If you were to ask an average B2B sales professional about their biggest struggles, one of the first would be the length of the sales process. Due to poorly optimized processes, disconnection between marketing and sales, lack of personalization and more, the sales cycle drags on to weeks and months instead of days.
Speeding up the sales process benefits your bottom line and makes your sales team happier. But how do you actually make this happen without spending additional time and resources? Here are a few handy ways you can consider.
1. Automate Or Delegate Repetitive Processes
Imagine how much time you’re wasting every day doing tasks that you’re overqualified for. If your sales reps take hours to get information on leads while they could be closing high-ticket deals, it’s a waste of their time and your resources.
Luckily, nowadays you can automate every little step of the sales process. From lead scraping, lead enrichment, data entry and much more – there’s an app for it. However, before going on a spending spree, determine the most time-consuming tasks and find suitable apps to automate them.
Email is one of the most demanding administrative tasks for any employee, and especially sales force. Studies say that we check our emails up to 15 times per day, but that may be an understatement. Every time we check our emails, we stop our ongoing tasks and need time to refocus.
To prevent this, train your sales teams to check their inboxes at designated times – say, two times per day. That way, they have more time to pursue new sales opportunities. Another great way to speed up email management is by using a project management app directly within the email – such as Yanado, which allows you to manage and assign tasks directly in Gmail.
On the other hand, tasks such as outreach are too important to be automated. Instead, you can hire a virtual assistant to get the job done for you. Invest time into proper training and you’ll have a dependable staff member (or someone outsourced) to handle delicate tasks like outreach that cannot and should not be automated.
2. Upgrade Your Proposals
Ask an average sales professional about the most tedious part of their job and many will say that it’s writing proposals. Sitting down for a few hours to write up something the lead won’t even accept is hardly time well spent. However, proposals are a necessary part of the B2B sales world so you have to get really good at writing them…
Or alternatively, use proposal software such as Better Proposals. Create a template that you can reuse and when the occasion arises, simply swap out the most important data. Instead of hours, writing proposal now takes minutes.
Besides making writing quicker, you can also benefit from some other cool features of proposal software. Include beautiful covers, track how much time the lead spends reading the proposal, allow signing and payment directly within the proposal and much more. Simply put, sending out a PDF with a proposal will seem painfully outdated once you use a piece of software to do this job.
PS. If you want to learn some of the tips on how to write business proposals in 2019, check out the 2019 Better Proposals Report. Alternatively, if you’re completely new to proposal writing, you can go through the Proposal Writing University to learn from the professionals.
3. Use A Dedicated CRM
In a recent discussion on the busiest niche in the SaaS world, many of my peers agreed that the field of CRMs is incredibly saturated. There’s a CRM for every niche out there, with unique features and promises of making your sales process better, more efficient, faster, sexier… You name it.
The thing is – you really need a good CRM in place to make the job easier on your sales force and speed up the sales process. The good news is, there’s one out there for your niche, no matter how obscure it is, from hotel management to selling software.
4. Focus On Account Based Marketing
As a strategy, account based marketing or ABM has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. ABM flips the traditional marketing model upside down and instead of casting a wide net to market to everyone, you end up marketing to specific accounts. In other words, you first identify your ideal prospects and market to them, instead of wasting time on companies that won’t close later on.
ABM is a consequence of the B2B world becoming more like B2C as times goes by. Stakeholders in B2B environments now expect personalization every step of the way and ABM lets you deliver that experience. Instead of a cold call or email, accounts get personalized outreach that speaks directly to them.
As a result, you spend less time marketing and closing a sale and the entire process is considerably shorter.
5. Not All Leads Are Created Equal
Speaking of marketing to the right crowds – one of the biggest mistakes marketers make in B2B is sending off all leads to sales. If you lump together leads ready to pull the trigger along with those who may buy something within 3 months, don’t expect your sales to be too happy.
Instead, use a system to score your leads based on how likely they are to become a paying customer. Every good CRM in the market nowadays has this option. While the sales team may get fewer leads, the leads they do get will be higher quality and more likely to close.
What about those clients that are likely to buy, just not at the moment? Don’t scrap them just yet. Instead, make sure to nurture them up to a point when they become a sales qualified lead. Once again, your CRM can help here with email sequences and personalized outreach.
Maximizing your sales opportunities doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Sometimes, all you have to do is optimize your processes and use some new tools – and you’ll close more sales in less time.
Autor Bio: Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals, simple proposal software for creating beautiful, high-impact proposals in minutes. Having helped his customers at Better Proposals win $120,000,000+ in one year only, he has launched the first Proposal Writing University where he shares business proposal best practices.