Are you spending too much on sales? A high operating cost for your sales team lowers your overall ROI, leaves money on the table, and is often a sign of other inefficiencies.
Sales teams tend to focus on hitting revenue targets and neglect cutting out waste and supporting good performance. They also often waste time chasing bad leads and using unprofitable techniques. Your business doesn’t have a limitless sales budget, but too many sales teams act as if it does. By spending more than is necessary on sales, you may increase your revenue, but you will not increase your profit.
Furthermore, your sales people want to be selling, not spending all of their time on admin work. Here are some ways you can reduce your sales operating costs.
Nurture Current Customers
Bluntly, it is always cheaper to sell to somebody you have already sold to. The amount of time and money invested into a new lead is considerable; but once you have them, keeping them is a lot easier.
Engage your existing customers, ask for their feedback, and look for their pain points. This is particularly important if you offer any kind of subscription service; ongoing sales are important to keep people from canceling.
Keep good records of what customers have bought in the past (this is one place where Salesforce is incredibly helpful) and target marketing messages to them based on that.
Furthermore, your current customers are mini sales people. Keep them happy, and they will tell their friends about you. Offer swag or a discount code, and they will tell more of their friends about you.
Look After Your Reps
People are more productive when they are healthy. Encourage your reps to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and take regular breaks. Taking a break every 90 minutes increases focus and productivity. People are typically 23% more productive on days when they exercise.
Putting more and more pressure on your reps to make more and more sales is counterproductive, as is pushing them to work long hours. A tired rep is more likely to make mistakes. Making sure that everyone avoids burnout also helps reduce sales rep turnover, which is expensive. The cost of hiring, onboarding, and training a new rep is not couch change.
On top of that, it’s important to make sure your team is a safe place for diverse members and that everyone feels comfortable being themselves and sharing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas. You should also provide your team with tools to help them stay focused.
Analyze Your Leads
One of the biggest time wasters in the sales field is going after unproductive and unpromising leads. By using analytics, you can identify early which leads are most likely to convert and focus your efforts on them.
Salesforce provides you with all the data you need to do this, and once your team members are trained, they can look at it themselves and independently decide which prospects to put more effort into. If you have enough data, they can even work out what communications channel an individual is most likely to respond to, depending on demographics and even what they are interested in purchasing.
These tools can also help you detect unattended leads and ensure that a promising lead doesn’t inadvertently get dropped in the shuffle.
Continuously Assess Performance
The traditional revenue-first way of judging sales often allows dead weight to stay on the team. A manager would rather have some revenue from an underperforming rep than none from a vacancy.
Add to that the typical annual review, and a rep can coast for months doing the bare minimum. Performance issues go unnoticed until they are at the point where somebody has to be fired.
Use analytics to detect reps who are not performing well, and hopefully catch issues early so that they can be provided with the training and tools to improve. Rather than wait for an annual review, have regular one-on-one meetings with your team members. That way you can address concerns and also make sure they know what they are doing well. This allows for two-way feedback and a place for team members to talk about the things that might be getting in the way of performance.
This also means you can match sales people with accounts based on their experience and, potentially, a particular skill dealing with a specific industry or vertical.
Automate Administrative Tasks
Most reps spend too much of their time on admin tasks rather than pursuing leads. Free up your reps’ time by automating as much admin work as possible.
This includes making it as easy as possible for a rep to record a new lead and using a CRM system like Salesforce to add leads and prospects to the database. Sales reps will not have to enter things multiple times and can do it from anywhere, such as a trade show or a customer’s home.
The software should also generate all the necessary analytics and reports and then send a customer’s details over to billing so they can be invoiced, or to tech support for ongoing assistance.
The more mundane tasks can be automated the better. Your sales people can then spend that time working on leads, going over reports to see what they can learn, or on professional development.
Work With Marketing
If you’re spending too much money on sales, you’re probably also spending too much money on marketing. One of the biggest wastes for any company is unproductive advertising. Unfortunately, sales and marketing often don’t talk to each other. By using Salesforce and bringing both teams on board, you give sales and marketing ready access to each other’s data.
Marketing can thus get all of the analytics sales does, which can help them spot advertising campaigns that are not bringing in a good ROI. Breaking down the wall between sales and marketing helps reduce waste in both departments.
Saving money on sales is vital, and a key way to do so is to employ Salesforce. This gives you access to tools which allow you to track the performance of your sales reps (and marketing campaigns), analyze your customer base so as to properly nurture them, and automate mundane tasks to save your reps’ time.
Using it correctly can, however, be challenging. To find out more about how your business can best use Salesforce and how we can help you get the most out of this comprehensive CRM, contact Delegate today.