When the sales process runs smoothly, its effects are positively felt: strong profit margins, an active pipeline and happy salespeople.
When the process is broken, however, it can be a little more difficult to detect. You might be reticent to ascribe the challenges your sales team is facing to a broken process, or you might not be paying attention to your weak spots. But a broken process, left unexamined, can continue to slow down your pipeline, and allow leads to slip through the cracks, hurting the bottom line.
Fixing a broken sales process means critically examining each stage to increase effectiveness and productivity. Here are three broad steps you can take toward patching up a broken process and creating a stronger sales process.
Set Up Visible Goal Posts
The problem might be that you haven’t written up the road map clearly enough, so to speak. You need to ensure that operational definitions are in place for each stage – that is, that you’ve articulated the nature, typical duration, point of completion, etc., for each stage, and that every salesperson is clear on the definitions. Vague operational definitions can slow down each step, from lead generating, to qualifying to closing.
Take a bit of time to make sure each member of the team is on board and understands the parameters of each stage in the process.
Automate the Process
Having a clear road map is one thing, but if it isn’t productive and repeatable, it is still going to slow down the pipeline and allow leads to leak out. To boost productivity and make sure your reps are always working on the best leads, automate the sales process with engagement platform.
In terms of repeat ability, a sales engagement platform takes the guesswork out of tracking down leads, always prioritizing the next best lead in the queue, optimizing prospecting and making it more predictable. In terms of productivity, its auto-call functionality and auto-scheduling greatly reduce keyboard time, meaning more leads get worked.
Gather Actionable Data
Not only do sales engagement platforms help automate the process, but they also offer valuable insights on what kind of leads are qualifying. Sales tracking (or lead tracking) allows you to gather actionable data on the process so you can determine points of weakness in the future – you can click here to learn more about how it works.
Additionally, gathering data with sales tracking software allows you to leverage those insights to help marketing improve inbound efforts. The more insights you can provide marketing, the better quality your leads will be, and the quicker they’ll move through the pipeline.
Fixing your sales process to be clearer, more automated and more evaluative should result in a better conversion rate, a quicker pipeline and fewer missed opportunities. Define your process stages, deploy a sales engagement platform to automate rep workflow and use it to gather actionable data for both sales and marketing. If the pipe in your bathroom springs a leak, you patch it up. The same applies to your sales process.