Let’s not talk about inspirational quotes, promise of bonuses, sales rep competitions or passionate rep talks to boost your sales team efficiencies. Increasing the productivity of your sales team needs more than these. Improving sales effectiveness is a continual process and not an event-based approach. Every selling environment is different. So, how do you get hold of that perfect sales environment?

Sales Pipeline Management

It is the key way to increase sales. Right from the first point of contact with a prospect to the closing of a deal, sales pipeline has five important stages

Prospects: The process involves outbound technique as cold calling and inbound technique to identify prospects resembling buyer persona.

Qualification: Prospects are assessed against certain criteria to determine whether they’re worth following up.

Proposal: Once the prospect qualifies, sales rep presents a proposal to demonstrate how the service can solve the prospect’s issue.

Decision: Prospect’s decision depends on what the sales rep has presented.

Repeat Business: After closing the first deal, sales rep keeps in constant touch and nurtures the relationship to encourage further sales.

To maintain consistency with each one of these stages, you have to work on the momentum and flow within your sales pipeline. This requires understanding of the stage velocity, which is calculating the average time it takes for the prospects to move from one stage to the next. However, to understand this move, you have to identify:

  • Whether there is any inefficient proposal process, too many questions unanswered or anything that doesn’t give the prospects the confidence to make a decision
  • Whether any sales rep got stuck in the middle of the sales process
  • Whether the qualification process is ineffective and leading to poor quality leads
  • Where the sales funnel is leaking

Pay Attention to Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

The key to the success of an organization, measurement of performance and indicator of future results – KPI provides visibility into the existing activities that will impact future sales team productivity. However, you need to measure two types of indicators – Lagging Indicators that are outputs and results measured after the sale and Leading Indicators, which are actions and activities that are measured during the sale process as and when the pipeline is being built.

You mainly focus on

  • How many calls the sale rep is making per week?
  • Who is the sales maker calling?
  • How many of these calls actually turn into opportunities?
  • How many of these opportunities turn into wins?
  • How’s the sales rep performing at this stage?

Most importantly, analyze whether you’re selling the products your customers want to buy. Assess real data in real time and do not rely on hopes and assumptions. Timely assessment of the performance of your team members is crucial to coach and plan effectively.

Implement Digital Tools to Accelerate the Pipeline

There’s nothing more frustrating than nearly closing a deal and then realizing the heaps of paperwork to complete for the same. However, with digital tools, sales reps will process documents faster and close the deals successfully. The social media and customer relationship management tools help them to improve their performance and drive more sales. So, take back the hours of time your team has spent documenting information and dedicate it to selling more and closing deals.

Focus On When To Upsell and Cross-Sell a Service

The aim is to introduce customers to complementary products that can get instant acceptance. Every time a customer wants to buy something, and if you can successfully offer additional products to complement and support the main product or persuade the customer to switch his purchasing decision to a more expensive product, you’ve successfully implemented the cross-sell and upsell techniques. The sales rep needs to observe the right opportunity as when they can increase the deal sizes and how to improve the probability of winning more deals by adding value to their proposals. The team needs to closely analyze the deals and identify the trends associated with it. The greater familiarity your customers have with the additional services offered, the more likely they’re to get associated with your business. However, the customers should feel the worth of every penny they spend after your products and services.

The Sales Velocity Equation for Your Team

The Sales Velocity Equation represents four important factors –

  • #Deals that imply the number of sales opportunities, which are won or lost in a given time period
  • $Value implies the average value of the deals you won
  • Win Rate implies the ratio of deals won to the total number of deals
  • Length of Sales Cycle implies the average length of time resources applied to a deal before that deal is won or lost

Here Are Some Of The Best Practices To Implement Each Of These Factors:

Increase the Number of Deals                

  • Profile the highest mutual value customers
  • Answer their critical questions
  • Offer right solutions to address their challenges
  • Increase sales acumen through eLearning
  • Use reporting tools to point the under-exploited opportunities

Increase the Size of Deal

  • Segregate the different types of customers and understand their challenges
  • Highlight your business values
  • Enhance visibility and collaboration and discover and expose new areas of potential revenue

Increase the Win Rate

  • Test and improve deal position
  • Adopt the best relationship strategies
  • Work on high value opportunities and where mutual value exists
  • Observe when a deal is at risk or loss

Curtail Sale Cycle

  • Make the sales team identify the ‘real opportunities’ through a consistent and objective method
  • Line up the customer’s buying process with your selling process with administrative overhead

Assessing sale rep performance will always help you to improve sales team efficiency and enable you to identify areas of improvement on a per person basis. The benefits of having an efficient and effective sales process are worth your effort.

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