What would happen if your company’s sales manager decided to leave tomorrow? Would you know what potential sales are in your pipeline? Could you easily find out how much revenue your company would receive next month? Do you know your business’s costs to acquire a new customer? If you weren’t able to answer any of these questions, then it’s time to rethink how your company approaches sales. Follow the four steps below to improve your business’s sales processes.
Outline Your Current Sales Processes
Companies may have an informal way of approaching sales. In other words, the sales team has a general understanding of who does what and how everything is supposed to happen.
To improve your sales operations, you need to outline your current sales processes in detail. The goal is to gain a full understanding of the steps necessary to make a new sale.
Evaluate everything you do that impacts your sales processes:
- How many phone calls do members of your sales team need to make to close one sale?
- How many emails do sales representatives send?
- Who are the primary customer contacts?
Once you have some basic questions answered, you can begin to construct a sales workflow such as the following:
- Generate leads.
- Submit proposals.
- Negotiate cost.
- Confirm sales.
- Produce sales deliverables.
- Receive payment.
Set Key Performance Indicators
With your sales process established, you’re now ready to track your sales prospects as they move through your sales funnel. By examining data related to how long completing a sale from start to finish takes, you’ll be able to establish key performance indicators for your sales operations. KPIs can be as follows:
- Sales to date this month.
- Time prospects spend in the sales cycle.
- Closing rate.
- Average sale price.
- Customer acquisition cost.
- Lifetime customer value.
- Burn and churn rates.
Use Technology to Assist With Sales Monitoring
If you need to search through your emails to find customer contact information, then you’re not using your sales time effectively. Centralizing customer data can greatly help you by organizing your data so that you can improve sales contacts and sales order processing. Implementing enterprise resource planning software within your business operations gives you the following advantages:
- You can store your customer data in one place.
- You can enhance sharing and information communication across members of your team.
- You can automate your KPI tracking.
Forecast Your Sales
View your sales processes as a pipeline. When you measure your customer conversion rate at each juncture along the pipeline, you can determine what you need to put into your pipeline to achieve your sales goals.
You can also think of your sales funnel in this way. Let’s estimate that 40% of your sales leads progress to the quote stage, 15% move to negotiations, 20% move to close, and 15% drop out. Based on this information, you know you need to connect with a considerable number of leads to sell a specific number of units.
By focusing on the front end of your sales processes, you can work toward increasing your sales focus. With the right mindset and the right tools, your business can set and achieve the sales objectives you desire.