Even if you think that your sales team is a well-oiled machine, chances are there are at least a few aspects that you could improve upon. Since you can rest assured that your competitors are actively working to improve their sales process, it’s important that you do the same.
One of the more effective methods of improving your sales process is to specifically look for inefficiencies – or weaknesses. The following are a few reliable ways to identify weaknesses in your sales process and improve sales productivity.
Audit your lead follow-up process
Depending on the type of product or service your team is trying to sell, chances are that many (or even most) prospective customers will require one or more follow-up interactions. Even if your team has a fairly strong record of following up, it’s worth checking to see if any prospects are slipping through the cracks. More often than not, you and your team will be able to identify at least one client (or type of client) that isn’t receiving the optimal follow-up interaction. Work with your team to define an agreed upon contact plan and use your CRM to set up procedures to make deployment easy. Have reporting that highlights non-compliance so that you can establish a baseline for measurement against consistent delivery.
Does your team have a clear, and effective, hierarchy?
While you want your team to work together with a sense of camaraderie and kinship, ultimately it is important to have some sense of a hierarchy within the sales organization. This can be you (as the sales leader) or it can be one or several of the more experienced and successful members of the team. It’s important that newer and less experienced members of the team have someone to look up to and learn from, and having a clear hierarchy, even a subtle one, can help establish mentor/learner relationships.
Does everyone on your sales team have a deep understanding of the product as well as their target customer?
Having a robust understanding of the product they are selling is already a well-known part of successful sales, but it important to ensure that the product knowledge is refreshed from time to time as well. In addition, it’s important for your team to understand the ideal customer for the product they are selling, as well as the types of motivations they could have that would compel them to become a customer. Periodically, it’s important to check in with your team to test their knowledge of each of these key selling components.
Does your team maintain active and positive relationships with existing customers?
Maintaining positive relationships with customers is one of the best ways not only to get referrals, but to have a receptive ear when the time comes to offer other products and services that customers might be interested in. Client relationships should be a major focus of your sales team, and should be considered as important as any other sales metric. Speak with your team on a regular basis to ensure not only that they understand this, but that they are actively taking responsibility for maintaining strong relationships with their customers.
These are just a few ways to keep your team as effective as possible by minimizing potential areas of weakness. Staying organized is crucial to your ability as a sales leader, particularly as it pertains to identifying and reducing sales weaknesses.
The Insight Sales Process is a great way to get you and your team organized, and will make it far easier for you to establish which specific elements in your sales process can be improved upon.