Sales is part art and part science. It balances a charisma, careful relationship-building, and gut feelings with refined processes, clear metrics, and data-backed decisions. It's a balancing act. And sales can feel even more complex because it's a function without a clear start and stop. Sales teams are responsible for nurturing and converting leads but also retaining and even upgrading existing customers. Needless to say, any sales professional will readily admit that there are a lot of moving parts — and that's exactly why a sales tracker can be so beneficial. What is a sales tracker? As the name implies, a sales tracker is a tool or database that stores, organizes, and manages all of the information and updates that are relevant to your sales process. While you might readily think of keeping track of any sales your team makes, a sales tracker is far more comprehensive than simply logging your closed deals. It should also house things like: Contact information Leads and opportunities Conversations and outreach Lead and customer history Sales goals and success metrics Put simply, your sales tracker is the single resource where your entire team will record, conduct, and maintain all of your different sales activities. Who uses a sales tracker? Hear the term "sales tracker" and the answer to this question seems pretty straightforward: the sales team. Of course, the people on your sales team will do the bulk of the day-to-day work with your sales activity tracker. They'll use it to set goals, monitor performance, and manage their daily tasks. But this tool is far-reaching and offers benefits for other people and departments, such as: Leadership can use the sales tracker to understand performance, make projections, and set realistic organizational goals Marketing can use the sales tracker to understand the sales process and how they can better support lead conversion and customer retention Customer support can use the sales tracker to understand how they can provide better service and minimize objections during the sales process So, while a sales team will be the ones who are in the weeds with a sales tracking platform on a daily basis, they certainly aren't the only ones who will benefit from it. In fact, sales trackers are most advantageous when they're shared across the organization so everybody can understand what it takes to get new customers to come (and stay) onboard. How to Train Your Team to Use a Sales Tracker Implementing a sales tracker tool is a significant step towards streamlining your sales process. However, its success largely depends on how effectively your team can use it. Here are some steps to ensure your team is well-equipped to use the sales tracker: Start with an Introduction: Begin by explaining what a sales tracker is, its benefits, and why the company has chosen to implement it. Highlight how it can make their work easier and more efficient. Detailed Demonstration: Conduct a step-by-step walkthrough of the sales tracker. Show them how to log in, update information, track progress, generate reports, and use any other key features of the tool. Hands-On Training: Allow your team members to explore the tool hands-on. This could involve creating dummy data for them to play around with, or real-life scenarios to practice on. Provide User Manuals and Guides: Create detailed user manuals and guides that team members can refer to when they need help. These resources should be easily accessible. Regular Follow-Ups and Support: Conduct regular check-ins to address any issues or challenges your team may be facing. Encourage them to share their experiences and provide necessary support and solutions. Continuous Learning: As the tool gets updated or new features are added, ensure to update your training materials and conduct refresher training sessions. Remember, the goal is to make your team comfortable and proficient with the sales tracker. This not only requires initial training but also ongoing support and learning. Why is sales tracking important? Perhaps you and your team have been making things work without a unified sales activity tracker. Why bother going through the work of pulling everything into one place? Having a centralized spot to manage all of the stages and tasks in your sales process does more than help you figure out how to keep track of sales. It offers a number of other distinct advantages, including: Organize and centralize your information: You might be able to limp along with scattered spreadsheets and siloed email threads, but it's definitely not the most efficient or effective way to get things done. A sales tracker offers a single source of truth that people can reference for any sales activity — whether it's finding a customer's contact information or understanding the last time anybody touched base with a lead. Increase visibility: Related to the above, sales really is a team function. While individual salespeople are undoubtedly pursuing their own quotas, ultimately the whole team is working toward a broader goal of making as many sales as possible. What happens if somebody is on vacation? Or goes out on leave? Or leaves the company entirely? A sales tracker gives everybody the context they need about relationships with various leads and customers – so they can step in seamlessly without missing a beat (or an opportunity). Plus, leadership has instant and easy visibility into what the team is doing and how they're performing. Identify opportunities for improvement: A sales tracker boosts visibility across the team and the entire organization, but it also gives you better insight into the various phases of your sales process and pipeline. Is it taking you too long to touch base with qualified leads? Are people losing interest during a particular point in the process? Are certain salespeople way outperforming others? Your sales activity tracker empowers you with the information you need to further refine your sales processes. Close more deals: Combine all of the above and you get the biggest perk of all: a better sales process that helps you close more deals. Salespeople aren't spending as much time searching for information or getting up to speed on a lead's relationship. That means they can channel more time and energy into nurturing that relationship and converting the lead. It's little wonder why 54% of sales professionals say technology is a great resource for building stronger relationships with buyers. The same report found that 54% of sales representatives also say that digital sales tools help them win over more prospects. Making sales is one of the biggest driving forces behind your organization's success — and it deserves more than random spreadsheets, disparate dashboards, and dated Rolodexes. With a sales activity tracker, you and your team readily have the information you need to pursue your ultimate goal: closing more deals. What makes a good sales tracking platform? You're convinced that a sales tracker is a resource your team can't go without any longer. How do you get started? There are plenty of sales and operations teams that opt to track sales and all related activities in a centralized Excel spreadsheet. Here are a few popular sales tracker templates: HubSpot's lead tracker spreadsheet Excel's online sales tracker HubSpot's CRM spreadsheet However, spreadsheets do have some pitfalls — particularly since they require manual updates and lack a lot of the time-saving integrations and automations you'll find in dedicated sales tracking or work management platforms. Additionally, sales is an important function with tons of different aspects. You need a solution that can manage and monitor them all, which means you might quickly outgrow a spreadsheet (or run the risk of it becoming too large and unruly to easily reference and use). Fortunately, other technology steps in where spreadsheets fall short. There are other options (like Wrike!) that can help you manage your sales process and avoid the drawbacks of traditional spreadsheets. Here's what to look for as you figure out what sales tracking platform is best for you and your team. Sales forecasting You don't just need to make sales — you need to estimate how many deals you'll close in a given time period. This isn't about shaking a Magic 8 Ball or pulling a random number out of a hat. You need to base your forecast in data and history. That's hard to do if you don't have a place where you can access your past performance. Your sales tracker should display all of that relevant data — how many leads you converted, how many customers churned, the average size of each deal, and more — so that you can better estimate your projected revenue moving forward. Beyond informing your projections, your sales tracker should also have a place where you can store your estimates and even use them to establish success metrics that will help you monitor your team's progress. New lead tracking Marketing teams know that lead generation is a relentless challenge. But when you finally have those qualified leads in the pipeline, the hard work isn't over. In fact, research shows that many sales teams struggle with nurturing leads, which is arguably one of the most crucial parts in the sales process. When asked about their greatest challenges to lead conversion: 43% of companies say they struggle to collect enough data on leads 41% of companies say they struggle to follow up with leads quickly 39% of companies say they struggle to make initial contact with leads 35% of companies say they struggle to maintain contact with leads 29% of companies say they struggle to filter and funnel leads 25% of companies say they struggle to set appointments with leads A sales tracker can help with all of these. It pulls all of your leads into one place and also stores all of the must-know information about them. Plus, a sales tracking platform will nudge the process along with features like clear task assignments, reminders for when it's time to check in, and tags so everybody can quickly see what step of the process a lead has reached. Less leads getting lost in the shuffle means more revenue on your team and company's balance sheet. Activity tracking Has anybody reached out to that customer about upgrading their account yet? When's the last time somebody got in touch with this super qualified lead? Who's generating your sales report this month? Sales teams are spinning a lot of plates. It can be tough to keep track of what you need to do on your own — let alone everything that the entire team is working on. Needing to check disparate spreadsheets and platforms wastes time and also leaves too much room for errors. Team members could step on others' toes or, potentially even worse, let an important task or lead slip through the cracks. A sales activity tracker brings some order and visibility to everything that the entire team is doing so that your sales operation can run like a well-oiled machine. Most platforms will include: Clear task assignments Due dates Labels Status updates No more guessing about who's doing what (and when). Your sales tracker will spell it all out for you so that you can boost productivity and performance. Data visualization Staring at seemingly endless rows of digits and dates is enough to make anyone's eyes glaze over — especially if you're searching that spreadsheet for one number or piece of information. That's why it's important to look for a sales tracking platform that has data visualization features. This will break your complex rows of data into more digestible and actionable charts and graphs. Whether you need to get a grasp on your revenue, number of leads, average deal size, or any other sales-pertinent metric, your sales tracker will quickly and painlessly get you the information you need — without having to comb through daunting spreadsheets. Plus, data visualization makes it far faster and easier to create any important sales reports and prove your value to other departments and company decision makers. Future Trends in Sales Tracking Sales tracking is an evolving field, with new technologies and methodologies constantly emerging. Here are some trends to look out for in the near future: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML are set to revolutionize sales tracking. They can analyze past data to identify patterns and predict future outcomes, helping sales teams to make more informed decisions. Additionally, AI can automate routine tasks, freeing up time for salespeople to focus on more strategic activities. Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics tools will become more sophisticated, enabling sales teams to forecast sales trends more accurately and plan their strategies accordingly. Integration with Other Tools: Sales trackers will increasingly integrate with other tools such as CRM, marketing automation, and customer service platforms. This will provide a more holistic view of the customer journey, enabling sales teams to tailor their strategies more effectively. Mobile Sales Tracking: With the rise of remote work, mobile sales tracking will become more prevalent. Sales teams will be able to update and access sales data on the go, making them more agile and responsive. Real-Time Reporting: Real-time reporting will become a standard feature of sales trackers. This will provide sales teams with up-to-the-minute data, helping them to respond quickly to changing sales trends. These trends represent exciting opportunities for sales teams. By staying ahead of these trends, sales teams can leverage the latest technologies and methodologies to improve their performance and drive sales growth. Step up your sales efforts with Wrike Whether it's art, science, or a little bit of both, sales is one of your company's most important functions — it has a direct and undeniable impact on your growth and your bottom line. That means it's worthy of some careful planning, strategy, and organization. Siloed spreadsheets and sticky notes aren't going to cut it when it comes to a winning sales process. Ready to get started with sales tracking software that helps you close more deals (with less stress)? Wrike has tons of features to level-up your efforts, including: Automations to streamline your entire sales process Easy and intuitive lead organization Tailor-made blueprints and checklists for lead tracking Real-time communication tools Reports to analyze performance, find patterns, and refine your sales techniques Integrations with other popular sales apps Customizable sales templates to save you time Don't leave your organization's sales success up to chance (or spreadsheets). Get the order and organization your sales team deserves. Get started with a free trial of Wrike today.
An effective sales pitch email is a gamechanger for teams wanting to reach the next level. It sounds difficult, but our guide on how to write a sales pitch that wins clients will provide all the tips you need to convert leads. Keep reading to learn more about why sales pitches are important plus tips for how to write a good sales pitch no matter what you’re selling. After, discover good sales pitch examples you can use to inspire your own. Why are sales pitches important? If your customer or revenue goals are being fulfilled on autopilot every month then you can probably skip sales pitches. But if you’re like most businesses, you’ll greatly benefit from sales pitches that provide the company-wide benefits of better relationships and completed goals. Chances are, the people you’re reaching out to have not yet heard about your company — otherwise, they may have already become customers by now. Sales pitches give you the opportunity to introduce your brand and show how you can help the customer with their pain points. They’re also a great way for you and your entire sales team to improve together. But in order to win more clients, you’ll first need to learn how to write a sales pitch that gets results. Otherwise, you may not see these benefits right away. Even if you already know how to write a sales pitch, the following tips will help you improve your ROI rates. Tips for writing a good sales pitch The best advice for writing a good sales pitch is to follow the three-step structure we’ve outlined below. Whether you’re leaving a voicemail or meeting in person, the following tips will help you make a strategic and strong first impression. Tip 1: Grab attention When you first learn how to write a sales pitch, you have to start from the very beginning. Make the opening line of your sales pitch engaging so that the customer doesn’t close your email before they finish reading it. In general, you should always aim at the emotional side of the client’s mind – not the rational one. Here are three ways to grab attention in your sales pitch: Find a creative phrase to start your proposal. This can be a joke, a piece of news, or an interesting fact. For example, you can start with the sentence, “If it saves you $50,000 per year, wouldn’t you consider spending $1,000 now?” Or show that there’s proof of the value you bring by using quantitative indicators. Engage your prospect with figures and relevant statistics right from the start. Include a relevant fact such as “more than 75% of your potential clients spend at least five hours a day on their smartphones. You can benefit from this — ! let me show you how.” Alternatively, consider personalizing your message so that your prospect knows you’re reaching out to them specifically with a tailored offer. Emphasize that your proposal is unique and available only for certain clients. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What are you more likely to choose: a product available for everyone or something tailored exclusively for you? Feel this difference and create customer-focused messages. Tip 2: Offer solutions As you continue learning how to write a sales pitch, it’s important to have a clear ‘why’ when starting out. Why are you writing to this person? Why do they need your services or products? Why are your solutions the best? But before you tell your potential client what you can do to help, you must first acknowledge their real pain points. For example, if you’re a budget-conscious wedding planner, you may open with: “You probably think that to arrange a dream wedding, you’ll need Jeff Bezos’ fortune. We’ll show you the other way to do it.” Next, explain how you can help. That means providing real solutions to customers’ problems. Make it clear that all the client needs to do is purchase your product and put the pain out of their mind. For example, you could write, ”We specialize in transforming outdated web design into user-friendly interfaces that are a pleasure to work with. Our best solutions are attached.” Then, include an example specifically chosen for this pain point. Lastly, make the client admire the benefits you provide. Supplement your product with unexpected options or advantages. For example, if your service is catering, emphasize the unique benefits you provide, such as free wait staff or a cake created especially for the client’s event. Your customer will be impressed by the bargain. Tip 3: Clarify next steps If you really want to learn how to write a sales pitch that people actually respond to, you have to practice giving instructions in the form of next steps. At the end of the email, briefly emphasize the best statements of your proposal. Choose the ones most relevant to the customer’s needs and those that are most persuasive. Then, make a clear and concise offer, so you don’t mislead your customer on what they should do next. Write this in the form of a one to two-sentence call-to-action. You can also set a time limit. Explain that a decision should be made quickly and within the given time frame. Point out the unique benefit within your proposal that is valid for “only five days.” That stimulates the client to decide faster and to get to the next step in the sales process. For example, you can say “If you decide within 14 days, we promise you the best price with a 15% discount.” Tips for writing an email sales pitch Email, like any form of digital communication, has its own unique set of best practices and uses. As a sales tool, it’s great for either resurfacing old threads or starting fresh with a cold message. It’s so great, in fact, Inc. reported that a recent McKinsey & Co. study found email is 40 times more effective at major social media websites at winning new business. In that same article, Inc. went as far as to dub email as “the best way to reach customers.” Here are some tips for how to get the most out of this powerful sales pitch channel: Keep it short and sweet. In our personal experience, a three-sentence email is more likely to be read and responded to than a long-form message. Link out to key points. If you mention your portfolio, make sure to link out to it. You can also link to screenshots of results you’ve achieved or your personal LinkedIn if you think it will help you make the sale. Mention your famous clients. Name dropping is a great way to prove your expertise in an email sales pitch. Mention your best clients or, at the very least, the solutions and projects you’ve done for clients like them. Don’t forget about real figures to emphasize the results. Align with marketing. Collaborating with marketing ensures that your message is on brand and relevant for your email list. Your marketing team may even create or provide original content to help strengthen your pitch. Whether it’s a well-designed client testimonial or a pitch video edit, they’re a great resource for making a fantastic and cohesive customer journey from Day 1. Good sales pitch examples Learning from the best will help you overcome common beginner mistakes and get that much closer to closing. Below are some of our favorite examples of good sales pitches that can teach you how to write a sales pitch that actually works. Alphalake Ai’s artificial intelligence pitch video There are two things that stand out about this sales pitch. The first is the fact that it uses artificial intelligence to generate a speaking avatar, something that few can say they’ve seen in their inboxes lately. The second is that it’s quite personal. Not only does the avatar look like the sender, but it’s also a great representation of the brand itself since they offer AI products. Shopify’s whitepaper for client sales pitches In 2019, Shopify created a sales guide for merchants who want to pitch Shopify as their platform of choice. The whitepaper itself doesn’t give a specific pitch email. However, it does outline the following key talking points: The benefits of using a fully hosted eCommerce solution Shopify’s key solutions for merchants Simple payment plans You can easily use any combination of these points to persuade a new user to join your site. Or have your customers do the selling for you with a guide like Shopify’s. Lavender’s foolproof LinkedIn message pitch Co-founder Will Allred recently shared this great sales pitch template that leaders at the company have had success with: “Hey ____, Saw you're growing the sales team by 20% this quarter. Would knowing which reps are at risk of missing email quota (and why) be helpful?” With social media, it’s best to keep your sales pitches even shorter and sweeter than email, just like Allred did here. Now that you know how to write a sales pitch that works, it’s time to continue breaking down the wall between sales and marketing with Wrike’s project management platform. Start your two-week free trial today and begin organizing lead conversion projects more efficiently and effectively.
Some businesses almost make an audible sound of relief as they ring in the New Year. Truth be told, not all businesses fare well during holiday shopping madness. For retailers, year-end is often the busiest time of year for sales. For service providers, however, a slow season from Thanksgiving to New Years is almost expected… But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five tips you can implement right away to avoid the dreaded holiday sales slump. As luck would have it, these tips can also be implemented any other time you’re experiencing a major sales nosedive. 1. Use Seasonal Content Marketing to Your Benefit People crave content, especially related to things going on in the here and now, like holidays and current events. Christmas and New Years (or any other holiday or major event) can provide major opportunities to cash in on content people are already searching for. A recent study from Outbrain indicates that people not only spend more money during the holidays, but also consume more digital content. So much content, in fact, that the demand is greater than the supply. Think about two basic things: what your customers need and what they’re already searching for online. For example, a couple good content ideas for the new year if you’re a business service provider might be: “5 Business Resolutions for the New Year That Will Transform Your Business” or “5 Quick Ways to Avoid a Sales Slump During the Holidays”. (See what I did there!?) 2. Master Your Upsell Upselling and cross-promoting are good sales practices any time of the year, but they can be especially useful for bringing in cold hard cash when you’re going through a slump. It’s much easier to sell an existing customer an additional product than it is to drum up an entirely new customer. If you’re new at upselling, it’s best to keep your upsale options limited. More is not always better, and can confuse the customer. Offering one or two upgrades or add-ons is more effective than offering a bevy of options. Business experts also suggest bundling your products or services to make the upsell. The likelihood that a customer will purchase multiple services increases if they can do it in one purchase, as opposed to multiple purchases. For example, if you can offer a package that includes social media, email marketing, and SEO, you’re more likely to make the sale than if you try to sell them separately. 3. Ramp Up Your Referral Discounts The holiday season is an opportunity for demonstrating your gratitude to your clients, customers, and business contacts. When you’re experiencing a sales slump, it’s a good time to make a list of your valued clientele and business providers. In addition to sending your valued clients a tasteful holiday greeting, you can also ramp up your referral discounts to drum up a bit of extra business. If your business contacts feel appreciated, they’re a lot more likely to send people your way. Freeman Lewin, CEO of corporate gift company Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies, talked about the effectiveness of referral discounts by saying, “The one thing that makes successful companies stand out from the rest is how they treat their customers and peers. Never underestimate the power of referral discounts and appreciation.” 4. The Power of PR & Self-Promotion The one good thing about going through a sales slump is that it gives you extra time to focus on your PR and branding. Too often business spend every waking hour pleasing their customers (which is a good business practice, no doubt), but much to the detriment of their own marketing. There’s no time like a sales slump to revamp your marketing and PR campaigns. Never be afraid to toot your own horn. If you have positive customer testimonials, share them. If you’ve recently won an award or been featured in a business magazine, flaunt it. Perception is reality and how customers perceive your brand can make or break a buying decision. Shameless self-promotion doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. 5. Refine Your Sales Process When was the last time you really performed an audit on your sales process? Is the way you’re drumming up business really that effective? Take the time you’re in a sales slump to measure the return on investment for your key sales activities and make changes where necessary. You just might find that you can eliminate those cold calls after all, and get higher conversion rates with warm marketing. Refining your sales process to include only the activities that generate a high return can not only get you out of the holiday slump, but also increase your profit the rest of the year. Bonus Tip: Followup, Followup, Followup Followup should be a standard sales practice all year round, but it’s one that most people miss. There’s no time like the end of the year to reach out to contacts you’ve talked to throughout the year and find out if the timing is right for collaboration. Leading with something of value, such as a related case study or trending news story, is always the best followup option, rather than just calling and asking for business. Think Outside the Box While your business is idling, chances are there are others looking around for opportunities to expand. The holiday season is the best time to reach out to new and existing contacts and see what opportunities you can bring to each other. Be flexible. There’s no time like the present to explore new avenues for sales and examine new ideas. Think outside the box. About the Author: Blair Nicole is a PR & Media Relations guru by profession and a writer by choice. She’s a contributor at Elite Daily, Social Media Today, Examiner, and Inquisitr, among others. She’s a full time traveling nomad and sits on the Board of Directors for 3 non-profits. Her motto is ‘kick ass, don’t kiss it.’ www.Blair-Nicole.com
Did you know: Nearly 13% of all full-time U.S. jobs are sales positions? (That's 1 in 8 jobs!) [Source: SkilledUp via The Brevet Group] Over one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000) are spent annually on sales forces. [Source: Salesforce Training via The Brevet Group] With all this money and energy going into sales, it's no surprise that there has been an equal amount of research going into improving sales processes. Managers of sales teams always have money in mind, and they want to make every salesperson on their team a lean, mean, money-making machine. We collected research from studies published online to help managers like you optimize your sales processes for more wins and better results. If you want business to boom, follow these four proven rules for sales teams: 1. Speed Matters: Early Bird Gets the Worm 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. [Source: Salesforce] When trying to contact a newly created lead... Call within the first 5 minutes. The odds of getting them on the phone drops 100x by the 30-minute mark. [Source: Lead Response Management] The odds of getting ahold of someone decrease more than 10x within the 1st hour. [Source: Lead Response Management] When trying to qualify a newly created lead... Following up with a web lead within 5 minutes of their sign up makes them 9x more likely to convert [Source: InsideSales.com via Jake Atwood] The odds of success if called in the first 5 minutes vs. the next 30 minutes drops 21x. [Source: Lead Response Management] The odds of success on the first call decreases more than 6x in the 1st hour. [Source: Lead Response Management] U.S. salespeople that reached out to leads within 1 hour are 7x more likely to qualify than those who wait 1 to 2 hours. [Source: Harvard Business Review] U.S. salespeople who reached out to leads within 1 hour are 60x more likely to qualify than those who wait 24+ hours. [Source: Harvard Business Review] 2. Follow-Up & Persistence A phone call followed by an email has proven to be the most effective sales process. [Source: Salesforce] When it comes to cold calls... Average number of cold calls it took to reach a prospect in 2007: 3-4 cold calls [Source: TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group via Jake Atwood] Average number of cold calls it takes to reach a prospect today: 8 cold calls [Source: TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group via Jake Atwood] When it comes to follow-ups... After the first meeting, 80% of sales require at least 5 follow-up calls to convert. [Source: The Marketing Donut via Jake Atwood] Despite that, 44% of salespeople give up after just 1 follow-up call. [Source: The Marketing Donut via Jake Atwood] Finding leads through networking... 72% of world-class sales teams use social media to identify new business opportunities. [Source: MHI Global] 78% of salespeople use social media to outsell their peers. [Source: Forbes via The Brevet Group] 91% of customers say they’d give referrals, but only 11% of salespeople ask for them. [Source: Dale Carnegie via The Brevet Group] Salespeople who actively sell by referral earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t. [Source: Top Sales World via The Brevet Group] 3. Success Breeds More Success Improve sales processes by aligning selling strategies... 40% of sales teams don't have a playbook. [Source: Salesforce] Companies with a playbook are 33% more likely to be high performers. [Source: Salesforce] 96% of world-class sales teams know why their top performers are successful. But only 46% of average sales teams can say the same. [Source: MHI Global] Improve conversion rates using success stories... 89% of world-class sales teams review the positive results of their solution (i.e. case studies) with strategic accounts. But only 33% of average sales teams do the same. [Source: MHI Global] 4. Good Management Makes a Big Difference 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to be successful. [Source: Caliper Corp via The Brevet Group] 93% of world-class sales organizations say their management team is highly effective in helping advance sales opportunities. But only 47% of average sales organizations say the same. [Source: MHI Global] 96% of world-class sales teams say their management team is held highly accountable for the teams' continuous improvement. But only 43% of average sales teams say the same. [Source: MHI Global] What other studies have helped your sales team? Are we missing important research statistics that will help sales organizations improve the way they work? Let us know in the comments below, and include links to the studies you've read!
Finding new leads can take a lot of time and resources without a concrete plan, which is why you need a scientific approach to funnel marketing. Read more to learn marketing funnel basics, how to set up your own lead generation machine based on tactics from leading brands, and create an impactful B2B campaign for your business.
Some people compare sales operations teams to a car's engine. Although not seen by drivers, it's working away under the hood, powering the car to get from point A to point B. In the same way, sales operations teams are the people making sure the sales force is always moving forward successfully. They are responsible for leveraging technology and information to support sales, troubleshoot CRM issues, and design solutions that drive sales onward and upward. Today, the average sales representative is so busy with routine tasks like emails and meetings that they spend less than half of their day actually selling. An awesome sales operations team can help those reps cut back on administrative work and provide the company with a huge return on investment. While it's up to sales reps to keep revenue figures climbing up and to the right, the sales ops team must ensure everything is running smoothly on the back end — as well as face their own set of work-related difficulties. Here's a list of 5 common, but rarely-acknowledged, challenges sales operations teams face today: 1. Wearing too many hats Sales reps have a very defined role: convert leads into buyers. Everything related to sales teams that is not defined within that sales rep role is usually relegated to sales ops. If you look at a typical sales ops job description, you'll find a range of responsibilities that include overseeing sales performance analysis, developing a sales incentive program, managing sales force automation and CRM, evaluating and designing sales force strategies, and providing technical support for sales functionalities and tools. This wide range of tasks, in addition to addressing the immediate needs of sales reps, can become overwhelming and taxing for sales ops teams. 2. Keeping up with evolving technology The dynamic world of CRM, marketing automation, and predictive marketing analytics tools is forcing sales ops to constantly reevaluate their strategies to stay ahead of the game. With sales becoming more aligned with other departments like marketing and customer success, sales tools need to be able to integrate and connect to other business tools. Sales ops is responsible for making sure the tools in place are cost-effective and bring in measurable ROI. 3. Juggling ad-hoc requests Because a huge part of sales ops involves supporting and managing the sales force and corresponding tools, it's impossible to plan out when requests are going to arise. It's difficult to keep a consistent, predictable workflow in an environment where sales strategies and technologies are constantly changing. Work management and instant messaging platforms are becoming more popular across sales ops teams to stay on top of requests and communicate quickly. 4. Adjusting to the shift in customer interaction Currently, consumers have access to more information about a product than ever before. With blog content, videos, tutorials, reviews, and free trials all being thrown into the lap of a potential buyer before they even speak to a sales representative, it can be difficult to find a reason to get them on the phone. It's up to sales ops and managers to determine how to engage with potential customers when they already know so much about the product, as well as how to shift the sales conversation from "what" to "how and why." 5. Reaching larger, long-term company goals while keeping up with immediate sales needs Sales ops' top priorities are accelerating revenue and sales growth. But new lead-gathering strategies outlined by executives, combined with input from the full sales team, can be overwhelming. Unless there is a clear, continued understanding between executives, marketing, and sales on how to identify high-value prospects for sales reps, the sales funnel will flood with uninterested leads and general inquiries. And while sales ops may be focusing on reaching their lead conversion goal for their quarterly OKRs, sales managers could be pushing their reps to focus on target accounts — which could mean fewer overall conversions, damaging the sales ops' perceived success. What other challenges have you seen arise in sales ops teams? As sales operations become more common in organizations, it's important to recognize when these challenges start turning into full-blown barriers to success. Once resolved, your sales team can focus less on administrative fire drills and more on closing deals! What are some of the other challenges facing professional services firms and sales ops teams? Share with us in the comments!
The Wrike Sales Team is focused on relationship-building, communication, listening, and fostering trust with our clients. These qualities are all found in great salespeople, but perhaps more importantly, these values are most commonly associated with women, making our working environment more inclusive than many others. Our Sales Team members still have a great competitive mentality, but the focus is on the client, where it should be.