Most companies and top sales people are always looking for ways to improve sales success. Now that customers complete much of the decision process on their own, before even contacting a company’s sales team, it’s more important than ever that your team executes effectively and understands that sales success is as much about relationships than it is about product, pricing and positioning. When it’s time to increase the effectiveness of your sales team, here are few key areas that you should investigate. The results from improving performance in any of these three areas will astonish you.
Inadequate pipeline management
Make sure your sales funnel is adequate to support the revenue targets you have set, but remember that pipeline management is about more than just providing leads to your sales team. You need to ensure that you have a system of nurturing and qualifying leads before they go to the sales force.
In addition, you should define criteria for moving an opportunity from one stage to the next. We’ve all worked with a rep whose deals move from initial meeting to closing without seeming to move through any steps in between, just as everybody has seen deals that sit in one stage seemingly forever. Both of these conditions indicate inadequate pipeline management.
If your reps aren’t updating opportunities as they move through the pipeline, you can’t forecast adequately, nor can you determine when and how to help the rep bring the opportunity to close. Usually, the reps that don’t update their pipeline stages are the least successful reps that would benefit most from pipeline management and review.
By paying attention to pipeline management and ensuring that your reps stage all opportunities properly and that they are moving at a reasonable pace, you will hit your sales targets more consistently and predictably.