5 Sales Optimization Strategies That'll Close More Deals
Customer bases and their needs are constantly changing. Trends, technology, life stages and the economy all influence buyer behaviors, preferences and the way they respond to marketing. So to should your sales process change! Sales optimization, though many may wish otherwise, is not a one-time act. It is constant acting, reacting and thinking ahead to keep up with shifts in the market and keep aligned with your customers.
As an example, consider the way COVID-19 supercharged the trend toward online shopping. As lockdowns increased, customers turned to the internet to meet their needs for goods and services. The stores that adapted to this reality quickly and shifted their sales process toward online channel optimization excelled. Those that didn’t think they needed to update their process floundered.
The idea of sales is to anticipate what your consumers need and want before they realize it themselves. Why wouldn’t this go for how you sell, in addition to what you sell? Sales optimization demands relentless consumer behavior analysis and a willingness to change. Use these five strategies to help your business stay ahead of the game and close more deals.
1. Keep the Sales Process Simple and Scalable
Creating the perfect sales process from day one is near impossible, and many businesses will sink themselves trying to do so. Consider: crafting your sales process is a bit like going on a blind date. You may know the age and gender of your target audience, but you don’t know what really makes them tick—yet. Your sales process needs to be simple and understandable to start, with room to adapt as you and your target learn about each other over the engagement.
The simpler the sales process is for your agents to follow, the more efficiently they’ll be able to carry it out. Collecting robust analytics data throughout will then give you insights into what works and what needs to change (and there will be changes). A light, limber sales process also helps you optimize faster at this point. After all, it’s quicker to adapt a simple strategy than it is a complex and cumbersome one. Start with the small successes, and then—as you scale your operations up as the data rolls in and you make the necessary adjustments—shoot bigger and bigger.
2. Leverage the Use of Automation
Allowing sales reps to focus on their strengths drives inspiration, engagement, relationship building, and in turn, sales. If you can automate certain dull administrative tasks to empower agents to focus on customer relationships, why wouldn’t you? Employing technology to streamline office work and free up your sales reps’ time will lead to further process optimization.
Automate with an eye toward creating time-saving workflows. Consider tasks like reporting, lead scoring, inbound lead acquisition, lead assignment, onboarding, sign-ups and data collection: why make your reps do this if they don’t have to?
For tasks that can’t be fully automated, you can at least equip your team with tech tools to streamline them. Arming your staff with the most innovative sales presentation software, for example, will aid them in creating the most compelling presentations they can—and to do so collaboratively.
3. Know the Flaws in Your Pipeline
Most sales reporting focuses on the beginning and end stages of the sales funnel. But what’s going on in between? Your sales pipeline is a step-by-step process leading potential customers through the sales cycle from initial interaction to conversion. Understanding what’s going on at every step is crucial. While most managers are aware of prospects entering the pipeline and of converted sales, they don’t always have a full grasp on what happens in between.
Follow-ups, calls and arranging meetings are hard to track without sales tracking software. Leaks and bottlenecks in the pipeline can indicate communication breakdowns, technical problems, or signal a gap in rep training. Agents should systematically and continuously be moving interested prospects through the sales pipeline. At any time when there is a delay in movement, problems start to mount, which can lead to the loss of a sale.
Knowing how long prospects spend in each stage of the pipeline can help managers identify which phases of the sales process need attention. Data, data, data—without detailed analytics, you’re flying blind when it comes to assessing the problem spots in your sales process.
4. Monitor Your Most Valuable KPIs
Clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) can make or break your sales analysis and optimization. You need to know what you’re actually looking for when you look at your sales data! Establishing quantifiable metrics to track can help you measure performance over time objectively.
By tapping into historical data patterns and analyzing engagement metrics, businesses can gain insights into what piques consumer interest and adjust marketing messages, materials, tools and strategies accordingly. Long-term trends can also be used to anticipate future consumer behavior, and get ahead of the game.
5. Train and Retrain Your Sales Team
If the last time you did sales training with your team was pre-COVID, your outdated strategies are keeping you stuck at the back of the pack. For starters, social distancing measures have transformed the sales cycle, with digital marketing, presentations and online sales tools now essential to business survival, let alone optimization. What else might you have missed out on since your last training?
If you use state-of-the-art software in your sales process (and you should be doing so), timing retraining around updates can be a good strategy. These sorts of software update regularly, so this allows for frequent check-ins about the newest tech changes and an opportunity to regularly keep a thumb on the pulse of the industry. Focus training on both effective customer support and the optimization of digital efforts.
Optimize Sales Enablement with Ingage
Now, more than ever, it is vital for any business to be able to educate and present trustworthy solutions in engaging digital formats. Sales, training and meeting presentations should not be one-way conversations. To capture an audience, especially on a professional level, you will need to draw them in to participate and engage with your brand. And that starts with using the right tools, like Ingage presentation software.
Ingage’s dynamic, interactive presentation solution serves as an incredibly versatile tool. It can be used as the traditional slide deck, yes. But the analytics and collaborative features make it so much more than that—it’s an online planning space for your team. Integrating an advanced presentation like Ingage into every level of your business, from the training room to the sales pitch, sets you up for success.
There is no better time to integrate smart tech solutions and close more deals with powerful presentations. Schedule a free demo to explore Ingage’s platform today!