Is your Sales Process Failing your Business?

I ran a half-day training session recently for a group of Business Development Managers and General Managers. The topic was entitled ’10 Top Tips for Telemarketing Success’.

Before I pulled together my PowerPoint presentation, I went online to do some research. I wanted to kick off with some food for thought. Little did I know that we all might choke on some of the stats I unearthed about the poor quality of lead generation out in the world of business.

Below are just a few of the things I researched along with the source of the information:

  • More than 25% of all B2B sales cycles take 7 months or more to close. (Source: Harvard University and Gallup)
  • 42% of sales reps feel they do not have the right information before making a sales visit. (Source: Lattice Engines/CSO Insights)
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more ‘sales ready’ leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)
  • 57% of B2B organisations identify ‘converting qualified leads into paying customers’ as a top funnel priority. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

The above is quite enlightening when you consider the key factors that drive lead generation. And it’s actually quite simple if we perhaps just add a few more aspects to the business development melting pot.

Let’s look at the facts.

Gestation periods in b2b lead generation can be long especially where the value of sale is high. A large number of sales guys feel that pre-sales is poorly carried out which means they have insufficient tools with which to achieve their goals.  Lack of lead nurturing over time is a major cause of leads failing to convert. If companies do better at lead nurturing, the impact on sales and profit is major.

Given that a large number of business owners and manager feel that converting unearthing qualified sales-ready leads is a priority, it’s a worry that more focus is not put onto the sales process. So, what’s the answer? The answer is that companies large and small need a process for lead generation. They need clear goals and they need to measure their progress towards achieving those goals. That means KPI’s through the sales process. It means a good CRM system to capture relevant and useful information to support the sales funnel. It also means that the people on the phone either making or receiving sales calls, must be trained to capture good qualification criteria and also there needs to be a proper follow-up process in place.

Sales isn’t only about process. It’s definitely about having and training good people. However, without a proper sales culture and process in place, your business will probably reside in amongst the statistics above and you won’t deliver your sales objectives.

If you’d like to find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business or book one of our new business development and marketing strategy workshops, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or send us an email.

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