A company that sells highly technical products and services, such as IT business solutions, typically has a long, in-depth sales process. While you might not be able to overhaul the entire process, there are plenty of ways to improve efficiency in your sales cycle, giving your sales team more time to generate leads and close deals.
Use these eight quick tips to keep your sales process moving and achieve top-line revenue:
1. Target The Right Prospects
To reach your ideal buyers, you need a narrow, well-defined target list that includes company size and position title. This narrowly defined target list helps your sales team avoid calling the wrong people and the wrong companies, which gives them more time to talk to solid sales leads.
Company size is an important consideration in prospect targeting, as well. For example, if you’re selling expensive business software and SaaS solutions, it makes sense to only target those businesses with the necessary budget to support your software price. As you close more deals, analyze your sales data to further define the ideal company size for your products and services.
2. Understand The Decision-Making Process
Make sure you’re pursuing the actual decision-maker for a purchase and understand that person’s thought process. The better you comprehend their decision-making process, the better you’re able to gauge the strength of your sales pipeline – and avoid mistakes. For instance, if your company’s products or services would eliminate a person’s job, make sure not to target that person as your potential buyer, since they would probably see the purchase as counter to their own self-interest.
3. Increase Your Rate Of Contact
Increasing your rate of contact with leads provides a steady influx of sales opportunities for your sales pipeline. To maximize potential revenue, contact your entire sales database 1.8 to 2 times per year. Calling your database on this type of predetermined schedule allows you to eliminate out-of-date contact information and helps you unearth latent leads, which could become your next finalized sales.
4. Evaluate Opportunities In Your Sales Pipeline
Sales reps should evaluate each of their leads on a regular basis to determine whether a lead is a schedule opportunity or a nurture opportunity. Note that schedule opportunities include any previously contacted lead or prospect that requires a future contact. Determining the number of schedule and nurture opportunities allows reps to better gauge their sales pipeline and forecast expected sales. This evaluation also helps your team know when it’s time to ramp up additional lead generation.
5. Map Out Your Buyer’s Journey
To map out your buyer’s journey, start by defining what success looks like for your sales team. This definition should be concrete, with specifics for sales metrics, timing and dollar amounts. Next, map out the milestones your prospects pass as they move to finalized sales. Using these milestones, create a list of essential steps and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to apply when contacting each prospect.
6. Clearly Communicate Your KPIs And Process
Once you’ve established your definition of success and mapped out your buyer’s journey, make sure to clearly communicate your sales process and KPIs to your salespeople. Knowing how many leads have passed particular milestones helps your sales team forecast sales and close rates more accurately. It also helps the team make better decisions about which opportunities to pursue.
You may want to eliminate any old metrics that don’t measure actual sales success. For example, many sales managers urge frequent dialing, but this approach doesn’t necessarily translate into more sales (or higher quality sales). The best salespeople often make fewer calls, because their understanding of lead quality and prospect milestones allows them to be more efficient.
7. Track Your Sales Data
Managing data is key to an effective, scientific sales process and achieving your top-line revenue goals. The first step is to track all of your transaction data in detail. For example, tracking your sales data by industry vertical helps you see how results vary across different customer segments. If your sales are strong in a particular vertical, you have an opportunity to drill down until you understand the factors contributing to your success.
Sales data should also be tracked in relation to individual sales reps. Should you decide to give your salespeople room to experiment and test new theories, this data allows you to later assess those efforts and capitalize on any promising methods.
8. Use Analysis To Optimize Your Sales Process
The more data you track and analyze, the easier it becomes to make sound decisions that optimize your sales process. Analyzing your sales data is a great way to determine which decision-maker is the best person to contact, which lists are worth purchasing, and which tactics are most effective.
Data analysis could also reveal how many times you need to contact a prospect in order to close a sale. Then, use these insights to optimize your sales process. For example, if you notice nearly all of your sales leads convert on the twelfth call, for example, don’t let your salespeople give up after the fifth call.
These eight tips offer ways to make your sales cycle more efficient, helping your team fill your sales pipeline with strong opportunities and bring new revenue to your business.
Is your sales pipeline running dry? Download this industry guide from Invenio Solutions® and discover how to start boosting your IT sales today.