Optimizing Your Sales Process for Success
Sales management is a challenging and demanding role. Sales managers are not only required to hit sales goals, but they are also expected to maximize the efficiency of an entire sales team. In some industries, and especially those in the B2B space, sales is a cutthroat, high-stress business. Sales managers, however, are expected to act as coaches and mentors while getting every salesperson to perform.
While managing a sales department has many complexities, improving the sales process is the most effective way to improve sales numbers and the best way to set up your sales team for success.
So how exactly do you go about optimizing your sales process? Here are five ways to help you optimize your sales process for success.
1. Paint the WHOLE Picture
Believe it or not, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of managing a sales team. Sales managers are often too concerned about individual salespeople’s performance that they forget that the sales team is a unit. Ensuring that the entire sales team sees and understands the big picture is critical to the success of the entire sales organization. This means that SDRs, AEs, and Sales Managers all have to know what the big picture is. Establishing the whole picture early on allows everyone in the sales team to understand how critical each individual’s success is to fulfilling the big picture.
Whether you’re looking to hit $10 million in sales or new revenue, it’s important for the entire sales organization to know the goal so they can visualize themselves as part of the big goal.
2. Track & Measure KPIs
There are typically two types of sales organizations, those that have no sales data and those that are drowning in data. While neither is ideal, having data to analyze is key to identifying parts of the sales process that need to be optimized. Consistent tracking of key data numbers such as outreach attempts, total appointments, total proposals sent and acquired customers are important in establishing the overall effectiveness of your sales team.
Keeping track of these over time will also allow you to chart progress, or lack thereof, in critical areas of the sales process.
3. Stick to the One Metric Rule
Just like science experiments, it’s important to narrow in on one– and only one– aspect of your sales process. Charting this one metric and optimizing for it will make it easy to create real, tangible progress. Whether it’s a certain MRR or ARR you want to hit, more appointments, more trials, or more proposals sent, this key metric should be the focus of your sales team until you’ve perfected the process for improving upon this one metric. Once you’ve found the best process and approach to improving this metric, you should move onto another metric.
Over time, improvement across key metrics means a more effective sales department and a more predictive sales pipeline.
4. Look for Holes in Your Pipeline
It’s often difficult to dissect the problems in our sales process if we don’t look at the entire pipeline. Sales managers are usually concerned about the bottom of funnel – how many deals are we closing. However, there could be hidden holes in your pipeline that may actually be impacting that bottom of the funnel that everyone is monitoring.
Mapping out your sales funnel and corresponding metrics can allow you to see weaknesses in your funnel. Perhaps you’re losing everyone at a particular part of the funnel – or you don’t have enough prospects coming into the funnel. Visualizing the sales funnel and how the numbers stack up will most likely reveal the areas that you need to work on to see the end results you’re looking for.
5. Align Your Sales Efforts with Your Prospects
We all know the game of sales has changed. Salespeople are no longer in control. Consumers have so much information that they now control the sales process and decide when they want to be sold to. If you haven’t altered your sales efforts to match the needs and wants of your customers, it’s time you go back to the drawing board.
By working together with marketing, you can improve not only the quantity but also the quality of incoming leads. By carefully drafting a buyer’s journey and aligning both marketing and sales to complement it, you’ll be sure to see an increase in sales efficiency and better overall sales numbers.
Optimizing your sales process is a challenging and ongoing effort. However, every little improvement in the sales process can mean big gains. A few changes and restructuring can mean huge wins for any sales department. So what are you waiting for? Start looking for ways to optimize your sales process today!
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy