Making sales numbers is the most vital part of running a sales-based business. If your sales numbers aren't what they could be, then that means the business is missing out on profits. While your sellers may engage with a lot of leads, how many of those leads complete the sales pipeline? Do you really know how good your sales teams are doing?
You have many metrics to keep track of, like average deal sizes, win rates, lead generation numbers, and more. In fact, there's a lot of data to keep track of when you're managing a business. Sometimes it's good to take a step back and analyze that data through a different lens. That can be done by considering that material using simple questions, which may make you take a second look at your current numbers.
This article will ask you a handful of questions. These will prompt you to figure out if your sales numbers are really as good as you think they are. In the end, you should be able to answer some critical sales questions yourself, so you can figure out if you've really been doing sales as well as you could be!
The Quiz: Key Questions to Ask About Your Business and Sales
Now, it's time to take the quiz. In school, you might have been taught to fear the might of a quiz. Don't worry; this isn't a test that you can fail. These questions will simply offer you a new perspective on your current sales situation based on the concepts identified in this article. Even if you consider some of these questions and realize you aren't maximizing out on sales potentials—that's okay!
A crucial part of solving problems is identifying them. After that, management can formulate plans to address the causes of these problems. Then solutions can be implemented that help your business reach its full potential. The best companies don't rest on their laurels even when performing well. The goal is always to appreciate success and continuously improve. That can't be done without effectively understanding the current position of the business's strengths and weaknesses. Then you can use quantitative numbers-based businesses decisions and qualitative experience-based ones.
This section will be dedicated to highlighting certain aspects of the sales business and quizzing you about your business's effectiveness. The latter half will offer solutions that can help you address these discrepancies.
Doing the Deep Work—Questions to Ask When Analyzing Your Sales Team
Understanding your numbers is the first step in addressing possible sales problems you might be encountering. Do you really know what your sales numbers are? Do you know your customer engagement rates? This section will help outline what numbers you should be tracking and questions you should be asking when performing a sales analysis.
Knowing Your Real Numbers: The Questions to Ask
Getting down to brass tacks means looking at the qualitative numbers and seeing if they match up with where your company goals expect them to be. Some metrics are extremely commonplace, like those brought up in the intro of this article. Others are somewhat swept to the side. Any data you have that deals with how customers interact with your content is essential information. Have you been considering the following data and how capitalizing on certain customer engagements can help improve your business?
- Can your customers actually utilize a delivered product or service? In other words, do you have a high rate of returns?
A client should learn about your product or service through marketing, then continue to reach a deeper understanding of how it's used and how it can help them through the selling process. There should be resources for these customers to refer to if they have lingering questions about how to use their new goods. When the content delivery and product are both qualities, you should see a low rate of returns.
If you have a high rate of returns, then something along that outlined process is not being correctly communicated to the client. Many of these returns could be avoided if the correct content had been delivered to the customers. This issue can affect sellers and self-servicing bots that are delivering content to prospects.
Carefully review customer feedback or bot chat logs to see how communication issues are accruing. Are there conflicts between customer expectations and the actual product that create returns? Or are customers frustrated by a lack of clear information they can use to understand your product?
- What are your average reply times to customers?
Average reply times fall in a category similar to a metric already carefully considered by sellers and managers "customer satisfaction." One factor that's likely going to decrease customer satisfaction is long reply time waits. This can undo a lot of positive motion that has been built up during the selling processes. Plus, it will make your customer frustrated. Prompt customer service is vital even before a sale is completed. If you don't have it, how can a client expect you to respond to their problems promptly if they have to reach out after a purchase?
A long average reply time may point out a deeper issue with your selling process. It may mean that sales content is tricky to find, making it harder to quickly answer client questions or provide them with the content they need to secure a sale. Consider how a chatbot can run a chat on your site, which can address FAQ in a snap or direct a prospect to the right people quickly.
- Do you know your customer retention rate?
If you want to continue doing business, then having loyal returning customers is key. Even if your business operates with a mainly product-centric view, waiting to deal with how your product solves consumer problems after a product has been made, you need to understand the value your product offers people.
Not only should your salespeople be able to communicate an immediate value to customers, but they should also be able to communicate continued value as well. This way, customers want to do return business with you, or at the very least, recommend their friends to your business.
This rate can be calculated by looking at how many customers choose to subscribe to your database. How many interact with content after a purchase, subscribe to more goods or services, or renew or upgrade their current product?
- How many leads are generated because of your marketing? What percentage of your customers are your marketing oriented or influenced prospects?
Cold calling can waste a lot of time. Sellers are trying to hunt for leads when most recipients don't even look at, let alone open, a random email or answer a call they aren't expecting. Cold calling can waste sellers' time. It takes an enormous amount of effort to find a few promising prospects. Among these few, most still won't become clients.
While a marketing influenced person is directed to the sellers because of marketing efforts. These are primed customers who have heard of your business and are actively looking for a product or service like the one you offer. The higher percentage of your leads are marketing influenced the more time sellers can spend trying to create and close deals rather than fruitlessly cold calling unknown low-quality leads.
Customer Interaction and Feedback
Another major part of selling is understanding your customers and ensuring your sellers are effectively communicating with them. You likely have a lot of marketing content in place that is meant to attract new customers and teach them about what you offer. If customers aren't engaging with this content, you aren't effectively sharing your message with them. All your effort is kind of wasted if this is what's happening with your content.
Quiz yourself with the following questions to see if customers are really engaging with the content you present them.
- How long do prospects stay on your site?
Many businesses are rightly concerned about what content clients are interacting with on the website. This usually includes conversion-related metrics, like how many times a whitepaper has been downloaded or how often a link is followed. Look a little deeper to find interesting data. This may reveal that your customers aren't responding to your website as much as you might like.
While you may have people download your content, they may not be sticking around long and exploring the other content you have on offer. If you have a particularly high bounce rate (meaning prospects only visit one page on your website and then leave), then there may be something about your delivery or product that isn't sitting well with customers.
This could be many things. Asking for customer feedback from clients you do land, customer service complaints, or studying the highest performing pages may help decipher if it's the packaging, the language used, or even the price causing short times.
- In terms of likes, clicks, views, and shares, how engaged are your customers with your marketing content?
If you have content on social media or even just on a website, you have a lot of lead data at your fingertips. You may have blog pages, eBooks, whitepapers, product guides, videos, and more. This helps inspire many demographics to purchase your product and teach them about your product or service. These are all meant to target different kinds of demographics to create as many prospects for sales as possible.
If customers are highly engaged with your marketing content, then they are absorbing this information well. They show appreciation by leaving a like or sharing the content with friends. If you get this kind of engagement, then your marketing team is doing its job and doing it well.
Sales reps should not just passively shrug at these engagement rates. This will be especially true if customers mention this content during the selling process, as marketing has effectively made the seller's job that much easier. The work a seller would have to do to establish authority and convince the prospect that your business is an expert at the product or service it renders is already done.
With this priming completed, sellers can focus on getting a client the best product they need to solve their problems. This can tailor the consumer experience and increase satisfaction. Plus, the prospect is more primed for up-selling than others might be.
Defining Business Goals and Making Reality Meet Those Goals
So far, you've asked yourself some questions, considered your current numbers, and the state of affairs at your business. You also have a better understanding of how customers are responding to your content on many levels. Now what? That's a good question.
With a clear understanding of where you stand, you can start making plans to grow your business and address problems you may have identified with our little quiz. Where your focus should drift now is towards making a clear and actionable plan that can address the issues you found during this process.
Set up Firm Goals
Define your goals clearly. Wanting higher numbers and better engagement rates doesn't make them automatically happen. However, defining a specific goal creates a target for your team to hit. Setting the goal turns it from a nebulous expectation to a tangible and achievable thing that your team can at least attempt to achieve.
Create an Action Plan
Having a goal is vital. It's what you will use to motivate your team to reach through failure and towards success. The next step is creating an actionable plan you can keep in mind each day. This will advance teams and individual team members to the goal.
This plan should have no more than a handful of tasks that each person should be dedicated to, and it shouldn't be overly detailed. Waiting to act until you have the perfect plan for success outlined just means problems will fester for longer and is usually a form of procrastination. On top of that, detailed plans often don't account for the unexpected challenges and successes you may face as your business works toward a big goal.
However, to make a goal possible, you may also want to implement a routine that effectively supports this goal by making it the center point of operations. This doesn't need to be a complex ritual or routine. In fact, the simpler it is, the easier it will be to follow.
Review your goal every day with your team to affirm with everyone what they're trying to accomplish. Then each month, have an accountability meeting that gets people together to talk about how they've worked to meet smaller goals that reach the team goal. Review this again during each quarter to ensure the real progress is being made towards the big company-wide goal. At this time, you can create a new action plan which will inform what specifically must get done to reach the annual goal.
Consistently review your progress, and ensure that everything you do takes this big picture goal in mind as your salespeople and business move forward and grow.
Finding Real Solutions
Now, if you've been considering these concepts, you may have identified a few pain points in your own business. In a world that many people dream of, you can reach a certain level of success and start running a business on autopilot. However, in the shared reality of Earth, things are always changing. Sometimes processes that have worked for years are no longer effective in the current market.
Especially as more and more commerce is done online, businesses have had to move traditional selling processes into digital processes. The same tactics that work in person do not always function online. This means that there are a lot of opportunities for smart businesses to stand out and make the most of new systems rather than be stuck on old processes.
Find the Right Marketing and Sales Enablement Partner
Many of the problems addressed here can be fixed by employing a sales enablement program. Sales enablement helps to standardize selling tactics, build a persona, rate quality leads, and create consistent digital content. And digitizing and automating content creation can be made easy with the right marketing management tool.
Fusebox One offers a wide variety of tools that make creating the content you need to generate leads for many markets easy. With the right tools, you can ensure that all of your digital assets are in one well-organized and accessible location. Meaning it is there when marketing and sales need it without the fuss of searching other data management systems.
These benefits will help marketing be more consistent, ensure your brand is consistent, and customers understand your value clearly. If marketing can successfully do this, customers are more primed for a sale because they already believe in the business authority. This helps sellers focus on establishing the unique qualities of your business's product or service, how it solves their problems, and why you stand out from the competition.
If your business's product or service isn't an entirely digitally deliverable, like a program or digital asset, then you may have things like shipping to deal with. The Fusebox One platform can even help you ensure that your shipping needs are all taken care of. You can be sure the order fulfillment occurs exactly to your specifications. No material your customer needs to use your product is ever missing. This can cut down on pesky returns numbers and ensure that your customer is taken care of from the moment they read a social media post or they receive your product in the mail.
Then there are various other benefits of working with Fusebox One's all-in-one marketing management platform. You can create product templates that can be customized to target several audiences. Create memorable and targeted email campaigns and even help you ensure that your social media posts always have the same brand voice. Then you can even get physical promotional materials, like t-shirts with your logo on them and other kinds of merchandise. These can be used to make your team feel like a united organization or as promotional tools you can give to customers.
All of these features can be customized to fit your business needs to help you become as effective at marketing and deploying your product or service as possible. Plus, all these features are in one easy-to-use platform. It can be fit to help all of your operations work more efficiently, not just marketing and sales departments.
Overall, this means that your entire business can start working more effectively and be better branded at all levels!
Make Sure Sales Is Always Doing the Most to Pull Profits and Ask the Right Questions
Making a profit is the highest goal of every organization that wants to sustain itself. Ensuring your sales team is making the best numbers possible is how a sales-based business reaches that goal. Hiring the right talent will help you get there but setting your sales representatives up for success is key. But how can you be sure that your sales team is making their best numbers and utilizing all selling content effectively?
Of course, keeping track of sellers' reports and understanding win rates are key to understanding how successful your sales team is. However, it's much deeper than that. Sales are driven by people and content; understanding how your salespeople and selling content effectively reach customers is also vital. That's harder to measure with quantitative data. Asking important questions can get you the qualitative data you need to make your sales teams more effective and identify real issues.
Marketing management tools, like those offered by FuseBox One, can also help solve many problems that your sales teams face. These tools help sellers effectively find and deliver sales content to clients. These programs can help you craft the assets and tools needed to personalize the customer experience. So stay on brand in email campaigns, across social media posts, with physical mailouts, and across your business correspondence with this tool.