In most organizations, Sales is the main source of revenue and the success of these organizations relies on their ability to makes continuous sales which relies on the success of their sales management processes. Hindering this process in any way can have a detrimental, direct effect on the organizations ability to remain profitable and operational.
A sales management process refers to a set of activities that companies use to manage their sales efforts and to achieve their sales goals. The objective of a sales management process is to maximize sales revenue and increase the organizations’ profitability (Baker, 2023). While each company’s process may differ somewhat from the next due to their unique “team, products, and resources” (Baker, 2023), this process generally involves 3 main steps. These steps are; the creation of a sales plan, the identification and pursuit of sales opportunities and the monitoring and analysis of sales data used to continuously improve performance.
We consider 3 common inefficiencies that delay the sales management process:
Inefficient and Ineffective Sales Tools and Technologies:
Sales tools and technologies are used to manage leads, track opportunities and close deals. If these tools are inefficient or defective, it causes delays in the sales process and reduces visibility into the sales pipeline, resulting in lost opportunities and revenue, explains Honkanen (2022). In addition to this, inefficient sales technologies can reduce productivity and make it more challenging for salespeople and sales teams to meet their sales targets (Honkanen, 2022).
Inefficient Sales Processes:
When sales processes are too complex or time-consuming, salespeople may be slow to respond to leads and struggle to move deals through the pipeline quickly and effectively, resulting in lost opportunities and revenue. Moran (2021) emphasizes the importance of response time by stating that it has a significant impact on successfully “closing deals” and “making sales”. In addition to this, inefficiencies in sales processes can lead to a poor customer experience which can damage relationships and reduce the likelihood of future sales. Finally, when sales processes are not aligned across teams or departments, it can lead to confusion, miscommunication and lost opportunities (Moran, 2021).
Inefficient Communication and Collaboration:
A common way that sales teams communicate and collaborate is through the shared use of up-to-date sales dashboards and reports. If crucial data is inaccessible or out-dated, sales teams are likely to face multiple challenges that can be detrimental to their sales performance. One of these challenges is a lack of visibility into the sales pipeline. Without this visibility, sales teams may waste time chasing down leads that are not likely to result in a sale or miss opportunities that are further along in the sales pipeline (1centre, 2022). A second challenge is inconsistencies in messaging and tactics across the sales team. If salespeople are not communicating efficiently about their experiences and approaches to selling, it can be difficult to identify what is working successfully and what isn’t, resulting in missed opportunities, lost revenue and “mistrust” (Ellis, 2023). The third: poor customer experiences (Moran, 2021). If salespeople can’t access up-to-date information about a customer’s history with the company, they are likely to present an inaccurate or irrelevant sales pitch that does not take into account the customer’s specific needs and preferences.
1centre. (2022, November 7). The importance of visibility in your sales pipeline. 1centre. https://www.1centre.com/the-importance-of-visibility-in-your-sales-pipeline/#:~:text=It%20enables%20you%20to%20improve&text=You%20don’t%20get%20the,and%20make%20adjustments%20and%20improvements
Baker, K. (2023, February 9). Sales management: The Ultimate Guide (Process, Best Practices, & Tools). HubSpot Blog. https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-management
Ellis, C. (2023, January 10). The impact of inconsistent messaging: How to get your go-to-market teams on the same page. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/impact-inconsistent-messaging-how-get-your-teams-same-chris-ellis
Honkanen, M. (2022, November 29). 11 types of sales tools you must know in 2023. Real-time company data for B2B businesses ⏐ Vainu. https://www.vainu.com/blog/types-of-sales-tools-you-must-know/#:~:text=Sales%20tools%20help%20salespeople%20understand,be%20talking%20about%20with%20them
Moran, L. (2021, March 26). How your lead response time can make or break your close rate. Whisbi. https://whisbi.com/how-your-lead-response-time-can-make-or-break-your-close-rate/