As a business one of your top goal would be to see the sales go up. However, this may not be the scenario as often as you would like it to be. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is that they spend millions on reaching and acquiring new customers. However, they spend only a fraction of that amount in actually converting customers. A lot of companies fail in putting together a basic sales process and are unable to meet the needs of the business as they move up the ladder. They are unable to determine what is a “deal clincher” in the sales process and hence get lesser or no conversions. However, it is not enough to only identify the deal clincher. A well-managed sales pipeline looks at all aspects from end to end. Let’s look at some of the aspects that should be considered if you are building a sales pipeline for your company.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
Step back and take a deeper look at the CRM tool you are using. If it is just a glorified tool that keeps records and reports, the sales team will resist using it as they feel it is a waste of their time. Ensure that your CRM integrates your marketing and sales tools so it is beneficial to everyone involved. Your marketing team gets a closer look at how their work affects the sales process. A good automated sales CRM system gives the sales team more confidence in managing the sales pipeline. They can see how many potential leads they have in the pipeline, whom to follow up with first etc. This offers them complete command over their daily workload and they are able to manage time effectively and productively. Your CRM solution should enable your marketing and sales team to work together seamlessly. A good sales CRM can be the key to building an effective sales pipeline.
Taking Care of the Content
Even if your sales team is not directly speaking to the potential customer at every given chance, they should have relevant content with them for passive selling. As a business owner, it is important that you allocate budgets to the top, bottom as well as the middle of the sales funnel. Customers who know about your product but are looking out for more information fall in the middle of your sales funnel. Content marketing is vital to any business to stay visible. You could look at social media engagements and digital presence via your website, blogs, participation in online forums etc. This helps your brand stay visible to the consumers and also gives them avenues to reach out to you in case they want to.
Push for Shorter Sales Calls
Businesses have been operating on the notion that the way to convert potential customers is to overload them with information about the offering. Customers these days think differently. They are hard pressed for time and they want everything quickly – be it information or solution. It is ideal to advocate shorter sales calls as a company. If your sales team gives small slots to each interaction, they can focus on giving out quality information into that small time slot. They come across as prepared and respectful of the customers’ time, which automatically pushes them up in the minds of the customer. Remember, your customer is listening to multiple sales calls daily and standing out among them means a big win for you.
Reflect on the Budget
Your salespeople are using your CRM well. Their calls are shorter and focused. None of this matters if you do not give the last push by pumping in relevant budgets. Travel for the sales team, demo resources etc. require big investments but these are generally used only at the end of the sales cycle. Check the average price of conversions in your industry. As a business, if you are paying a lot more for your conversions, it is time to step back and re-evaluate where the costs are crowding up. Reflecting on where you are spending and how much you are spending can help you reinvent the wheel and re-allocate budgets accordingly.
As a business owner, you know how valuable your company’s sales pipeline is. The flipside is that it is also one of the easiest areas to mismanage. You need to be aware of how your sales team is using the tools and resources available and how they are interacting with your customers. Turning a blind eye can result in long-term revenue loss for your organization. Also keep a watch on the market. There is a lot you can learn from your competitors – especially what “not” to do. It is important to identify the factors within that are blocking the organization’s growth and work on remedying them.
To conclude, as a growing organization, you must ensure that your sales pipeline is seamless and well managed from the beginning to the very end. This allows you, your organization, your sales and your customer relationships to grow in tandem.