No matter the size of your business, you may panic a little when you don’t see your sales numbers growing as quickly as you’d expect. What’s not working? Often identifying the problems is the hardest part.
Let’s look at three of the top reasons why your sales may be under-performing and what you can do to address these challenges – including how the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution can be a game-changer.
Problem #1: Neglected top of the funnel
The quarter is almost up and you haven’t hit your quota. Your team is stressed out and working overtime because most of those leads are failing to convert. You continue to focus on converting more of your active opportunities, and that’s a good thing - but it’s still not moving your numbers as you had hoped. What’s the solution? How can you align sales and marketing so this doesn’t keep happening every quarter? And how can you stop the leaks in your sales funnel and drive more revenue?
Solution: Focus on your entire funnel
This is a common problem, and it happens because sales often focus too much on getting those short-term wins at the bottom of the funnel. As a result, they fail to fill their pipelines with long-term prospects.
Instead, sales and marketing should address the entire funnel to drive revenue. In short, marketing’s job is to deliver prospects to sales that are qualified AND ready to buy. If your leads aren’t ready to buy, you should nurture them with high-quality content and communications, delivered in the right place at the right time across the entire buyer’s journey. This will ensure that when they do become active opportunities, they’ll be ripe for that first conversation with sales. As you implement full-funnel marketing over time, you can eliminate the excess leaks in your pipeline, increase revenue, and walk into your quarterly reviews with a smile on your face.
CRM helps do this by:
- Gaining visibility into your entire funnel, with the ability to track, nurture, score and share leads, opportunities and actionable insights across your entire team
- Providing insight into marketing’s impact on revenue
Problem #2: Neglected Prospect Data
You’ve got prospect data - and lots of it. It comes in many forms – it’s in emails, phone calls and texts. It’s on laptops and mobile phones. It’s in the cloud, in spreadsheets and in ink. It’s in people’s heads, on business cards and in water cooler conversations. But you can’t drive revenue with your data unless you can organize it, filter it, understand the story it’s telling - and only then can you activate it to convince potential customers to engage with you.
The good news is that when you collect, analyze, and activate your prospect data in the right way, you can drive MORE revenue with LESS work.
The solution is for companies to begin with the right approach - identify their goals, select the right CRM solution with automation technology, build the right process, and then develop a user enablement and adoption strategy for your sales and marketing team to ensure they’re embracing it.
One of the main challenges that often arise when defining, implementing, and executing a sales process is getting your sales team to actually do the prescribed activities at the appropriate times on a consistent basis. Implementing a CRM solution that automates these activities can be a game-changer.
CRM helps do this by:
- Triggering creation of tasks, phone calls, email and appropriate activities
- Tracking the status and progress of expected outcomes, allowing you to course-correct your strategy
- Turning data into actionable insights into buying signals so sales and marketing can communicate with them in the right way at the right time to build trust and accelerate the sales cycle
Problem #3: Failing to close deals
You’re about to have that meeting where you’re either going to close this deal or not, and you’re feeling the stress. What should you say to get that yes? Why does this happen every time? What can you do to change it?
The high-pressure approach to sales might have worked 10 years ago, but with information being just a click away, prospects and customers are now more in control of their own buying journeys more than ever - and they will hang up the phone and go elsewhere if you try to force the close.
Solution: Approach closing as a process
It’s important to understand that your success or failure closing will likely be determined by what you’ve done over the last several days, weeks, or months to earn your prospect’s trust. If prospects aren’t ready to buy, you shouldn’t try to force it.
Culturally, sales need to change their perception of who they are. It’s no longer about pushing features and benefits to close the deal, but understanding their clients’ business goals and challenges. Salespeople themselves have the opportunity to be a key differentiator, and the sales relationship needs to show continuous value to the client.
CRM helps do this by:
- Building tasks that incorporate personalization and trust-building questions that will frame salespeople more as problem-solving consultants rather than product-pushers
- Capturing the answers to these questions to score the progress of your opportunities, and coach sales toward greater success