18 Feb Sales-to-Revenue: Is it time to check your pipes?
by Tim Smith
There’s no doubt your sales team is the busiest office in the building. But, amid all the hustle and bustle of mass emails and spreadsheets, is your sales team actually generating revenue? The key to revenue growth isn’t about working harder. Instead, it’s about working smarter and implementing tools that enable your sales team to focus on what matters most: the customer.
“By 2020 the customer experience is set to overtake product and price as the main driver behind consumers’ purchasing decisions,” says Greg Arthur, a software marketing and sales expert. “People will increasingly pay more if you treat them well. That’s why the customer experience is so important today.”
Recent statistics show that 65 percent of sales reps who have adopted mobile CRM have achieved their sales quotas while only 22 percent of reps using non-mobile CRM have reached the same targets. Do you know who is probably included in that 65 percent? Your competitors.
Now is the time to evaluate your sales pipeline to ensure it’s running smoothly and efficiently. And with almost 91 percent of small companies implementing a CRM system to track their sales cycles, automating your sales team is a great place to start.
Partnered with your stellar sales reps, here are three ways CRM software can enhance the customer experience.
1. All together now: Collect all of your data in one place
With customers making informed product and services decisions within hours of researching providers, it simply isn’t efficient to have customer data divided among different software programs and systems. The only way to get a comprehensive view of your sales prospects is to have their information in one location. Consultative selling relies on having the correct information on the potential client at all times so that the solutions offered drive real improvements.
When Berkadia, a commercial mortgage services company, faced a rapidly growing global market with a distributed workforce, it implemented an intuitive and collaborative CRM system. With Salesforce Sales Cloud, it was able to better track these customer segments and ensure it was approaching prospects with the information they need to make a buying decision.
Using one source for all your sales data offers collaborative selling at its best. It’s Real-Time. Accessible. Comprehensive. Customizable. And it provides your sales team with the data they need to be competitive in your industry.
2. Talk the talk: Segment pipeline around the customer
From tracking prospects and identifying a solid lead, to securing actual sales opportunities and zeroing in on the close, the transitions through your customer’s sales cycle require close monitoring. And with each stage of the customer’s sales cycle, your sales team should be ready to talk in a way that not only gets your customers’ attention but their trust.
“More than 73 percent of consumers consider transparency more important than price,” explained Inc.com contributor Rhett Power. “Nearly 40 percent say they would switch from their preferred brand to one that offered more transparency.” This means your customer wants to be assured they are getting a fair price on a quality product or service that is going to be available when they want it.
“That doesn’t mean companies have to spill every trade secret that makes their brands great,” said Power. “On the contrary, the key to transparency is the quality of information, not the quantity.”
Along with promoting transparency, a customized CRM system illuminates strategic decision points for your customers. With a reliable management system, your sales team can design the right contact, angle, offer—whatever approach seems most effective—based on the sales cycle data and ensures your sales team can track hot leads and focus on closing those deals while still monitoring potential prospects.
3. Two words for closing a deal: Follow up
As recent statistics show, today’s customer is king. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t accessible. Scheduling a follow-up contact with leads is an essential part. According to the research group Invesp, 35 to 50 percent of sales go to the vendor who responds to a customer’s query first. And a salesperson who contacts a prospect within an hour of receiving a query is 60 times as likely to secure that lead as a competing salesperson who waits 24 hours or more to reach out.
That means it’s more important than ever to stay in contact with sales leads. Davis Advisors, an investment management firm, recognized that following up with customers and prospects was great for sales but also helped reinforce a solid brand and its commitment to customers.
To stay connected, its advisors needed to implement a marketing and sales system that allowed Davis to market and sell its funds to financial advisors across the country. By using an automated system, Davis customized its process based on need and target prospects, added features to track progress, and offered capabilities that allowed staff to schedule follow up contacts either in person or through a targeted email campaign. For Davis Advisors, follow up has not only become an easy way to keep the sales team focused, but it’s also an extension of customer service.
Revenue growth is hard. But perfecting a reliable sales pipeline shouldn’t be. Start with a sharp sales team. Then arm your team with a quote-to-cash system that centralizes your data, tracks your customer’s sales cycle, and monitors your follow up schedule to optimal sales and exciting revenue growth.
Tim is Senior Account Executive here at Simplus. He has nearly 30 years of sales experience and has served as an SVP, EVP, COO, and president in a myriad of companies. He focuses on user adoption and utilization metrics, knowing that a fantastic solution is only valuable when fully used.