But the truth is, missed sales aren’t always the sales teams’ fault. Technologies and processes designed to help can end up derailing their best efforts and endangering sales.
Few sales people will admit this. After all, no one wants to be seen as a shoddy worker blaming their tools.
If you’re a sales director this is a big problem. How do you spot the nagging issues that are hampering your sales team if no one is speaking up?
Here are four things to watch out for.
1. Inconsistent emails and communication
Once a customer hits sales, you want to do everything in your power to provide the best experience possible. Even the slightest slip-up can upend the relationship, resulting in a missed opportunity.
So when you find out your customer’s been receiving identical emails from you and your marketing team, that’s a gut punch. Even worse, you’ve just closed a sale only to find out that marketing has sent them a cheaper, better offer. That’s the end of that relationship.
This is bad for business and it drives sales people into an absolute frenzy.
2. Poor quality leads
Just as frustrating are misqualified leads. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out – if you’re fed low-quality leads, you’re going to deliver bad results.
But you’re not just missing out on one sale. A misqualified lead in the pipeline has a ripple effect. It consumes time that could have spent following up on real sales.
Or even cold calling.
But instead, you're left chasing people who aren't ready to be sold to or have no interest in what you're selling.
3. A lack of quality content
There’s nothing worse than turning up to a meeting with a hot lead and be equipped with an out-of-date data sheet and an off-brand presentation. It’s distracting, confusing and damages the credibility of your organization and what you’re selling.
For most sales people this is an infuriating reality.
And even when there is good content available, sales people often don’t have the tools or skills to update it themselves. In fact, it’s estimated that 60 percent to 70 percent of content goes unused by sales.
If you can't get their hands on the right content, you're not going to impress your prospects. You’re not going to sell.
You’re going into the ring with one arm tied behind your back.
4. No visibility across the customer journey
Without visibility into every point of the customer journey, your sales team are flying blind. They don’t know what customers are interested in, how long they’ve been interested, how much they know about your company, what content they’ve read, the list goes on.
In short – they don’t have the information they need to engage a prospect, hit them with a convincing pitch and make a sale.
The root causes of this issue are usually bad communication or data silos. Data isn’t being shared between sales and marketing because it’s locked in disconnected systems or hoarded by a particular department.
Whatever the reason – it’s a problem you must solve. Flying blind never works out well for anyone.
Don’t worry, there’s a solution
Taken alone these problems don’t seem to be that big a deal. But add them together and they account for so many lost opportunities.
Here’s the good news though: you can solve them by unifying sales and marketing. Create one team, with one set of processes, technologies and KPIs and these issues melt away.
- There are no inconsistent or duplicate emails because there’s one email strategy
- Lead quality improves as sales and marketing agree what a qualified lead looks like together
- Content quality improves as you create a content strategy that works for the entire customer journey
- Visibility improves as every customer interaction is tracked in one system
Granted, unifying sales and marketing isn’t a quick and easy process but it can be done (see how we did it in this blog).
And the reality is you must do it. After all, no sales person can fulfill their potential with one arm tied behind their back.
There’s one other thing that’s guaranteed to drive your sales team mad - a clunky and intuitive CRM. What should be a vital asset can easily become a millstone that saps productivity and holds people back.
Read our eBook Why your sales team isn’t using your CRM to find out if your CRM is a help or a hindrance.