• Melanie Foster

Optimising Sales – Achieving More for Less

The modern buyer has wreaked havoc on the B2B sales function, just like in every other part of twenty-first-century business.

So why is it that the level of rigour and planning that goes into sales improvements tends to be woefully inadequate compared with the rest of the business? How can you build a profitable business if it costs you more to acquire a customer than the money you earn from selling your products?

Improving sales performance, even by a small margin, can have a significant impact.

Without sales, you have no customers. Without customers, you have no business.

The company’s sales operation and its underlying model need to keep in lockstep with the customers you wish to serve.

Even with all the new capabilities at the fingertips of sales (social selling, Salesforce, LinkedIn, marketing automation), salespeople still struggle to ‘hit quota’. So, moving middle performing sales professionals even 2-5% higher in quota attainment can have a massive impact. Optimising sales is the discipline of maximising a sales team’s performance by improving how the complete set of available resources are deployed – systems, processes, people, technology, and capital.

The ultimate aim is to engage the right prospects, close the sale, and then monetise that customer relationship into the indefinite future.

Forty-four per cent of sales organisations list ‘optimising sales’ as a top sales objective

Guiding potential customers through the buying process is a critical component of optimising the sales funnel and requires an aligned marketing strategy.

Sales funnel optimisation focuses on the various phases of the sales cycle. Instead of focusing on one-dimensional goals, optimised teams continually strive to maximise performance across multiple metrics and time scales. By working together, the marketing team can deliver the right content and qualified leads to enable the sales team to retain and win more customers.

The goal is to stimulate thinking about what you have at your current disposal and deliver them as a critical ‘sequence’ play.

Despite all the technology, capabilities, and training advancements, only 50 per cent of sales representatives meet or exceed quota.

Over half of all sales organisations (54%) do not formally align their sales processes or other aspects of how they sell to the specific journeys taken by their customers.

Sales optimisation will help you save time, maximise your sales pipeline, streamline the sales process, align marketing activity, and sell more. A successful project will include re-evaluating your goals and techniques so that your numbers improve.

It can be a fantastic way to double down with existing sales resources, accelerate effectiveness, and subsequently fund additional growth initiatives as revenue and cost of goods sold (COGS) improve.

Prioritise your sales team’s efficiency to accelerate the sales cycle in both the short and long term.

By nature, salespeople are highly competitive and expect to deliver their commitments every day, week, month, and quarter. Current sales practices, processes and organisational structure may be hindering growth more than any external factor they believe they are facing.

A combination of this and the changing market context has given rise to several clients being more recently focused on optimising sales, not just developing new products.

With over twenty years’ experience, I can help you develop a robust optimisation strategy that will strike the right balance and maximise customer satisfaction, loyalty, sales performance, and revenue growth.

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