Sales operations involve much more than just making cold calls, heading on a golf outing with prospects, and closing deals. In order for your company to maximize its sales potential, significant work has to occur behind the scenes. This is especially true for companies with less developed sales and marketing teams, or those working in dynamic markets. The increased level of uncertainty can often be countered by having clear processes in place.
In sports, teams don’t just show up on game day and play unprepared. Hours of film study, game planning, and practice take place to equip the players and increase their chances of winning. The same goes for the sales ops process. Gathering leads, organizing leads, initial lead calling, constant meetings, and much more go into closing a deal. Here are a few tips that can help improve your sales ops efficiency and increase the number of proposals you submit so you can up your chances of winning on game day:
Define Your Sales Pipeline and Sales Ops Process
Understand the various stages of your sales process, which is different for every business. Ask yourself what the next step is after a lead becomes an opportunity. Is it a sales call? An in-person meeting? A qualification? Continue defining each stage until you get to the final step: closed deals. Once you define these stages, outline and align on what goes into each step. So, once a lead or prospect enters each stage in your sales pipeline, you won’t need to hesitate before knowing what needs to happen next.
Keep Your Pipeline Organized
Keeping your pipeline organized is a daunting task, but necessary. Here are some simple strategies that can help you organize your ever-changing pipeline.
- Consistently clean-up the pipeline. Whether a lead “ghosted” you, decided not to use your service, or did not meet your qualifications, remove them. The more cluttered your pipeline is, the harder it is to remember and focus on the leads that can turn into customers.
- Stay on top of tracking a lead or prospect’s progression through the pipeline. Take time periodically — whether it 30 minutes or an hour each week – to update the stage, add any new information, or change the status of a lead that might have fluctuated during the week.
- Create tasks or reminders within your CRM to update information that needs to be adjusted. Set tasks for remembering to follow-up on certain leads.
Automate Repetitive, Manual Tasks
Automation used to be only accessible for larger companies and bigger budgets but is now easily accessible to a company of any budget. &Marketing is a gold partner with SharpSpring, which has an integrated and easy to use Automation and CRM platform. Tools like these allow the automation of newsletters, emails, creation of task, and even automation for helping organize your pipeline. CRMs like this are becoming available for small to medium size companies that can desperately benefit from their automation capabilities.
Personalize Your Lead Approach
Automation is great, but adding a personal touch to emails and outreach can really spark a lead’s interest. When trying to build a personal relationship, ensure that it is customized to that lead – how you may have met, common interests, the content they have downloaded, or ask questions that are specific to their wants and needs.
Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself
Trying to reach out to 50 leads in one day is often overwhelming. This approach can make you feel rushed on each call, may increase the chance of losing track of leads (as some will inevitably fall through the cracks), and each person may feel your lack of attention and focus. Aim to reach out to 30-50 a week, but work at your own pace, which makes it easier to stay up to date with each prospect. You will be able to spend more time qualifying the leads when you aren’t worried about the other 50 calls you need to make. But make sure the other leads in your pipeline are not just sitting unattended by sending them information that keeps them informed on your business.
As you can see, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to running an effective sales operations program, just like they’re more that goes into winning a game. Hours of preparation, planning, execution, and prioritization are all involved in giving each team the best chance to win. Similarly, defining your personal sales pipeline, keeping it organized, adding a personal touch, and not running too fast are all ways to help make sure you succeed and win on your sales ops game day.
Need help with planning and executing a thorough and efficient sales op process? Contact &Marketing for a free consultation with a sales operations expert.
About the Author:
As a Sales Operations Manager at &Marketing, Jeremy Woelfer helps the sales operations processes evolve and stay consistently up-to-date. Jeremy focuses on trying to find new and innovative ways to increase the efficiency and organization of the sales process both at &Marketing and for our clients. With past experience working for big corporate, he has seen what it’s like to grow a business behind the scenes. Jeremy graduated from Denison University with a major in Economics and a minor in Educational Studies.
In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.
&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.