3 Pitfalls that Still Make Sales Teams Waste Time and Lower Sales Effectiveness
The Internet is creating paradigm shifts in many industries and professions. New technologies such as inbound marketing, social media and mobility is changing how buyers find information to solve their business needs. When products and offerings look the same to buyers, I am convinced that how we sell will become an even stronger differentiator. Despite all of the technology and valuable information available online, I would argue that there are still three fundamental pitfalls that lower complex b2b sales effectiveness. Unless you have complete control of these, it will be difficult to rise above your competition, no matter how good your products and services are. The three pitfalls are:
- Poor qualification – All too often, sales people spend time with prospects that will not become profitable clients. The first thing in optimizing sales effectiveness is to make sure that we are spending time with the right type of prospects. Sales leaders need to clarify qualifying criteria for sales teams, after analyzing win/loss data, with clear insights of why deals are won or lost and then provide guidance to focus on the right prospects.
- Missing “sales maps” tied to process, methodology and analytics – Formalizing a structured sales process and integrating a proven sales methodology is the foundation for successful sales operations. Nothing new. Nothing fancy. Still difficult. Done right, we get detailed insights into our pipelines and sales projects and can work on continuous improvements. We can free up valuable sales time by not spending time on the wrong opportunities and knowing when to timely walk away from opportunities that won’t close. Having sales maps allows us to prioritize and keep momentum to win more business. At the same time, it provides sales managers a platform for effective coaching and sales leadership with valuable sales analytics and insights.
- Not enough quality coaching – In order for sales people to make contact with potential buyers and engage them in an intelligent dialogue, they need an understanding of the customer’s industry, organization and the business acumen to relay how to help customers become more profitable using our products and services. They need the right communication skills to: listen and connect with different personalities, understand the competitive landscape, see and create triggers, and focus internal resources on a shared outcome. One of the best ways to increase these skills is to provide continuous hands-on coaching on different levels.
Time is of the essence
One fact of life is that we all share the same limited time to drive new business. Sales professionals and colleagues on the selling teams need to spend their time wisely and effectively. Focusing on these three fundamentals will save time, increase sales effectiveness and add more money to the bottom line.
If you were to pick the Top 3 pitfalls for complex b2b sales teams from your perspective – what would they have been? Please comment.
About George Brontén
George Brontén, founder of Upstream Software and Membrain, a life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space, has always been passionate about sales and marketing. With the life motto “Don’t settle for mainstream”, George is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills and processes.
In 2008, after realizing that the sales profession needs to evolve because of the Internet and global competition, George had a vision to increase b2b sales effectiveness using modern saas technology. Since then, George and his team have worked with thought leaders and studied research to identify the success factors behind successful sales organizations and build technology to support these.
The result is the premium web-based sales pipeline management solution MembrainTM that can quickly and easily be customized for any sales process and methodology. The easy-to-use user interface makes it popular among sales professionals, who are tired of traditional, data-entry focused, CRM systems. The core focus around process and analytics captures the hearts of sales management and leadership. Modules are available for Smart Prospecting, Active PipelineTM Management, Sales Coaching and Sales Analytics.
MembrainTM was founded in 2009 and released its first version in May 2012. MembrainTM is promoted and implemented by leading sales development experts around the globe. For more information, please visit www.membrain.com.