MARKETING

Keep the
salespeople
selling…

5 MINS READ

… AND AVOID THE ROLLER COASTER RIDE

Maintaining and increasing the sales pipeline in a B2B sales environment with a sales support system.

23% of sales leaders
point to the lack of a common sales process as a key challenge

Source: Accenture 2015 Analysis of Technology Companies Worldwide

YOUR TRACK RECORD COUNTS

Branding and positioning are an essential part of the marketing mix, but of themselves they cannot provide all the answers. These days, sales performance and sustainability are more important than ever. B2B companies have become more brand aware. But investors, buyers and potential employees are now looking for the substance behind the brand too. The most visible representation of this substance is sales growth – the delivery of a great product endorsed by multiple buyers in different global markets – sales is the proof behind the brand.

KEEPING THE SALESPEOPLE SELLING

B2B sales are always demanding on the salesperson’s time. The salesperson is required to interface with the client through multiple contract iterations prior to the sale. This is valuable work, but all the time the salesperson is closing the deal he or she finds it difficult to open and pursue new opportunities. Historically the salesperson has been responsible for both closing the deals and creating the leads. It is either one thing or another, difficult to do both at the same time.

IS YOUR ORGANISATION SALES READY?

B2B companies are often made up of multitaskers who are running a business, managing cashflow, creating new products and services, strategically positioning the business for the market opportunity, and recruiting talent etc. How much time is there left for sales and marketing?

“48% of sales leaders have no formal sales process in place”

Source: Accenture 2015 Analysis of Technology Companies Worldwide

THIS MEANS:

  • There is an over reliance on salespeople’s existing personal contacts
  • Contacts are kept on different Excel spreadsheets and in different formats
  • Interfaces between marketing, the website, lead generation, prospect identification, proposal writing, sales and account management are disconnected – allowing important activities to fall between the cracks leading to inefficiencies and wasted opportunities
  • Leads are not segmented leading to poorly targeted marketing
  • Accuracy of contact information is often very poor as the salesperson lacks the time to undertake regular administration leading to suboptimal campaigns
  • B2B salespeople are sucked into the technical aspects of the deal therefore unsurprisingly taking their eye off the sales pipeline

As a consequence the sales of a B2B company is often one of peaks and troughs. It’s either feast or famine.

To achieve sales growth with limited resources and without adding fixed costs, high performing companies are investing in sales support systems

sales support

Lead generation from social media, digital campaigns, website visits and rich content, prospect qualification, and database management need to be happening continuously in the background whilst the salesperson focuses on their core tasks.

A SALES SUPPORT SYSTEM WILL:

  • Support the salesperson and increase the effective utilisation of their time – keep the salesperson selling
  • Provide a seamless audit of information from lead acquisition to the contract close – giving you greater visibility of marketing ROI

3 PILLARS OF A SALES SUPPORT SYSTEM

1

CREATE

  • Rich content
  • Email campaigns
  • Central information source (website)
2

COMMUNICATE

  • Email campaigns
  • Social media activity and interaction
3

SUSTAIN

  • Daily database administration
  • Lead sourcing & management
  • Central information source (website)

RECOMMENDATIONS

Identify each step in your orgnisation’s process for creating, communicating and sustaining the sales support system

Identify any gaps
in the process

Identify what the whole process costs the organisation delivered entirely in-house

Take into account holidays and average day sickness per annum of 8 days

(additional cover and training required, or a gap in the service)

Compare the cost of the in-house service versus an outsourced service

SUMMARY

A sales support system is now a business essential if revenue growth is your goal

The salesperson’s time is finite and it is important to optimise their utilisation on their key selling tasks.

The salesperson needs to direct the process but delegate the activity. When the business focuses concurrently on opening new opportunities and closing deals it is possible to iron out the peaks and troughs to deliver sustainable growth. The good news is it is now possible to tap into the power of a sales support system without expensive capex or increasing fixed costs.

Emberson runs regular free seminars on managed sales support systems.

FIND OUT WHEN THE NEXT SEMINAR IS TAKING PLACE