B2B sales is hard. No, seriously—it’s really, really hard. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. What does it take to build a more efficient B2B sales process? Let’s talk about efficiency vs. effectiveness before we dive deeper into how to make your B2B sales team a group of deal-closers.
Efficiency vs. Effectiveness In B2B Sales
Efficiency is the sales ops dream. Ideally, all of your front line sales reps are empowered to constantly pitch, nurture, and add value to prospects. This means the number of emails, qualified leads, dials, and prospects added to the CRM. Effectiveness is measured by:
- Number of conversations
- Talk time
- Click-through rate
- Reply rate
- Conversation-to-opportunity rate
A report from Forbes says sales reps spend less than 40% of their time selling. For companies who aren’t focused on B2B sales efficiency, that number can be less than 20%. So how do we work on boosting B2B sales efficiency, and in turn, effectiveness?
Technology, People, and Purpose
In 2019, a great technology stack is vital. There are so many great tools for CRM, prospecting, research, and outreach. Without shamelessly plugging in my personal favorites, I challenge you to do a ton of research. But also, shameless plug—at JumpCrew, we love Salesforce. Figure out which platforms fit your needs rather than trying to fit your needs to their platform.
More important than the technology you use is your purpose for it and the people using it. Training for technology should be done early and often. For CRM specifically, this is vital and could literally make or break your B2B sales team. Allow your reps to organize their data not only using reporting pulled by the operations team, but also by the method that works for them. This can only be done with a consistent feedback loop between reps and operations.
Fun fact: According to Ringlead, Inc., every duplicate or incomplete record in your CRM costs a company a minimum of $1 per year and up to 14 minutes of your sales reps’ time. With your time and money on the line, accurate data is non-negotiable in your CRM.
Bottom line: Make the investment in technology and training. Take the time to properly train your reps on all platforms and make sure all departments are aligned on tracking and data integrity. This might seem like a lot of work upfront, but anyone who has been in sales for a while knows what happens over time when your CRM is a free-for-all.
Define The B2B Process
So, your B2B sales reps now have the best technology and defined KPI’s. They’re good to go right? Not quite.
The final step to creating an efficient B2B sales operation is defining the process from lead to close. Maybe 100 dials a day isn’t your best sales tactic. Your B2B sales team’s biggest value might not be in closing deals, but in solving problems—not just for their prospects but for new hire classes and the company itself. A tried and true way to define process is to lean on top performers. Analyze what they’re doing and figure out why it works. Constantly adjust process based on what’s working and always stay agile.
Although the argument “is sales an art or a science?” will always exist (our team is split 50/50 on our Slack poll), all products are different and the strategies to sell them should be just as unique.
Read more: Outbound Sales: Sell Less, Connect More