Need sales to excel?

Need sales to excel?

Need sales to excel? Drop the spreadsheets.

1985 was a big year.

Madonna and Wham! were topping the charts with their songs: ‘Like a Virgin’ and ‘Wake me up before you go-go’. Ronald Reagan was being sworn in for a second term. And Microsoft launched Excel.

Excel transformed businesses. Accountants crunched numbers and sales managers tracked their deals. It was a game changer.

“30 years later, the world’s a different place. Excel is still a great tool – just not for sales managers.”

Here’s why:

1. No single, reliable source of data

Deal information is spread everywhere making accurate forecasting almost impossible. Collaboration on complex opportunities or tenders is frustrating. And different versions of sales proposal documents are stored in multiple places. Vital information can easily be lost, but it becomes impossible to know when or where.

2. Reporting is painful and takes too long

Sales reps should be maximising selling time. Instead, they are wasting hours trying to update shared spreadsheets and collate data from different sources. Usually just before the sales meeting. That means it’s nearly impossible to have truly actionable insights.

3. Limited visibility of sales activity

Adding info to the “comments” column in Excel doesn’t reflect the true history of sales activity related to the deal. When was the last meeting? What emails have been exchanged? Are there outstanding tasks? What makes it worse is that there are no reminders for follow-up activities in the future.

4. Information isn’t mobile

No access to important customer information while on the go. Getting access to your customer’s important information right from your mobile device is painful when it lives in a shared spreadsheet. We’ve all tried accessing shared spreadsheets from a mobile device, it isn’t fun!

5. Sharing isn’t caring

Scaling a shared spreadsheet across a team creates nothing but frustration. Online and offline versions, failed attempts to save new information and corrupt files when trying to save are par for the course with shared spreadsheets.

6. Every customer is treated the same

Not all customers are created equal. Without previous purchase history on hand, prioritising deals according to their likelihood to convert isn’t possible. That means all customers and deals are treated the same, and they shouldn’t be. Spend time on the customers or prospects that really matter.

Are you stuck on Excel? Here’s how to drop the spreadsheets in 2016:

After the Microsoft Office revolution, the next revolution was CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

CRM give you secure access to a single version of the truth. With all your important customer data in one place, reports are delivered in real-time and the insights gained are instantly actionable. All activities such as email, appointments, calls and follow-up tasks can be tracked  against a customer record. Keeping a comprehensive history in one place. This information is available on the go via any mobile device which means you have access to the info you need, when you need it.

Since it’s designed to scale from small teams up to tens of thousands of users, your whole team can work in CRM without anyone being locked out.

Best of all, customers can be profiled to ensure your people work on the most important deals first.

It’s simpler than you think. See it in action now:

At The CRM Team, we’re experts at streamlining your sales process.

Request a demo today. We’ll import a sample of your data and show you a different way of selling.

Don’t miss more articles by The CRM Team

 

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process Today’s marketplace is always on. And it’s always evolving. To keep up, leading-edge organisations are turning to technology. Why? Because technology drives market traction. Greater forecast accuracy, real-time...

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver The sales and marketing funnel is all about conversion. Curious prospective buyers enter at the top and happy customers exit at the bottom. But what happens when your funnel looks more like a sieve? By...

Discover More Stories

Sales Managers: Do these 6 things in 2018

Sales Managers: Do these 6 things in 2018

Sales Managers: Do these 6 things in 2018

Staying ahead of the competition is a must. Here’s six things you need to be doing as a sales manager in 2018:

1. Get real-time data to make better decisions

Gut-feel and experience are essential guiders of decisions in sales teams, but these shouldn’t be used alone. Accessing relevant data to get feedback and forecast is now standard in today’s technology age. Modern sales apps allow pro-active tracking of customers and competitors. This reduces guesswork and enables metrics to be developed that are useful predictors of buying behaviour. Accessing real-time feedback also revolutionises sales meetings. Instead of spending time getting status updates, more time can be spent on coaching and training. Easy-to-see overviews tailored to your requirements make forecasting a pleasure. With a full sales solution, sales processes can also be standardised and streamlined. This leads to greater efficiencies and quicker onboarding of new sales reps.

 

Syntel Case Study

Syntel is a US $825m IT and outsourcing company. Recently, they were growing rapidly and needed a system to revamp their sales processes. They needed something that could manage leads and opportunities right through to closure. The ability to integrate marketing campaigns was important to drive impact and growth. By deploying a Microsoft Sales and Marketing solution, they were able to see their sales pipeline at multiple levels in real-time. Global account teams were able to see the progress of their colleagues in different territories. This spurred teams on to better performance. Revenue forecasting became much more reliable and sales processes were tracked and improved upon. This allowed growth to continue. Management of sales teams became so much easier. You can read the full case study here.

 

2. Improve your customer information

When a sales rep moves on, valuable customer information may go with them. This is always a risk if reps keep their own prospect and customer data in spreadsheets. The solution is to bring it all into the cloud in one system. That way everyone on the team can see the data and add to it, giving a richer understanding of the customer. Your customer and prospect data is a key asset for your sales team. Centralising this allows the information to grow and mature.

 

Trek Case Study

Trek sells bikes through a network of independently owned retailers. They rely on a close, supportive relationship between the local sales reps and the store owner. In the past, when a rep left or retired it would take years to rebuild the rapport and customer knowledge. By installing a Microsoft Sales solution, Trek were able to see account histories, financial data and inventory all in one place. New reps had all the info they needed to connect meaningfully with store owners. Event reports and weekly updates were sent out using the sales solution. This ensured sales reps had detailed records on customers, making the customers feel known and cared for. You can read the full case study here

 

3. Reduce your team’s admin burden.

Reps spend 75% of their time on non-selling activities. But with modern sales apps, this can be dramatically reduced. Empower your sales reps to have all the customer info they need on their phones. Allow them to update deal info as soon as the meeting is over and so give you accurate forecasting information. There are a number of comprehensive systems on the market. At The CRM Team, we use the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (compatible with iOS, Android and Windows). It has seamless integration with Office 365.You can track all your customers and prospects without ever leaving Outlook.

CSX Transportation Case Study

CSX Transportation has 32,000 employees. Previously, customer information was spread over multiple systems. There was no way of seeing customer touch points across different business groups. Frustratingly, sales information wasn’t held centrally. By bringing all this information into one system, sales teams were able to save on their admin time. Consequently, they spend more time building customer relationships. It was only a matter of time before revenue increased. Read the full case study here

 

4. Increase cross-selling through smarter collaboration.

Nowadays, the best sales teams collaborate regularly on accounts. Learnings are shared across teams, and cross-selling opportunities are identified more easily. This is the case whether you run an inbound sales team or have reps on the road. With greater collaboration, teams can respond quicker to new sales opportunities.

 

Nat West Bank Case Study

natwest
Recently, UK Bank Nat West installed a Microsoft CRM solution, going live to 3000 users. Now, when a customer contacts the bank, sales staff have all the relevant information at their fingertips. It doesn’t matter which team the customer made their initial contact with. This smart pooling of customer data has led to increased cross-selling. The increased revenue from this alone will provide a return on investment by 2018. Read the full case study here.

 

5. Respond to customer’s needs on-the-go.

In a world of smart phones, it’s only natural that sales and customer data should be accessible via mobile devices. This sort of access not only increases productivity but also keeps sales teams connected and aware of what each other is doing. Mobile sales solutions allow for flexibility and responsiveness to customer needs. A good system will be able to work whether there is web access or not. It should also provide a cloud backup so that data is never at risk.

 

Grant Thornton Case Study

Grant Thornton LLP is one of the world’s largest professional services providers. Recently, they installed a new CRM solution with mobile sales capacity. Rick Stow, their Head of Client Relationship Management, said: “One of the most appealing aspects… is the ability to deliver the same experience across multiple platforms. Whether you’re opening a form from within Outlook, from a browser, or on a mobile device, you have full functionality.” Stow says this has resulted in their workforce being more connected and more productive. Ultimately, enabling them to service their clients better. Since upgrading to a CRM system with a mobile sales capability Grant Thornton LLP has experienced:

– a 450% jump in the number of sales opportunities,

– a 36% increase in average win value, and –

– a 700% rise in the number of contacts in the system.

Read the full case study here.

 

6. Get better marketing insight

Not knowing when prospects interact with you is a hinderance to your sales process. By adopting a combined marketing and sales solution you can get quick insight when prospects browse your website, read an article or download a white paper. It also helps marketing and sales team align better, ensuring that marketing hands over only quality leads.

 

Crowe Horwath Case Study

Crowe Horwath LLP is a performance consulting firm. They decided to bring all sales records and customer information under one sales solution. Dave Keever, Principal at Crowe explains the impact:

“We now have full visibility of our marketing efforts around a contact or account. We can see, for example, if a customer or prospect opts in on an email or has downloaded any of our white papers, and we can then discuss that with them in a meeting. Before, it could take a day or two to find out about an account and the surrounding marketing activities. Now, it takes seconds.” Keever says that the adoption has been very cost effective: “Both the greater visibility into our sales pipeline and the increase in the number of users are contributing to our return on investment. We expect the payback period to be between nine and 15 months.”

Read the full case study here.

 

Don’t miss more articles by The CRM Team

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process Today’s marketplace is always on. And it’s always evolving. To keep up, leading-edge organisations are turning to technology. Why? Because technology drives market traction. Greater forecast accuracy, real-time...

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver The sales and marketing funnel is all about conversion. Curious prospective buyers enter at the top and happy customers exit at the bottom. But what happens when your funnel looks more like a sieve? By...

Discover More Stories

Avoiding the Dire Consequences of a Missed Sales Target

Avoiding the Dire Consequences of a Missed Sales Target

How to Avoid the Dire Consequences of a Missed Sales Target

The day has arrived.

You’re about to report your numbers to the board. And you know you’ve missed your sales target.

You’ve either over committed and under delivered. Or under committed and over delivered. Either way, the consequences are dire – you’ll lose your customers.

Imagine this…

You weren’t able to close that final deal in time. Now you’ve missed your target by R1 000 000. The company was therefore, unable to procure enough stock to meet orders. One of your customers was left waiting longer for delivery than agreed. As a result, that customer cancelled further deals with you. 

Or this…

You brought a deal forward. And the business wasn’t able to make provision for the stock required to actually deliver on the deal. This ended up with a delay in delivery to the customer. As a result, the customer was unhappy and swore to never use your company again.

But worst of all… YOU lose your credibility!

Now you’re thinking, “How did this happen?”

Where did things go wrong?

 

A survey done by Talk Business showed that 70% of Salespeople regularly miss targets.

That’s a scary number, and one that’s probably making you question the effectiveness of your Sales team. But have you really dug into the root of the problem? Let’s look at where things might be going wrong.

 

1. Lack of alignment with Marketing.

 

The first hurdle to making your target is getting leads. Right? Wrong! The first hurdle to making your target is getting the RIGHT leads. And those leads come from Marketing.

Does this sound familiar?

Sales:

 ‘I need local leads! But all these leads are from an internet cafe in Bangalore!’

Marketing:

‘But you never said that when you briefed us! You just said you needed 150 leads by Friday. And we delivered!’

2. Salespeople don’t speak the same language

 

Salespeople are optimistic by nature. Some will walk in after the first meeting with a new client bragging, “that deal is going to close. It’s going to close tomorrow. And it’s going to be huge!” But it never happens like that. Companies don’t spend millions of Rands at the drop of a hat. There are steps that must take place before a customer will spend money with you.

That’s why your sales process is vital to the success of your Sales team. If each sales opportunity is handled differently, the results are hit or miss. And if you’re not making your targets, we’re guessing it’s a miss.

 

Sales and marketing alignment

3. Your Salespeople are misleading you

 

Salespeople are naturally intuitive. That’s what makes them good at their jobs. But it also means they can get away with a lot. It’s not hard for them to buck the system. To move deals in the pipeline, or shift them out. They’ll do whatever it takes to get out of a difficult conversation.

4. You don’t have actionable insights

 

Actionable insights are crucial to meeting your targets. For example, knowing how fast deals move through the sales pipeline allows you to accurately forecast when it’ll close.

According to CSO Insights, the average sales forecast accuracy is below 50%.

 

How to make sure this never happens to you again.

 

1. Align Marketing and Sales Teams

 

Getting your Sales and Marketing teams working as one unit will ensure you’re handed the RIGHT leads. Giving your Salespeople a better chance at conversion. In our company, we align our Marketing and Sales teams by adopting a specific methodology. We put this into a free eBook that you can download here.

 

2. Build a structured sales process

 

You want to ensure all your Salespeople are speaking the same language. So, you need a structured sales process.

Start by creating a step-by-step structure, with defined gates and stages. This will ensure your Salespeople know exactly where their deals are in the sales process. And because it’s so clear, it’s obvious what the next action is and how the deal will progress to the next stage.

Plus, now that everyone is speaking the same language (and entering data the same way) your reporting becomes accurate!

 

3. Refine your sales process

 

An important thing to remember is that the sales process isn’t static.

Keep evaluating and refining the process. This will guarantee you always have the most effective way to win new customers.

Many sales leaders fail because they don’t question. Asking simple questions like, “are we missing a stage?” or “do we have too many stages?” or “what else do we need at a certain stage?” gives you the insight needed to keep your sales process working for you.

These kinds of questions also allow you to refine your process. You never want to rush your sales process, but you want to condense it where possible.

For example, a CRM system allows you to send a quote right away. Reducing the time it takes to get the right information to your customer. Allowing them to decide sooner. Condensing the process, helping you reach your targets.

4. Encourage Salespeople to adopt the sales process

 

It’s your job as the sales leader to get buy-in and prove to your team that the sales process is going to serve them as well as the business.

Ensure your team are clear on each stage of the process and why it’s there. Show them (as simply as possible) how each stage affects their deal.

Try reinforcing the importance of the process. Tie rewards and recognition to implementing the sales process (rather than strictly to wins).

We also recommend employing a method of coaching. It’s easy for Salespeople to fall back into old habits. So, effective sales coaching is an important element of sales success. Evaluate each Salesperson’s needs and set coaching sessions accordingly. And remember to ensure they schedule customer meetings around their coaching sessions.

“You have to ensure that the learning is reinforced so Salespeople don’t forget what they learned.” – Mike Schultz (President of RAIN Group)

 

“You have to ensure that the learning is reinforced so Salespeople don’t forget what they learned.” – Mike Schultz (President of RAIN Group)

 

5. Embrace technology and Machine Learning

 

Technology is all about simplifying our lives. Take CRM systems for example. They’re designed to help you meet your targets. How? By giving you an easy way to track your pipeline, apply your process, and sell more! Yet many companies are still relying on spreadsheets to store important sales data.

Did you know? 82% of top-performing Salespeople said, sales software is “critical” to their ability to close deals.

Machine learning is the evolution of customer experience. Machines are now learning how people interact and communicate. Opening the door for Sales to take advantage of “engagement recommendations”. Enabling them to provide the most relevant information to the customer. Which will help them close deals.

How it works:

Machine learning uses data based on a customer’s preferences and social activity. With this data, Salespeople can get real insights into the best time and channel to call or visit a customer. And get suggestions on the most relevant content or offer to send to a customer.

The best part is, this isn’t some futuristic idea. Recently, Microsoft announced their plan to integrate LinkedIn data into Dynamics 365. According to Microsoft, the upgrade will help Salespeople become more efficient. Using data and insights from LinkedIn’s 500 million professionals.

Remember it’s all about the customer! So, the more you know about what your customer wants and needs, the easier it’ll be to sell to them.

Missed targets have dire consequences for the entire business. Whether you under delivered or over delivered, missing your target is never good.

Remember, sale targets influence forecasts. And each team in the business works off your forecast. That means that problems run downhill, and might affect customer experience.

And as the sales leader, YOU’RE the one who loses credibility!

So, look at the reasons why you’re missing your target. Where did things go wrong? The moment your sales process started? Is your process structured enough? Did you have the insights you needed?

Once you’ve unpacked the problem, use the steps discussed in this article to fix them:

  • Start by aligning your Sales and Marketing teams.
  • Build a structured process and keep refining it.
  • Encourage and coach your people to adopt the process.
  • And embrace technology and machine learning.

 

Make this a reality!

Don’t miss more articles by The CRM Team

 

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process Today’s marketplace is always on. And it’s always evolving. To keep up, leading-edge organisations are turning to technology. Why? Because technology drives market traction. Greater forecast accuracy, real-time...

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver The sales and marketing funnel is all about conversion. Curious prospective buyers enter at the top and happy customers exit at the bottom. But what happens when your funnel looks more like a sieve? By...

Discover More Stories

Recession Roadmap: Driving Sales in Tough Times

Recession Roadmap: Driving Sales in Tough Times

Recession Roadmap: Driving Sales in Tough Times

The hard truth? South Africa is in a recession – something we saw coming last year. It doesn’t take an economist to see that we’re in a tough spot. The shops are empty. People – and businesses – are under huge pressure. Will things get better? While they say that time heals all, the fact is that market downturns mean deep economic recalibration – there will be winners and losers at the end of this. It’s scary, but it’s true.
The good news for businesses? It’s not only up to the markets. Yes, we’re all in for one hell of a tough ride. However, there are tools and strategies that can make getting through far easier. The better news? It’s possible to emerge even stronger on the other side. So strap in, hold on and commit.

 1 – Work smarter

It may seem counterintuitive, but when times are tough, resist the urge to do more. Instead, get back to basics – focus on your business’s core. Do fewer things, but do them right! Boom times allow for the growth of fluff, while recessions reveal the real revenue drivers. Exploit this opportunity to identify them. Tough times reveal the products and services that are your business’s bedrock – direct your energy there.

 2 – Get the right mix

Getting the right customer mix is always tricky. Slow seasons make it harder still. For existing clients: stay close, secure budget and work together – remember, their pressures are your pressures! Take the time to understand how their needs and wants have changed, and work to deliver on them. New customers? Be crystal clear on your targets for new acquisitions – come one, come all isn’t a strategy to deploy when the market is making life difficult.

 3 – Improve your sales process

Use this opportunity to review. Tweak, adjust, refine – and CUT. Sales, especially early solution sales, can be human heavy. When pressures mount, automate. Streamline in other areas too. Use templates where you can, and compress the parts of the sales cycle where real gains are achievable. By driving efficiencies in this part of your business, you’ll free yourself up to add value elsewhere.

 4 – Improve your sales productivity

Reduce sales admin. Minimising the time spent on reporting, drawing up time sheets and reports can free up capacity to drive revenue. More productive people = more deals. Automation can give people the time they need to focus on sales. When back-office processes are taken care of, there’s no need to sit in the office crunching through admin. You can work from anywhere, knowing those aspects of business are taken care of.

 5 – Improve and automate your reporting

Reporting should be a natural by-product of the sales process. Slow cycles highlight how important this is – when driving revenue is critical, waiting for a once-a-week sales meeting just won’t cut it. Stalled deals, blockers affecting salespeople, which leads or customers require immediate action … your reporting should allow an instant snapshot of it all. Smart software that integrates machine learning techniques can help streamline the process and power intelligent decisions. Need a report? You should be able to grab one instantly.

 6 – Work on your product offerings

When the market gets tough, there are two options. One – to use an example from the ice-cream industry – is to shrink the tub. The second? Stop customers from straying. You can do this, for example, by introducing a sub-brand, which customers can cancel their use of later.

 7 – Improve your marketing

Get your sales and marketing alignment right. For guidance, see our article on the subject. Instead of having your sales team deal with whitewash early on, focus your attention on quality leads. Secondly, get social. Go where your customers are and get your customer mix right. Closeness with the right customers has never been more important than right now.

 8 – Focus on your cash flow

They say cash is king. Correction: cash is queen. Cash FLOW is king. Create deals that will help keep your cash flow strong. With your admin and reporting under control, this becomes far easier. You have both the time and the necessary tools to make revenue generation a top priority.

It’s simple, really

Seize, hold, build … and win. We’re all in for one hell of a ride here. That much we can’t change. What we can change is how we react.

Make this a reality!

Don’t miss more articles by The CRM Team

 
6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process Today’s marketplace is always on. And it’s always evolving. To keep up, leading-edge organisations are turning to technology. Why? Because technology drives market traction. Greater forecast accuracy, real-time...

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver The sales and marketing funnel is all about conversion. Curious prospective buyers enter at the top and happy customers exit at the bottom. But what happens when your funnel looks more like a sieve? By...

Looking for more of the latest headlines?

How to Enable an Extended Sales Team

How to Enable an Extended Sales Team

How to Enable an Extended Sales Team

There are real opportunities out there. Make the most of them.

Sounds like strange advice in the current market, doesn’t it? It shouldn’t. When times get tough, many make the mistake of losing confidence. They focus inwardly, looking to consolidate what they have, rather than outwardly: on what could be. This is unnecessary self-sabotage!

Rather: vision, guts and a little ingenuity can make all the difference, separating the winners from the losers.

A major opportunity every business should be exploiting is this: Creating extended sales teams. By viewing everyone in your business – yes, everyone – as a salesperson, you immediately increase your sales potential.

Trust beats smooth talk

 

Selling is no longer about the gift of the gab – it’s about building trust. And that means that everyone in your business can – and should – sell.

In fact, those people who already work for you are actually in the best position to do so. For example, who better to up-sell a deal than a service technician who is always on the front-line delivering to customers?

It’s true – not everyone understands the world of sales. So, sales managers may need to step in to provide guidance at first – showing those new to the process how to identify opportunities. Putting incentive structures in place is key too, as it will change the behaviour people have in seeking out new sales avenues.

 

Sell with service

 

The first step? Focus on your service people. Service teams interact with clients every day, throughout every stage of the post-sales cycle. That interaction equates to trust – trust that’s been built up over time. Here are a few ideas on how to leverage their abilities:

Create referrals – Referral leads convert at a higher rate than typical leads. Not only that, but referred customers tend to spend more. If you’re not exploring this avenue with your service people, you may be losing out.

Ask for customer feedback – Develop a culture of gathering (and sharing!) feedback. Use that information to learn and grow. Ask your marketing team to develop a set of key questions, then get your service people involved deployment. Use the feedback gathered to help improve both your product development and sales processes. Your service people are on the ground – they can access insights others simply can’t. Change what needs to be changed on the basis of what you discover and, if need be, rethink your approach. Also, share the changes you made with customers who gave you the feedback in the first place. They will feel appreciated and are more likely to give you more feedback in the future.

Cross-sell, up-sell and even down-sell – Have a client with a basic plan or product? Get your service teams to ask well thought through, quality questions; they understand customer needs and pain points better than anyone else. This means they’re best positioned to make recommendations about how customers can access better services. Don’t discount down-selling either: if a client is wavering, a basic plan can be a way of retaining their business, with the potential for growth in future.

Capitalise on online chat – The market has changed. Digitisation, fluidity and instant communication are the order of the day. Customers have come to expect fast responses and real-time interactions. The right person providing the right information online can both improve customer experience and shorten the sales cycle.

 

Make it about marketing

 

There was a time when marketing teams simply handed over leads to sales. Those days are gone. Now, marketing is operating ever further into the entire sales cycle, taking customers ever deeper into the journey.

This means that your marketing teams are increasingly important to the sales process. It also means that they need to be more knowledgeable about sales (and how your business runs) than ever. Here are a few tips:

  1. Integrate and educate. Enable your marketing teams to close deals – and then, help them to close more. Part of this means taking a tactical and strategic approach to your marketing activities.
  2. Identify and attract prospects that are easier to sell to. An easier sale frees up the time and resources you need to drive other areas of your business forward.
  3. Generate the right leads – Use your marketing team to help generate the leads you need to support the sales team. Having the right leads that are more likely to convert is better than generating tons of the wrong leads.
  4. Increase your close rates. Market more intelligently to attract the right people with the right message. Then, make sure that every touch point you have with them is consistent and equipped to drive maximum value.

 

Closing with customers

The final addition to your extended sales team? Guess what – they’re your customers themselves.

Here’s the key: customers are not only the people you sell to. They’re also the people who can help you sell.

Customers can be a great source of new sales leads. Leverage your customers’ networks to explore new opportunities and open new doors. If you’ve worked well with a customer and developed rapport, you’re well positioned to ask for references into other business units or departments in their company.

Existing customers can also be extremely effective last-inning closers too. If there’s a deal in the pipeline or a lead who’s on the verge of buying – but who is not yet quite convinced – ask an existing customer to help close the deal. ‘My experience with the company was great’ is often just that little bit more effective as a sales tool than ‘Your experience with our company will be great’.

So, here’s the deal: don’t be afraid to go big

And by ‘big’, we mean broad. Involve everyone. Think outside the box. Getting new people invested in the sales process means gaining access to new perspectives and new ways of connecting with customers. It also means growing your sales team instantly – from 5 to 50, or from 50 to 500.

Sales is no longer about smooth talking – it’s about building trust and long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with customers. With a little guidance and the right incentive structures in place, you can empower anyone in your business to build and grow the kind of connections every successful business needs.

Don’t miss more articles by The CRM Team

 

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process Today’s marketplace is always on. And it’s always evolving. To keep up, leading-edge organisations are turning to technology. Why? Because technology drives market traction. Greater forecast accuracy, real-time...

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver The sales and marketing funnel is all about conversion. Curious prospective buyers enter at the top and happy customers exit at the bottom. But what happens when your funnel looks more like a sieve? By...

Discover More Stories

Nucleus Research: Dynamics 365 + Sales Navigator significantly increases your sales productivity.

Nucleus Research: Dynamics 365 + Sales Navigator significantly increases your sales productivity.

Nucleus Research: Dynamics 365 + Sales Navigator significantly increases your sales productivity.

Get an hour back each day. That was the conclusion of global tech analyst, Nucleus Research when they looked at LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 for Sales. Putting it another way, using this combination gives you a 12-15% increase in your productivity. Think how many more deals you could close because of this.

This is a big claim. But it’s not unreasonable. We’ve been using LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 for months, and have been experiencing the benefits.

Now, when a lead comes to us we get all the data from LinkedIn alongside it. From this one lead, we can easily identify all the stakeholders associated with the deal – without leaving Dynamics 365. We can see their photos, job title, past work history, connections, etc. It’s incredible.

 

But don’t just take our word for it, you can read the report here. Or better still, see it in action in this short video:

 

 

Nucleus Research concludes:

“Clearly Microsoft has an advantage with the sheer volume and granularity of business relationship data within LinkedIn.”

 

What’s stopping you from having that advantage too?

Talk to us today.

Don’t miss more articles by The CRM Team

 

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process

6 Ways Technology Can Supercharge Your Sales Process Today’s marketplace is always on. And it’s always evolving. To keep up, leading-edge organisations are turning to technology. Why? Because technology drives market traction. Greater forecast accuracy, real-time...

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver

Never lose a prospect? What lead nurturing can really deliver The sales and marketing funnel is all about conversion. Curious prospective buyers enter at the top and happy customers exit at the bottom. But what happens when your funnel looks more like a sieve? By...

Discover More Stories