In the world of sales, inefficiency can be just as detrimental to a company as incompetence. It wastes money and valuable resources, causes delays, and ultimately creates another hurdle between you and the customers that benefit from your product or service.
Before you go throwing more money or personnel to improve your sales cycle, it might be worth assessing every part of the process to pinpoint inefficiencies and redundancies that are bloating up your lead generation efforts.
What kind of inefficiencies often show up in the sales cycle? Here are 4 common ones and the solutions you can put in place to eliminate them.
No Departmental Cohesion
Having disparate departments in your organization can slow your sales cycles down significantly. In many companies, marketing, sales, support and customer service have no real synergy or communication between them, which makes lead hand-off incredibly clunky and confusing. Streamlining each department and creating an easy and efficient way for them to communicate and collaborate will speed up the sales cycle and also increase the retention and lifetime value of a customer. It could be as simple as making the teams work in the same office space, getting the heads of the departments to have more meetings, or creating a Slack channel for them to communicate.
Flimsy Follow Up Efforts
If your team is putting thousands of dollars into campaigns to generate leads fast but not investing in rapid lead follow-up, you might as well be setting all that money on fire. In today’s world, leaving a lead hanging even for an hour could send that prospect straight to your competitors.
There has to be a clear system of lead follow-up in place to connect with the lead as soon as it shows up in your funnel. Some of the steps you can take are employing chatbots to start the communication so they don’t feel ignored, employing a call team, or investing in proposal software to more accurately track prospects. Following up faster also allows you to quickly rank leads by what they need and where they are in the decision making process. The path from researching a solution to choosing and purchasing the right now has lengthened significantly, and that requires more touch points and a more laser-targeted contact strategy.
Selling Without Understanding Motivation
The more targeted your sales efforts can be, the better. Gone are the days where spray-and-pray tactics of contacting people cold would lead to a sale. There are thousands of people you could be selling to, but in order to convert at a higher level, you need to have more clarity on the people who actually want to buy your product or service.
There are ways technology can be leveraged to pinpoint a motivated buyer and distinguish them from someone who is still in the looking and researching phase.
Predictive analytics tools collate and aggregate details like online purchases and buyer behavior in order to identify who is actually ready to take action.
For example, in real estate, you can identify someone who is thinking of selling their home with details like;
- Renovating their home
- Life changes like having a baby or their children going off to college
- Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage
- Looking up real estate agents in their area
- Looking at listings on home listing sites like Zillow
Predictive analytics takes all these streams of information and then creates a score showing who is most likely to make a buying decision and the time frame. This makes your sales cycle more efficient because you can provide the lead nurture that person needs to make a decision.
An Overwhelmed Sales Team
If your salespeople are handling a myriad of tasks, it could be making your entire sales cycle less efficient. Imagine a salesperson spending their time researching leads, doing data entry and other admin tasks in addition to their prospecting efforts. It’s going to diminish the amount of time they spend in the best and highest use of their time, and your organization ends up paying more for that task than necessary – it’s both needlessly expensive and inefficient.
Instead of taking this approach, why not take those tasks away from your sales team, employ people who can focus on the admin side of things and let your salespeople do what they do best? It increases the amount of lead generation time and makes the process of nurturing these leads way better.
Dedicated research people mean the information the sales team gets is more accurate, and an admin team takes care of operations quickly, thus eliminating bottlenecks.
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