Improving sales isn’t about bringing in better salespeople. Instead, you need to understand how you generate leads and convert those leads into sales. In other words, improving sales is about improving your business processes.
Think About Your Sales Funnel
The first step to improving your sales processes is documenting them. Your sales funnel is good place to start. Document how you attract leads and eventually convert them into customers.
How many steps are in your sales process and what are they? More importantly, what purpose do they serve? Answering these questions will make it much easier for you to improve your processes.
Consider using value stream mapping, a technique that focuses on removing waste and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that can provide you with tangible goals for improving your sales processes. You need to establish KPIs for each step in your sales funnel and measure your conversion rates over time.
When setting up targets, make sure you’re being realistic, and allow some flexibility to make changes along the way.
Automate Some of Your Processes
The next step in your journey to optimize your sales processes is to get the right tools. More specifically, you’re going to need a CRM system – or an ERP system with CRM functionality.
A CRM system can make your sales team more efficient. For example, it can track who is responding to your marketing material, and help you identify which leads are more likely to turn into customers. You also can learn about people’s demographics and interest profiles and use this information to help you sift through your leads and move those less likely to turn into sales towards the bottom of the list.
CRM systems put all your data in one place and make it easy for your team to share information. This ensures organizational alignment, which is critical to digital transformation.
Determine How You’re Going to Improve
There are generally two ways to improve your sales:
- Increase the volume of each sale
- Increase the number of customers
Typically, you should be able to make improvements in both areas. Consider offering some promotions that bundle different products together or use your CRM software to send follow up emails to previous customers.
To improve your conversion rate, you can do some A/B testing in your CRM system to find out what content is most effective.
Start Optimizing Today
Improving your sales processes to boost revenues is a long process, but it’s one that is well worth undertaking. It will help you improve margins in a sustainable way, so your business can continue growing and maintain its competitive advantage.
About the Author: Kevin Conner is the founder of several successful startups. His current focus is Broadband Search, a service dedicated to helping people find the best value internet service provider in their area. These businesses have given him the opportunity to work closely with many different sales teams, giving him an insider’s perspective on what works and what doesn’t.
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