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An efficient sales process can be the difference between an organization that’s winning and one that struggles to achieve its monthly targets. I often speak with businesses that are good at generating leads but are unable to successfully convert them into paying customers. This is where a well-optimized sales process can help you in improving your conversion rates. In this guide, we will look at how you can utilize sales process optimization to increase your profitability.
We see that many companies have started utilizing digital platforms for lead generation. Thanks to the intuitive one-step lead generation ads on social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, getting leads has become easier. However, because these companies don’t have a thought-out sales process or lead nurturing strategy, they fail to convert most of them into customers. Due to the non-optimal sales processes, many prospects lose interest and fall through the cracks.
For example, your marketing department successfully ran a lead generation campaign and gathered leads; but if the sales team does not follow up their SQLs properly, they will not be able to move these prospects further down the funnel and convert them into paying customers. Sales reps also need to be aligned with one another to ensure they work as a united front and don’t approach the same prospect with the same repetitive pitch.
The first approach is to make your UVP crystal clear in the visitor’s mind.
Visitors must be able to clearly see on your website’s landing page or homepage why they need to do business with you.
Example – MailChimp There are many email marketing service providers out there. Thus, for any company like MailChimp, it is a pretty arduous task to differentiate themselves from the herd. However, MailChimp rose above the crowd by focusing on making email campaigns simple and easy.
If you think about this – who is generally tasked with sending out email newsletters? It is often someone who is not a marketing specialist, not technically oriented, and has a long “to-do” list. Making it simple is really essential.
Every page of your site should contain a keyword-rich meta description and title tag. These two items are usually responsible for the first impression your visitors receive of your brand in organic search results. Meta descriptions and title tags communicate the content of your web pages to visitors what to expect when they click. They also are extremely important to search engines as well.
2. Keep it short:
Title tags are the place to keep it short and crisp. The thumb rule is to keep it around 70-characters or less (spaces including); hence be thoughtful and creative in writing a title that represents your page. Meta descriptions should be 150 characters or less.
3. Keep your visitors in mind:
The effort you put in with points #1 & #2 will certainly help your website appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Keep in mind though that you actually have to appeal to real person and get them click to your page. Make use of action verbs like “Meet our produce delivery staff” and use your company’s name to establish trust.
There are many ways to optimize sales performance. But the one thing we can all agree on is that sales is something to be supported and nurtured. In a game of capture the flag, it’s the flag that both triggers teams to protect their own while also motivating them to win.
In business, it doesn’t matter how you approach it — the goal is to keep sales alive. And no matter what sales process you follow, sales needs care and protection. Sales enablement activities play a key role in supporting your sales process by building content and best practices across your organization.
In sales, the prospect should be the focal point of every type of sales approach. Finding the sales methodology that allows you to consistently meet the needs of your prospect is central to optimizing sales performance that will build productive, mutually beneficial relationships with loyal customers.
While there are dozens of proven sales methodologies teams use to improve sales performance, we’ve chosen two for this blog that are well known for their B2B focus — the Challenger Sale and the Sandler Selling System — to illustrate how sales enablement plays a key role in supporting sales processes.
Based on one of the largest studies in sales ever done, The Challenger Sale is a seminal piece in B2B sales. It was written in response to the shift in the B2B buyer journey, where buyers started becoming more informed and empowered earlier in the sales process making traditional selling no longer effective.
In this new buying landscape, authors Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon came to a realization: sales reps needed to disrupt the way their buyers thought about the sales process and deliver insights that challenged how they viewed their own business. This is where The Challenger ™ model was born.
Rather than trying to build relationships with prospects, this methodology encourages sales reps to take control of the sales process. These high-performing reps are called “Challengers,” as you might have already guessed.
“What exactly makes someone a Challenger? They have a different view of the world and profound understanding of their customer’s needs. Challenger sellers love exploring new ideas and using constructive tension to motivate the customer to think differently about their business. Their conversations lead with commercial insight and lead to, not with, the solution they’re selling.”
— Challenger Performance Optimization, Inc.
Just like the Challenger model, sales enablement is also a product of the new B2B buyer journey. Prompted by the growth of digital channels, the new buying landscape requires a shift in how we think about and engage with customers to optimize sales performance. This means approaching sales differently than you might have in the past.
High-performing Challengers succeed with an unusual sales approach: they understand their customer’s market so well that, instead of going into the sales process to gain insight, first they give insight on things that are affecting their business the customer isn’t even aware of.
To achieve this, sales reps need to have an intimate knowledge of their ideal customer and where they are in the complex buyer journey. This is where alignment between cross-functional teams becomes critical for sales enablement success.
Sales enablement is most successful when informed by people from cross-functional teams. Between leadership, product, sales, marketing, and customer success, each team has complementary skills and knowledge to impart.
Sales and marketing alignment is a keystone to this process. Marketers work closely with sales teams and take part in customer events to gain a deep understanding of the buyers the sales team will meet along the buyer journey. They then create sales enablement content that addresses key concerns or questions at various stages of that journey.
Winning the complex B2B sale means having the right message and the right skills to connect with the right buyers. Challenger sales reps succeed by understanding their customer’s business well enough to teach new ideas, tailor insights to customer pain points, and take control of the conversation — allowing them to position themselves as a trusted partner helping them with their business.
Rather than emphasizing the closing stage of the sales process, the Sandler Sales Method optimizes sales performance by concentrating on lead qualification and relationship building. Pushy salespeople have no place in this sales approach. Reps act as consultants and ensure prospects are a perfect match for their offering.
As a sales rep talks with their prospect, they focus more on listening and asking the right questions to understand their buyer’s pain points, what their budget is, and who their decision makers are. By getting this information early in the sales process, reps can accurately evaluate the quality of the opportunity and work toward a mutually beneficial solution.
As its core, the Sandler Sales Method excels at building strong client relationships. Sandler sales reps are expected to get inside the minds of their buyers and figure out how they see the world — to the point where leads start to imagine the deal was their idea in the first place. David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training, sees the buying journey as an emotional one.