Any bottleneck in business is a definite sign of inefficiency that can impede your business operation’s natural workflow, and it is more important when it comes to sales since bottlenecks in this arena can be especially dangerous because they can negatively impact your businesses’ bottom line. Since inconsistencies, delays and oversights in the sales process can easily veer potential leads and customers off their path to purchase, leading to consistent revenue loss.
Nevertheless, the good news is that with a few straightforward changes in your sales process, and by leveraging business growth technology solutions like an easy to use CRM software, you can easily progress towards winnowing out bottlenecks to better optimize your resource and time, however, to do this you primarily need to know what to look for.
Hence here below is a quick breakdown of some of the five most common types of bottlenecks faced by sales teams in most organizations and how you can overcome them for business growth:
1. Running After The Wrong Customers
There can be nothing more unacceptable and disappointing than running after the wrong prospective lead or even an existing customer for months and investing valuable time and resources on creating a relationship, only to understand at a later stage that they are not going to buy (and probably even never were).
Now, the truth is that it is not always easy to identify blind alleys and dead-end roads since you might be operating with incomplete data in your business growth technology and tools.
This is because, there are always ways to predict more reliably who is likely to buy, so that you can focus your attention towards the ‘right’ leads, and one of the most trusted ways to do it is to examine the buying patterns of your existing customers in order to create a set of buyer personas that are tailored to your businesses’ specific needs.
However, to create the right buyer personas for your business you need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes, as personas are nothing other than realistic representation of the main buyers of your brand and business, which can be crafted by using the data that you have in your CRM database from the efforts that include web analytics, and user data of historical closed deals.
After creating the buyer personas you can incorporate them into your CRM software, be it Salesforce or any other Salesforce Alternative CRM platforms to evaluate and measure how they respond to different campaigns, approaches, and offerings of your company.
Now for most sales reps reaching out to 100 and even more potential customers might look productive, but in reality, reaching out to even just 25 prospects who look and shop like your existing customers can be considered much more effective investment in time for focused sales growth.
We say this as we have observed as one of the leading vendors of the best small and medium business CRM software that thoughtless lead generation can burn out even the best sales teams, hence improving the ROI for your team will free up their time that they need to spend on executing their sales process.
However, this must be also kept in mind that buyer personas for any brand or business are not a “set it and thereafter forget it” tool, and so you must update and fine-tune your buyer personas on a regular basis (once every quarter) to reflect changing and evolving trends, habits or the needs of your ideal customers stored inside your easy to use CRM tool.
2. Neglecting The Right Customers
Ignoring fence-sitting leads who are likely to buy from your company, but are not yet ready or convinced is even as wasteful an activity as running after leads who are never going to buy.
Hence after you find the right leads, it is most important that you must make sure that these leads are not neglected or forgotten or ignored during their journey through your sales pipeline.
Now if you are unsure how this can be accomplished, the only way to do it is by creating a more effective lead nurturing process. Therefore, once you have made contact with a potential lead and have thereafter even gained their interest since it takes time to move from that point in the customer’s journey to the final sale, it is most vital that you must remain in the customer’s radar and make yourself available for any queries or concerns that might develop along the way.
Using SFA or Salesforce Automation tools are a perfect example how business growth technology solutions can help you in this endeavor since once SFA is integrated within an easy to use CRM, you can use automation on-the-fly to craft reliable messages and send them on a regular basis in order to remain in touch with the customers across several channels with personalized contents depending on the stages in the journey the prospective customers are in your pipeline.
3. Mid-Stream Mistakes Or Delays
It has been mostly seen that bottlenecks in sales do not just happen at the very beginning of the sales-related process. Rather they happen anywhere along the way, where human and technical errors contribute a lot for creating these Gordian knots.
Now, the sales automation technology that has been highlighted before is not just for nurturing leads through the pipeline efficiently, but using SFA can even reduce errors in communication with prospective leads.
This is because, by integrating Salesforce Automation with your easy to use CRM platform, you can achieve a continuous flow of data between these two business growth technology solutions that can help in eradicating mid-steam errors in your workflow.
For example, after creating a profile of your prospective customer in your CRM you can specify more than one fields as ‘mandatory’ to avoid missed data, and ensure that all information in the CRM is categorized correctly, since minimizing mistakes in this fashion can go a long way towards stopping and eliminating bottlenecks along the path to purchase for your company.
4. Delays In Approval
Yet another mostly common tailback that put-off leads, and prospective-customers (and eventually frustrates your sales teams) generally happens just before finalization of the deals.
For example, you have found the right customer, nurtured the relationship productively, your prospect has identified the thing they want, they requested a discount..and after that…progress of the deal comes to a grinding halt as you wait from an answer from the senior management in your company.
Now, when a sales rep is unavailable, or rather to say unclear about what discount they can extend to their customers, it can create a big halt in the sales journey and thereby create an improper and negative impression for your prospective leads.
Nevertheless, to address this issue, you can use a business growth software to facilitate the smooth approval process, or if required setup preapproved authorization approval levels for your offerings.
Therefore, to minimize the time that a customer has to spend between selecting an item and adding them in the cart and paying their bills ensure an approved quote is delivered as efficiently and quickly as possible so that your business does not lose any customer for delays in the approval workflow practiced by your company.
5. The Post-Sale Bottleneck
Finally, even though it is often ignored, tailbacks also occur when it is time to follow-up after completion of the sale.
Now, although it may not look like a bottleneck since the sale is completed, however, this can always land up to be a critical lost opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell or gain brand advocates that are loyal to your brand and can generate fresh leads for your company.
Therefore, to expand your lead source, ensure methods in your businesses’ workflow that can automate and send a personalized ‘thank you’ message to the customer, create customer surveys for enhancing the customer experience of your brand and company.
Hence, even though bottleneck in sales are common in all businesses, by focusing on lead qualification strategies, simplifying your sales process, and leveraging business growth technology solutions like an easy to use CRM integrated with a Salesforce Automation tool, you can easily reduce roadblocks that could previously slow down your sales process and made you lose deals since most sales bottlenecks can be easily eliminated if you are capable of identifying its root cause.