These three problems could indicate that your sales process needs an intervention.
It’s not unusual for a business to experience problems with their sales process. You may be losing too many prospects, missing too many sales targets, or investing too much time and energy into closing sales. All of these are symptoms of a flawed sales process. Customer needs and expectations evolve over time, creating problems for companies that don’t change their sales process to keep up. You may have a tried-and-true sales process that has worked for years yet, suddenly, it doesn’t seem to be effective. Often, this can be attributed to sales staff losing focus and failing to properly execute the sales process. If that isn’t the problem, then it could be that the sales process itself is no longer effective. These three problems could indicate that your sales process needs an intervention.
If your sales teams is sticking to the established sales process, and they’re still missing their quotas, it’s time to look at the process itself. A well-planned and well-executed sales process should make it easy for experienced salespeople to achieve their sales goals. Examine your process to make sure it adequately defines your target prospects, and provides clear solutions to their problems. Your process must provide insights, not only into those problems, but also into how your solution is superior to other solutions. Prospects are more educated and knowledgeable than ever before. When they come to your sales team, they will most likely have done extensive research into their problems and their preferred solutions. To be effective, your process must account for the information that prospects are bringing with them, and provide concrete, fact-based reasons why they should choose you for their solutions.
If it’s taking too much time and energy to meet targets, your sales staff can become frustrated, and you can suffer a reduction of your ROI. A well-executed sales process will bring highly qualified prospects to your sales staff, which should make closing the deal relatively easy. By the time a prospect reaches the sales stage, they should already have received most of the information and nurturing they need to make a decision. If your salespeople are struggling to close deals, you may have prospects arriving at the sales stage too soon. Check your marketing and nurturing efforts, and make sure that you’re not encouraging prospects to enter the sales stage too early. By holding interested prospects in the nurturing stage a little longer, you can ensure that your salespeople aren’t being bombarded by poorly qualified prospects. Nurturing is much cheaper, and less demanding of your salespeople’s time and energy, than having unqualified prospects moving into the sales funnel too quickly.
This can be one of the biggest problems a sales team can face. Is your sales process well defined, and applied equally across all departments? If the process isn’t clear and ubiquitous, you may have marketing, sales, and support departments all working from a different playbook. You could even have individuals in each department using their own sales process. Your process must clearly define how prospects move through the sales funnel, and how each department is to be involved. Until everyone is on the same page, sales will be more difficult to complete, and proper data analysis will be impossible. Take the time to put together a codified sales process, and disseminate it to all involved departments. If necessary, provide time for training or re-training, to ensure that everyone understands and adheres to the new process. If everyone is making it up as they go along, the results will be unpredictable and impossible to quantify.
Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.