Besides being proactive and persuasive, the sales representatives need to be tech-savvy and possess a certain business acumen as the rates of customer attrition continue to increase. Also, the sales reps continuously multitask and focus their efforts on the established business goals and objectives. Having a clearly defined sales process can definitely help your sales people in achieving their sales quotas. However, having a sales process does not necessarily mean acting upon it. Not to mention the vast amount of obstacles that arise throughout the sales process: from receiving a marketing qualified lead to turning a prospect into a customer and successfully closing a deal. Let’s take a closer look at the most common difficulties that salespeople experience on various stages of the sales pipeline and the solutions that sales automation provides.
The stages of lead qualification and needs analysis
One of the latest researches reveal that 80% of reps think they are good at qualifying opportunities, while another study showed that 50% of qualified leads were, in fact, not yet ready to buy. Moreover, the sales professionals are experiencing troubles with effective time-management as 65% of sales rep’s time is spent on activities that do not directly generate new sales. The main goal of a sales representative at this stage is to assess a lead’s potential, determine the client’s business model, requirements, needs and pain points. This data gives a sales rep an opportunity to tailor presentations and proposals to the client’s needs. You can avoid the most laborious and time-consuming activities by setting up an initial meeting and creating an opportunity in the sales automation software. Once created, you can assign the responsible sales professional. In addition, creating a formalized questionnaire for more accurate needs analysis will definitely make this stage less problematic. If the lead cannot be qualified as an opportunity, you can easily move it back for lead nurturing until it is ready.
Working on an opportunity
Opportunity management is a process that consist of various activities like negotiations, development of presentation and sales tactics. Accessing key decision makers and influencers turned out to be one of the top challenges on this stage. Usually, at least 5 people are involved in an average B2B buying process and the majority of corporate buying decisions are made by a core group of influencers, rather than by a single person. Every member of that group contributes their own unique differing expectations and decision criteria. The result of your sales activities heavily relies on proper identification of such decision makers from the start. The sales reps may define buyer’s priorities and needs, spending weeks to scope the project and develop a proposal, but all of that time can be potentially wasted as the efforts were not pointed at the right direction. Only 52% of sales reps say that they can successfully pinpoint key players in the buyer’s organization. Depending on the size and structure of the company, you need to find a group of people with influential roles in the sales process. You can determine key decision makers by creating a visual diagram and indicating their relationships and influence level with powerful sales automation solution. For example, bpm’online creates a 360-degree overview on each of your contact for your sales team to get a better understanding of their contacts.
Since your sales representatives spend a huge chunk of their time in the field, the need for a mobile CRM has never been more transparent. Despite the fact that 81% of salespeople use CRM system on their laptop, 48% also choose their smartphones to access the software while 45% prefer tablets. In today’s hectic business environment, your salespeople have to keep tabs on each opportunity and everything that goes on in the sales pipeline at all times. With the help of mobile CRM, they can show any required presentations and pull out any kind of relevant analytics to make their meeting truly productive. While keeping their focus on the most profitable customers, your sales professionals need to be freed from time-consuming document management. Luckily, cutting-edge sales automation systems are equipped with document flow automation tools that will make the tedious processes like invoicing and contracting completely trouble-free. You can get access to any document in the system and assign them to opportunities, orders or customers. Moreover, you can attach scans and copies of documents, create new documents using the templates and enrich them with the information from the system.
In today’s hypercompetitive environment of the business world, sales representatives are facing numerous challenges. Your sales team has to constantly develop and add responsibilities without losing the quality of customer service. Obviously, it is difficult to balance all of the tasks that sales reps are managing, but the automation system will upgrade all of your key business processes to make your sales activities truly effective.