Building an effective sales process is crucial to your business’s success. Bar Zaig, Head of Product at sales prospecting platform Datanyze, shares how automated scheduling for sales calls and other top tips can help create your most efficient sales process yet.
No matter what industry you’re in, optimizing your sales process can lead to growth you never thought possible. But too often, we get stuck in the mindset that nothing needs to change because we’re making sales.
You may think the sales process you built when your company was just starting is the same one you should have years later, but if you’re not looking for chances to rework that process into something greater, you could be missing out on many potential clients.
Optimization never ends, but these tips are a good place to start.
A good sales prospecting plan matters whether you’re a startup or top company in your field. This essential set of instructions guides your salespeople, from targeting the right audience to turning those potential buyers into dedicated customers. In addition, your sales prospecting plan drives your sales teams' day-to-day actions, ensuring they waste no time trying to procure the wrong targets.
The key to an effective sales prospecting plan is knowing exactly who you’re prospecting. Start by creating ideal customer profiles, or ICPs. If you have previous sales data to utilize, analyze it thoroughly to understand who is most interested in your products, but don’t stop with just your analytics.
Do further research into your industry and ask yourself a few questions:
The more time you spend doing this research, the more your ICPs will improve, and the less time you’ll spend targeting the wrong audience.
You shouldn’t expect your marketing team to be closing sales. However, allowing sales and marketing to operate in silos is a mistake. For your marketing team to create strong ICPs and subsequently campaigns targeting the right audience, they need access to your sales team's research and discussions with that audience.
Nurture relationships between your sales and marketing teams. That may mean organizing a weekly or monthly meeting between each unit, or you may want to partner salespeople up with marketing managers to encourage closer connections and foster more frequent conversations.
The marketing and sales teams should consider themselves extensions of the same team, as they are striving for the same goals, although they are at different points of the journey toward those goals. If your marketing team understands the customer, they’ll create better campaigns, resulting in better leads for the sales team.
How many spreadsheets does your sales team share every day? Tracking customer journeys is crucial for the success of a sales team. Your team members should know where their prospects are on the typical customer journey.
They should always be asking themselves these questions:
Having all that information on multiple spreadsheets means that it’s easy for someone to fall through the cracks and that someone may have ended up being an incredibly lucrative client.
Implementing a CRM provides a much easier way to keep track of your potential buyers. A CRM is a platform that enables your sales team to nurture relationships with leads and clients, seeing the entire customer journey at a glance. This creates a more efficient, organized sales process that impresses prospective clients. It consolidates all communication, be it email, call, or demo so this information is instantly available to any salesperson who needs it.
There are many CRMs to choose from depending on your business needs. For small to medium businesses, choosing a platform like Hubspot would be best as it has a “freemium” model that can grow and evolve with your business. For larger companies, Salesforce is the CRM solution to beat. It excels in terms of feature set and ever-growing range of innovations, including AI.
Many sales teams use email to arrange meetings, which leads to a lengthy back-and-forth between them and the client trying to find a time. Combine this with manually adding meetings into the calendar and you’ve cost valuable time out of a sales team’s day. Time that could be better spent on your sales prospecting plan or nurturing relationships.
Automation is the key to getting time back. You can rest assured that you’re using your time more effectively through automated sales call scheduling.
With Cronofy you can share your sales exec’s real-time availability to let prospects book a time in themselves that suits their schedule. They can do this while still respecting the salesperson’s availability in their calendar, to ensure it’s a convenient time for everyone.
Not only does this save your sales team time but also improves the customer experience. They can book calls without being chased, according to their schedule.
Automated sales call scheduling also includes call management. No more worrying about your calendar reminders about upcoming calls. Through Cronofy’s scheduling automation platform, you can see your pending, upcoming, and canceled calls at a glance, so you’ll know who needs to be followed up.
Once you close a deal, the customer journey has only begun.
The customer’s data is crucial to your success. Keeping track of these customers will allow you to continue to make sales and upsell them in the future, and their information gives you a critical insight into their demographic.
Now you’ve made that sale, you know how that demographic responds to your product and marketing. You know more about their needs and how you can fulfill them. If you have a CRM, this will help to maintain a sales data record. You should also plan meetings for your sales and marketing teams to review those records and talk about trends.
Especially as a startup, analyzing sales data as it comes in is essential. When you create your first ICPs, you likely don’t have much data to build them off of, which is why your additional research on your industry and competitors is vital.
However, once you have that sales data, you need to rework your ICPs. After gaining your clients and learning how they operate, you can better picture your target audience and learn to market to them.
One of the biggest mistakes a startup can make is to build processes that only work at their current size. You want your business to grow, so you need to ensure your processes evolve as your company evolves.
Overcomplicating or having too many manual processes within it can lead to an inability to maintain the overall sales process as it scales.
In addition to scalability, you should ensure your process is timeless. Maybe some of your competitors are seeing success by looking for leads on a new subreddit, but success is likely a fad. Once that fad fades, you’ll essentially be building your strategy from scratch.
Building automation into your sales process will ensure it’s future-proofed for your company, no matter how big it grows. As it’s constantly maintained and updated by the software providers, you can be sure whatever platform you choose to use is timeless.
Optimizing your sales process starts with building the right ICPs by collecting and analyzing sales data. Next, you should look for new ways to optimize your sales strategy. The best way to do this is through the bespoke automation, analytics, and applications that are readily available to sales teams. Take advantage of the tools and platforms that are out there and you will create the slickest sales process for your team.
Bar Zaig is the Head of Product at Datanyze. Datanyze is a unique B2B contact assistant enabling salespeople all over the world to connect with their ideal prospects.
Every six months Cronofy organises a companywide meet up. This May, we met in Amsterdam to give our teams the chance to see our recently opened office and the sights this wonderful European capital has to offer.
Developing how your company describes and represents itself is a challenging and enlightening journey. You have to revisit long held assumptions and confront the reality of what your customers and the market value. I absolutely believe that you can only do this effectively with outside help.