Let’s be honest for a minute — chances are your sales data flow is currently non-existent, and information is scattered all over the place. To paraphrase Peter Drucker “What you measure, you can improve.”
If you’re using spreadsheets to track results…
… your invoices don’t connect to any of your other tech…
…you use a combination of sticky notes & email threads to track follow up with leads…
…This article is for you!
The examples and suggestions provided in this article are going to be specifically tailored to your sales and client success teams, but the same principles can be applied to every department.
Before we get too deep into this, let’s boil it down into one sentence:
Optimizing your sales data flow means pulling all relevant data into a single, easy-to-use interface and empowering your team to focus on what they do best.
Every year, we dig into the inside workings of dozens of sales teams. One of the critical distinctions between those who win and those who don’t is their level of organization.
The good news is — most of the time — the teams whose information is all over the place can be successful…up to a certain point.
Why? Because someone was able to drive the company forward and generate results, sales, and momentum. Unfortunately, chances are this person had a lot of the critical pieces in their head, rather than in a defined system.
When the time came to scale up and add additional team members to support your growing demand, the processes weren’t in place, because they simply hadn’t been needed up to that point.
We’ve distilled our insights on data flow for your sales team into three key insights:
1) Pick a Cloud-Based System & Flow Your Data Into It.
The nice thing about modern, cloud-based CRMs is that your entire sales data flow can be routed into a single system to easily display it for anyone who needs it. Strong integration capabilities are becoming a bare minimum for new players on the market.
We recommend you use a system like Pipedrive, Bento Systems, Hubspot, or another CRM to gather all of the information the salesperson needs on their leads into a single interface.
This is significantly more powerful than working from a spreadsheet or — even worse — a proprietary legacy CRM that a team invested a ton of money in half a decade ago, but now find it doesn’t “speak to” their other systems.
The critical things you want to integrate are:
- Customer questionnaires and opt-in forms -— Your lead nurture systems should populate warm leads directly into the CRM to avoid duplicate entry and having information in multiple places.
- Sales team insights and notes — These don’t need to be formal, but if a lead mentions they’re taking their dog in for surgery, they’ll appreciate it if you ask how it went.
Order info and invoicing — many proposal-creation systems can pull data directly from contact records to save you time and get them in prospects’ hands while they’re fresh.
Consider Each of Your Handoffs
No (sales)man is an island. If you’ve been reading our recent content, you’ve seen that we advocate a number of people be involved in various stages of the conversion process.
At minimum, you probably have:
- Someone “hunting” and drumming up cold leads
- Someone who handles qualified leads’ strategy and closing
- Someone who manages the client after they close to ensure successful delivery
It’s important to consider what each person in the process needs to know to make your client’s experience as efficient as possible.
There’s no reason the client should have to answer the same question twice….
… there’s no reason your team should need to enter the same information twice…
Arm your team with the data they need to succeed, and put it in their hands for each call.
It’s important that you always give the person receiving the data (next down the chain) the opportunity for a warm transfer, where they were introduced by the person they’ve started to build some trust, credibility and respect with.
Consider any automation you can potentially leverage. When a deal is marked as “won” in your CRMkk, you can integrate a system to send notifications to your client success team, making for an easier and smoother handoff between sales and fulfillment.
You won’t nail it overnight, but if you consistently refine your sales data flow, your team will close more business and generate a better customer experience over time.
Track Your Metrics
If you look at our sales process map, you’ll see that — at each stage of our process — we have a pretty clear idea of the percentages of leads we will convert. For example, in our firm we estimate that 5-10% of all discovery calls booked will convert to customers.
However, 25% of all of those who attend the discovery call, and 50% of those who move on to a blueprint will convert to customers.
A good sales pipeline CRM will have this functionality built in, but you may need to set it up to track automatically.
Establishing your likelihood of close at each stage in the process allows you to:
- forecast revenue
- plan your outreach more effectively
- gain a better “pulse” on your business’ growth
If you want to take it one step further, start mapping the outcome, as compared to the lead source. For example, if your system shows that 15% of discovery calls from cold outreach but 20% who find us on a google search turn into business. This allows you to be smarter about your ad spend over time.
So let us know!
Have you tried any of these, above?
Which have worked best for you?
What tips and tricks are you using to automate your sales that we’ve missed?
And, if you want to get help redefining and structuring your sales data flow, injecting new leads into your pipeline, or simply need to talk to someone about your marketing plan, don’t hesitate to reach out!
We’d love to help you create a Growth Plan for 2020 that will make you proud.