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Technology Can Be The Difference Between A Good Sales Team From A B2b Sales Powerhouse
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Buyers don’t purchase like they used to and this complicates the normal sales funnel. As IKO system highlights, the 'failsafe' BANT (Budget Authority Need Time) model is almost turning into the complete opposite.
So what has changed in the back to back buying cycle?
marketing automation, sales crmBuying power currently resides with teams instead of individuals. With a lot more people involved in the process of selection, budgets are no longer pre-approved so far in advance and sometimes a problem hasn’t even been identified. Targeting one individual on the idea that they can approve department spends without a discussion and sign off from their superiors and finance teams is a bad idea, and wastes valuable hours spent educating the wrong prospect.
Unqualified leads means a waste of time for your sales team, but rather than storing them in growing - and then forgotten - data lists, implementing a feedback loop with your marketing team can turn potentially warm prospects into hot leads.
Here are three ways back to back lead management technology works to solve sales problems:
Step 1: Produce a formal lead into revenue process, by your CRM's management
A worrying sixty five per cent of companies have no outlined lead nurturing methods. We’ve all had experiences with bad or clumsy CRM systems, and then ended up using spreadsheets to store notes from the marketing, sales and customer service teams. Smart CRM software such as Salesforce allows your sales team to keep track of leads in the sales funnel and to forecast with confidence, combining email, social media and lead activity data into one. CRM mastermind Pardot claims that a powerful CRM system will improve forecasting accuracy by 42%.
A good CRM system will provide high standard quality reporting of sales performance. But the best practice for the monthly and quarterly sales forecast is for all members of the same team to export the same criteria. This way you’re always comparing bananas with bananas, and there is no uncertainty.
Step 2: Integrating CRM with a marketing automation tool
Sales own the pipeline (managed by your CRM). Marketing own the funnel (managed by marketing automation) and by adding the two together you have a complete view of the pipeline and lead cycle. The most important part of a lead process is acquiring enough info to hand over a lead to Sales when the lead theyre READY, but if its passed back, it's just as important to recapture them into the funnel. This makes sure you never lose a lead – which is highly valuable when you consider 79% of marketing leads never get converted to sales leads.
Top Tip: Marketing automation tools, like HubSpot and Pardot integrate seamlessly with a plethora of sales CRM tools like Netsuite and Salesforce. Both automation systems provide a framework for a sustainable inbound lead generation process. They both boast advanced tools for analytics and the ability to tailor every element of a campaign to suit a target audience, though the two systems may be accustomed to different types of companies.
Step 3: Have real-time insights of your prospects activities
A new real-time sales lead alert app from giant HubSpot is ‘Signals,’ which helps out sales teams by sending instant alerts to a lead's activity. You are able to see who has opened your emails, as long as you use the web browser Chrome.
Upon downloading the app, sales professionals can find out when:
a lead opens or clicks an email (you have sent from Gmail, Outlook, or Salesforce), giving you insight into the level of engagement and where the lead stands in the sales process.
a logged customer changes job positions and updates their LinkedIn profile, letting you know about new potential opportunities.
a long-term lead, once cold, returns to your website after months of inactivity.
a new lead is assigned to you in Salesforce (easily integrated with HubSpot) so you can follow it up right away.
A business that invests in breaking down sales and marketing team siloes with comprehensive technology enables itself to extract more accurate reports that unveil the ROI behind team efforts. A business team with key performance indicators (supported by your tech!) and clearer reporting will attract key talent to build on its existing success.
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