How to diagnose and solve sales performance challenges with sales automation solutions
There's more to increasing sales and revenue than improving your lead generation. Here's how to leverage sales automation to improve sales performance and move the needle.
Many sales leaders believe that the key to increasing sales and revenue is better lead generation.
They’re often wrong.
It’s an understandable belief, but it’s not entirely accurate. More leads can generate more sales and revenue growth, but the key to solving your sales team’s performance challenges may be found in your existing sales processes, not in the volume of leads you’re getting. Making lead volume the sole culprit is actually a form of playing the victim and shifting blame to someone else.
If your sales performance is struggling, you need to get proactive wherever you’re able. You need to examine your entire sales cycle to uncover all the areas where you can improve.
While this might result in more work, it can actually be an empowering process. You’re giving your sales and sales ops teams the ability to overcome obstacles. Instead of playing the victim, you’re putting the power to affect change in their hands. Every challenge you solve in your sales process will bring a return on investment with every future lead and opportunity.
Below, we’ll examine how to identify sales performance challenges and apply the proper sales automation solutions to make them a thing of the past.
Challenge #1: Spending time on unqualified leads
The best place to start when diagnosing sales performance challenges is at the top of your funnel. You get leads from many sources, but leads are not created equal.
A good indicator your sales team is spending time on unqualified leads is when they’re doing all the right activities but aren’t generating sales. Shifting focus to qualified leads helps because these are your prospects that are actually ready to buy.
More time spent with your best prospects means more sales for your business.
Automate lead qualification
An automated lead qualification process allows your sales team to focus on buyers who are ready to purchase. There are three primary ways you can use automation to help with lead qualification:
- Chatbots – we’ve all seen chatbots nowadays. An effective chatbot will pop up and automatically engage your prospects with contextual help and information as they browse your site. Chatbots can be an automated way of gathering lead info—including contact info, company size, and more—that feels very interactive and personalized.
- Smart Forms – smart forms are just what they sound like. They frequently use if-then logic to only display necessary form fields to your prospects, helping you gather the info you need while enabling you to reduce your overall form length (leading to higher conversion rates).
- Lead scoring – lead scoring is a process wherein you assign a numerical value to your prospect’s activity. For example, viewing a blog post might be ten points while signing up for a free trial might be forty points. Once a lead has scored enough points, they’re considered ready for sales engagement and get passed to your sales team as a sales qualified lead (SQL).
Challenge #2: Excessive handling times
Diagnosing handling time issues can be tricky. Your sales reps can’t spend too much time on each prospect, but you also want to provide a personalized experience to your potential customers.
Your sales process might be the problem. If your reps are spending much time on simple tasks that could be easily automated—like drafting emails or scheduling follow-up tasks—they are wasting precious selling time. They’re making your other prospects wait.
You need to spend some time making your sales cycle more efficient so that you aren’t missing out on sales or wasting time.
Automate your inefficient processes
Effective sales processes have a defined structure to them. They help your sales reps understand where to spend their time and what to prioritize.
The right software can help you automate all kinds of inefficiencies. Several common ways include:
- Integrations with your CRM can make it easier to send our relevant and customized emails or capture visitor tracking info throughout your prospects’ buyers journey
- Automating your entire proposal creation process, enabling your reps to send out more proposals, faster (and also keeping them more on-brand).
While the gains of automating inefficient sales processes may seem minor—a minute here, five minutes there—add those minutes up across multiple team members and a large volume of leads and you’ll find some massive time savings.
Challenge #3: Researching while prospecting
Your sales team probably only has minimal information when they start prospecting. But when you’re selling, knowledge is power.
The more you can empower and enable your team with research and data, the better equipped they’ll be to sell.
Automate your research process
We touched on a few ways to automate your prospect research above. Lead scoring, smart forms, and chatbots can all help reduce the need for your reps to spend significant time on research. You can automatically capture information that helps your reps grasp your prospects’ needs, from core demographic info to resources downloaded or recent website activity.
Tools like ZoomInfo are another way to automate research for your sales team. Rather than having your reps chase down info on each prospect, ZoomInfo provides a wealth of data upfront. Integrate a tool like this with your CRM and your sales team can have all the relevant info they need within their normal sales workflow.
Challenge #4: Getting signatures from multiple decision makers
If you’re in B2B sales, chances are you never need just one signature on a contract.
Your prospect might be the primary end user, but your contract will also need to be signed by their VP and the Finance team and get Legal approval.
When you’ve got a buyer ready to purchase, these kinds of slowdown create headaches that every sales rep would rather avoid.
Automate getting signatures
The right software can turn this major pain point into a minor speed bump. While you can’t change your prospect’s requirements, you can make it as easy as possible for them to get all the signatures they need.
Qwilr’s e-signature feature enables you to create a frictionless experience for your prospects by pre-filling the names of signees and capturing legally-compliant digital signatures. You’ll also save your sales team time, because they won’t have to track down and wrangle multiple documents across different emails.
Let automation drive your growth
Sales may never be an easy job, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be significantly easier than it is today. If your team is facing performance challenges like the ones above, choosing the right automation solutions can make life better for your team and expedite your business and revenue growth.
For more on how Qwilr can help you start automating your sales process, book a demo today.
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