The momentum of your sales process is a critical part of the equation. A slow-moving prospect is more likely to drop off and choose a competitor, while a fast-moving one is more likely to convert. There are plenty of ways to speed up your sales process if you're willing to make some changes. If you want to improve the momentum in your pipeline, keep reading!
What is sales momentum?
A sales momentum is your team's ability to close deals at a fast velocity. It's a way for you to track how quickly your salespeople are moving through their process, from reaching out and connecting with prospects to qualifying those leads and then converting them into customers.
Sales momentum can be measured using two primary metrics:
- The number of new leads that are generated daily, week-over-week or month-over-month
- The number of closed deals created each day/week/month
How much data do you have on your sales process?
Evaluate your current process and where you stand. You'll want to know how much data you have on your sales process, how long it takes for a deal to close, how many deals are in the pipeline at any given time, and what the average lifespan of a prospective customer or lead is.
Analyzing this information will help guide you as you work through improving your sales process so that they match up with your goals.
Are you using the right tools to generate momentum?
You know your business better than anyone. You know what tools are best for you, so if you're not sure what the right tools are for your company, here's a list of common ones and how they can help each stage of your sales process:
A CRM helps with lead generation, nurturing leads through their sales funnel, managing leads' contact information, identifying opportunities for increased revenue through cross-selling or up-selling customers on related products or services, and monitoring customer activity over time. Some popular CRMs include Hubspot CRM & Pipedrive CRM.
Sales email templates — While email may seem old school these days with text messaging becoming an increasingly popular way to communicate with prospects and customers alike, emails still remain one of the most effective ways to generate leads from potential clients.
Lead generation webinars — Online seminars give your sales team access to valuable knowledge while introducing them to other experts in similar industries who have built successful businesses using similar strategies.
Video testimonials — Videos featuring current customers explaining why they chose your products or services over others can be used at various stages during the sales cycle—right after initial contact has been made. And then, follow up emails could be sent after someone requests more information about his purchasing decisions, such as pricing options available, etc
Do you know where your sales are falling?
If you don't know where your sales are falling, how can you fix them? You need to measure your sales process so that you can identify areas of improvement in the following ways:
- Do you have a high conversion rate on marketing but a low conversion rate on product pages?
- Are customers not finding what they want and leaving without buying?
- Are customers getting lost or confused somewhere in the process?
Do you clearly articulate your value proposition?
A value proposition is a promise you make to your customers that they'll get something more valuable than money in exchange for their purchase. Your audience will determine whether it was worth it. If they don't feel like they got more out of the deal than they put into it, then there's no reason to buy from you again; or at least not as often as before.
Define what value means for you — both for yourself and your customers. What does success look like? Where are you headed? What do you want people to remember about their experience with your product or service? Consider how each part of this process adds up when customers think back on it later; what story do those individual moments collectively tell?
You want them all to add up into something big enough so that people remember why they chose YOU instead of anyone else when making future purchasing decisions!
Are you keeping track of your key metrics?
Set goals before you begin working on a solution. If you're trying to lose weight by eating healthier and exercising more without first setting a goal, how will you know if your efforts are working? It doesn't matter how hard or often you work out unless there's some way of measuring that effort against other people in similar situations (or even against yourself).
So what should those goals look like? Your goal should be whatever makes sense for your company right now—whether that means increasing revenue per customer or increasing the number of orders.
Set SMART goals
The next step is setting goals for yourself and your team. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART).
For example, I want my reps' average lead generation rate (LGR) to increase by 15% in three months compared to the last three months' average LGR rate.
How fast are you responding to prospects and clients?
Respond quickly to emails from prospects and clients. You should be responding within 24 hours at the most. If it's an email that requires input from another team member, then respond with an honest timeframe for when they can expect a response. It shows that you're on top of things and gives them confidence in your company's ability to deliver quality service with integrity.
The same goes for phones—you should be returning phone calls as soon as possible (even if it's only after hours or on weekends). If someone leaves a voicemail message, try calling back right away, so they don't have a reason not to trust what they hear on their end (or worse yet… lose interest entirely!).
Respond quickly to other communications such as text messages, Slack messages etc., especially if there is urgency involved, such as "The proposal deadline has been moved up 5 days!" or something similar where there was no prior warning whatsoever!
Improving your sales process doesn't have to be difficult, but it does require measuring and refining as you go.
Here are some things I've found helpful in improving my own sales process over time:
- Keep track of your progress by taking regular measurements of key metrics like conversion rates and average order size.
- Create a plan with specific goals in mind based on what you want your business model to look like in one year or five years from now.
- Make minor tweaks here and there until you find what works best for increasing close rates (ideally without increasing overhead costs).
There's always room for improvement in sales and marketing processes. Applying the framework described here will get you far, whether you're just starting or have been at it for a while. Remember that you won't see results right away—this stuff takes time to percolate and work its way into your system. But if you find yourself doing everything right according to these tips and still not making enough sales, then it might be time to reevaluate the product or service you're selling.