If the only strategy you have to determine how well your sales people do is by watching their overall sales, you’re missing out on a lot of great information that can help you increase your income dramatically. As most companies are aware now, big data is the key to understanding how sales are generated, at what point leads convert into sales, and how to pursue in-house activities that target the best sales. The key is managing the entire customer sales cycle and tracking data along the way.
7 Signs Your Sales Strategy Needs to Be Updated
Using Salesforce, this type of data-driven software solution can help you spot the follow seven warning signs that you need to make changes in your sales approach:
- Your Leads Aren’t Converting – Who is contacting your leads and how often? This is data you should be tracking. If you don’t have anyone nurturing the leads you’ve struggled to obtain in the first place, it’s going to be hard to get them to convert later. Even if someone buys something from you, they should be nurtured with frequent contacts to make sure they don’t feel abandoned between sales. Not convinced this is a worthwhile activity? Research shows that by actively nurturing leads during all phases of the sales cycle, you can increase your sales by 20%.
- You Offerings Aren’t Providing the Solutions Your Customers Need Now – Frequent contacts also help you gain valuable feedback on how your products and services are working out for the client. This can be helpful to create improvements in your offerings, but also to help upsell to systems that do address the problems your customers are dealing with as they grow. Thus, not only should you be tracking contacts, but also the feedback obtained from such contacts as well as recommendations for future sales. Thus, even complaints are valuable to your business and should not be a reason to avoid contacting a customer.
- You Can’t Track Your Sales People Effectively – Maybe your sales people are unwilling to track their activities or simply lazy. Using a product like Salesforce, which has apps like CirrusInsight and Ihance Absolute Automation, can make the process much more user-friendly and easier to implement. CirrusInsight has integration with email inboxes, which is crucial to making it easier and automates the tracking of sales contacts. That way you don’t have to rely on full compliance to get the data you need to run your business more effectively.
- Your Sales Data Is Widely Distributed and Hard to Track – What if you have many different offices and some in other countries? A cloud-based CRM, like Salesforce, is the ideal way to aggregate data for specific regions and gives you a good idea of what’s going on. It lets your salespeople in different locations and even those on the road, using mobile devices, log information in that others can view, while still maintaining optimum security standards. LinkedIn discusses how it tracks the sales cycle remotely. If there is a recommendation to contact the client from another office, it shows up as a potential contact as long as the other person is also an authorized user of Salesforce. Even if you start out with just one office, the scalability of your CRM is crucial. It should be able to grow along with your business, no matter where you end up on the map.
- You Can’t Customize Your CRM to Your Business Model – If you can’t add the fields you need to give you the insights you want into your sales process, it’s time to find a new CRM. Every industry and business is different and what one wants to track may not work for another. A sales CRM should be flexible enough for the end user to make changes consistent with their business priorities, not forcing them to fall in line with some programmer’s idea of what it means to track sales activity. The more you can customize a package to meet your needs, the greater the odds it will do a better job helping you manage your sales, customer relationships, and sales activity, now and in the future as well.
- You Oversell or Undersell Clients and Scare Them Away – If you manage to make the sale, the solution you provided should follow a Goldilock’s principle. It shouldn’t be too small or too big. It should be just right. If your salespeople are overselling or underselling a client, it’s likely to scare them away. They will find out they weren’t sold what they needed or that they were sold additional features that didn’t address any problem they ever had in the first place. If you don’t track customer retention and the types of sales being made, you probably won’t have any idea why your customers tend to disappear after a sale. Sales are never about making a killing on a specific product or service. It’s about building a long-term relationship that is mutually beneficial with your customer base.
- It’s Too Hard To Pull Data When You Need It – As someone looking at the overall sales strategy, you will need to create reports and dashboards as you go along that tells you the story you need to make good decisions. Whatever CRM you use, it should be easy to pull data and arrange it in a fashion that will spotlight issues in your sales activity. If you have to pay a programmer to create a report, every time you want to look at the data from a new angle, you will need a CRM with more flexibility. It should be easy enough for you to use without getting a programming degree.
If you’re trying to make up your mind on what CRM offers the scalability, ease-of-use, and data collection you need, check out what other customers have to say about Salesforce. It is the trusted platform that has helped manage customer relationships in distributed environments in a detailed, and fully-customizable, manner to get to the root of a customer’s problem and provide the “just right” solution on time.