Have you noticed?
The Christmas decorations are beginning to pop up everywhere.
If you’re anything like me every year I think to myself “But it’s too early for Christmas!”
And then you realise it’s mid November. At the time of writing this it’s the 15th of November 2016. What we’re looking at is about 5 weeks until Christmas 2016.
As a sales manager this countdown usually means 2 things, and they both lead to the same action.
First: It’s time to ramp it up & close some deals so we can hit quota or…..
Second: It’s time to push the sales team to keep selling (even though we’ve already made quota) and reach for those extra bonuses.
The same Action: Let’s kick it into gear and finish 2016 off with a bang!
Now whether you’ve hit your quota yet or you haven’t, you need to be prioritising the deals that are “most likely” to be closed come the 31st of December.
What are those deals? Where do you find them?
So what does every good sales manager do?
They send out “THE” email. We all know “THE” email…. the:
“Alright guys, the year is wrapping up. So it’s time to start closing some deals that have been left open. Get some answers and close. Focus your attention on the deals with the highest probability of closing”
But is this really the best thing to do?
What should be happening is an in-depth analysis of the sales process.
Your sales process.
Depending on the size of your company sit down with your sales team or sales managers and assess your sales funnel.
Who’s ready to buy?
Where are the prospects in the funnel?
Do we have more cases we can close than originally thought?
Do we have less?
Whenever you have few accounts per sales rep, say less than some 50 per sales rep, then you’ll be able to just take a look into your CRM and it will likely be quite clear what to do.
But what if you have more than those 50 per sales rep? Then you’re likely better off organising them in a Bulk-CRM, and since they are so many you really need to ask questions that will help your sales team sell:
Where does your Sales Team start?
That’s what you want your sales team to know.
That’s what they want to know.
But how do you figure it out?
Let me walk you through it:
Step 1: Organise your contacts
Walk through each case with your sales team. Spend a day or half a day (I know we all have hectic schedules but this is the most important step) being clear about your sales process.
You need to determine what each contact has been through, what content they have received.
- Have they had a meeting?
- What status are they?
- Do they have a proposal?
- When was the last time you touched based with them?
- What is listed as the next step?
These are the questions you need answers to!
The answers to these questions form the basis of which deals can be closed by December 31st.
From these answers, adjust your sales funnel accordingly.
Find the cases which are the easiest to close and place them at the bottom of your sales funnel and then work backwards. From the bottom (hottest leads) to the top (coldest leads).
Organise them in lists in your bulk-CRM system based on their status as minimum a MUST go through and a SHOULD go through.
(Being able to organise your clients to give due attention to all and to show you where your warmest contacts are is invaluable.)
Just to be clear, the reason for doing this listing activity is that a Bulk-CRM system can contain many more potential clients that from radar blips to ambassadors. Most contacts in the early stages might be handled only automatically whereas the CRM-part of it, or any CRM-system likely primarily handles accounts with later stage deals, or clients already.
Spending time doing this will not only benefit your sales by the end of the year but you will have an outline of your sales process ready as you begin 2017.
Once you have the answers to these questions you can begin to outline your next steps.
Step 2: Realistic Expectations & Estimates
Now that you’ve done the hard work you can begin outlining your estimates.
Using the results of organising your contacts and analysing your sales process, realistic goals can begin to be outlined for your sales team.
The first step as a sales manger is to realistically determine the total number of sales you can expect by the close of 2016 and work backwards.
If you estimate you can reach an extra 10 sales, set goals for your sales reps accordingly. The benefit of analysing your leads as the first step is that your sales team now know who they should be targeting.
There will be no need for them to use their time inefficiently by continuously contacting the prospects that were never going to purchase within 5-6 weeks.
It makes things easier for your sales rep if they now know they have 2 particular cases they need to close by year’s end.
Step 3: Measure & Track Everything!
Your CRM system should be equipped with tracking codes that can track how your leads engage with your content.
When they open an email.
When they visit your pricing page.
When they have opened that whitepaper or eBook.
Without being able to measure the actions of your warmest leads, you may be using yours inefficiently (which is something you definitely don’t want, when working with a short time period).
Conduct an audit after the 1st week of December. Personally contact your sales reps and follow the sales process of each individual lead (even if it’s just checking in).
Step 5: Don’t be afraid to push for the web sale!
B2B organisations seem to be afraid of asking for the web sale.
When you’re hunting for every sale you can get by years end, ask the question. The website sale has become one of the least used tools in the sales reps toolbox.
Many prospects have a pretty good idea on whether they are going to purchase or not.
Ask the question. (Maybe offer a promo code)
Send them the link.
They may just bite!
Don’t Ignore the benefits of using a CRM system!
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to reach your quota or smash straight through it. Use these tips in collaboration with your CRM or Bulk-CRM to get the results you’re looking for.
Using your CRM properly has proven to increase your sales efficiency by up to 34% and boost your forecasting ability by 42%.
So make sure that as more and more christmas decorations go up, you’re using your CRM to it’s full potential.
Your own next step in CRM or Bulk-CRM if you ask us?
If you think improving your online marketing and sales is important for you, I would suggest you try out our very own 2-min test here from us at Sonician in order for you to figure out if our very own Bulk-CRM could be for you. You’ll find it directly at: www.sonician.com/survey/2mintest/