As a sales leader or someone that works in sales management, sometimes we don't have the time or headspace to stop and think about how we manage the sales process in our business. Very often we do things because that's the way we've always done it, right?
Take 60 seconds to think about how you manage sales in your business. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
1. is our inbound marketing working?
Inbound marketing generated leads for your business, filling the top end of the sales funnel and providing the sales team with contacts and leads to close new business. Have you reviewed what your business is achieving with your inbound activity? Take a look in Salesforce at the 'Source of Lead', 'Source of Opportunity' and 'Source of Revenue' reports to see whats working.
2. Are we nurturing leads for conversion over the long term?
We all spend money on advertising, particularly on online platforms such as Google Adwords or Facebook. It's possible that you expect these inquiries to convert into qualified sales opportunities too soon, and when they don't we let them fall out of our sales funnel.
Consider using lead nurturing programmes with systems such as Pardot. While there's a fee for the software, in the long term it does increase revenue and increase your return on investment from your online advertising expenditure.
3. Are my sales guys 'working the system'?
There's a sales process in each business. Each stage of how we sell to our customers and prospects can be broken into sales stages so that we can optimise our activity to increase the likelihood of closing each opportunity. It's natural that over time, shortcuts will be taken, and the sales process gets bypassed as the sales staff become less conscious of following the plan.
It's a worthwhile exercise to do a spot check across the team to make sure that the shortcuts aren't happening and to re-emphasise that there are specific steps involved in the companies sales process. Checking the sales activity on salesforce is one way of seeing if the basics of phone calls, meetings and proposals are being logged and recorded regularly
4. Is it time to recalibrate our benchmarks?
We manage performance with our teams based on key benchmarks such as
- Revenue per rep per month
- Number of new clients
- Percentage of contract renewals or repeat business
- Length of time to close a deal
- Deal value
When was the last time you checked what these average figures are? Salesforce reports and dashboards can be set up so that you receive an emailed summary of these benchmark figures at the end of each month.
5. Are we asking for referrals?
Referrals are the best source of new sales leads (even better if there's a testimonial as well). Sometimes sales teams stop asking for referrals, the habit gets broken and a key source of new revenue goes missing. It's easy to keep a check on this by looking at the sales reports (source of opportunity or revenue).
A client of ours recently offered an incentive to their entire sales team, the first person to close three deals through client referrals received a cash bonus. At the end of the month, there was a 22% increase in new sales as a result of the referral requests.
6. Is everybody aware of their individual and collective goals?
Small business owners don't often have the time or discipline to sit down with their teams on a monthly basis to review performance and set goals for the next month. As a result, many sales staff are not aware of their targets and don't receive feedback on their performance against these goals.
At Tenacre, we have recently developed new sets of dashboards for some of our clients that displays
- Sales Target
- Sales Actual
- Variance by month/quarter /year
on the homepage dashboard for each sales user of the CRM platform. This dashboard is then used each month (in seconds) by the sales director to see how individuals are doing. A key advantage of this is that each sales staff is aware of their target and performance each time they view their Salesforce homepage