We are all familiar with the idea that if we are looking for 100% improvement then we should be looking for 100 things to improve by 1% rather than searching for that one thing that will make 100% difference…and this has never been so true as when applied to the sale process.
A recent B2B client wanted to build a solid sales pipeline, gain an accurate insight into the sale process and customer journey, and to fully understand the numbers at each stage in the sales process.
This was an important project because the business was relatively small and our aims were budget and time constrained. We needed to:
- Build a replicable sales model using an initial low cost skill base
- Inform the business plan and help with forecasting
- Bring accuracy and certainty into the forecasting process and the sales forecasts
- Inform and remove some of the uncertainty from the recruitment process
All of the above having a huge impact on the survival and desired growth of the business in the required time frame.
Did we find 100 things that would individually improve performance by 1%…not quite, but not far off either.
Here are some of the major findings:
1. The sales process was such that we did not need to recruit staff with past sales experience as this tended to hamper their progress and extend the training and coaching time.
2. We could reduce the sales cycle by up to 5% if we increased the qualification and consultation section of the telephone sales pitch
3. Having a team of 2 sales trainees pre-qualify all data increased the initial hit rate by up to 18%
4. Screening hard during the first sales call increased the accuracy of the information being used to populate the sales funnel, which meant we lost up to 7% fewer prospects during the later stages of the sales funnel
5. Whilst there were 12% less prospects entering the sales funnel, sales conversions increased by 19% – allowing for better use of time and resources
6. Reducing the focus on management by numbers and increasing the focus on productive outputs led to an unquantifiable increase in motivation and confidence in the sales team, and improved the use of data…a very valuable source as the company operate in a finite marketplace of prospects
7. We identified 3 stages in the sales process that brought no benefit to the company, had no impact upon the close rate or sales cycle times and failed to bring any benefit to the customer experience – hence they were removed, freeing up time and resources to be more productively proactive
This project was vital to the success of the organisation. Having implemented the changes the management team are enjoying their best quarter ever and are looking to expand the team accordingly.
To understand how your sales processes could be helping or hindering your organisation’s sales growth then call Carol Griffiths on 0779 002 1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org