tool is the solution to your failing sales model, and will help you get your team back on track with a focus on what they do best – selling.