Creating an end-to-end sales funnel is a lot of work and you will likely feel a great sense of relief once you have everything in place.
You have great copy for your marketing and sales channels, competent people managing those channels for you, an awesome sales pitch, great post-meeting marketing materials, and fully set up sales CRM and reporting system to keep track of everything.
Now you just sit back and watch the revenue come in, right?
Wrong. While the sales process you developed hopefully “works” and generates leads and sales, there is always room for improvement.
Being complacent means not being innovative and not doing your utmost to do better. What works today might not work tomorrow.
For that reason, you have to be focused on constantly optimizing your sales processes. That will fuel growth long-term and determine the success of everything you’re building.
Here’s what to do to optimize your B2B sales process:
#1 Obsess over conversion rates
You need to know your conversion rates for every step of your sales process. You need to know what your conversion rates are at the minimum for:
Cold prospect to Demo
Demo to Proposal
Proposal to customer
Knowing your conversion rates can help you identify where most of your potential clients are dropping out of the sales process.
There could be numerous reasons why your sales funnel is not as large or successful as it should be.
By having the data in front of you, you can experiment fast.
#2 Make sure you’re targeting the right leads
Reviewing lists of thousands of leads your in-house or outsourced lead research time mined for you is tedious and time consuming, but it must be done.
If you haven’t taken a solid look at the exact companies at the top of your funnel, you need to review the lists as much as possible for your team to consistently get it right.
What you’ve communicated to a lead research team about your profile might not have been understood properly.
Furthermore, by reviewing who is not converting to a demo, you’ll be able to easily identify issues in the lead research.
#3 A/B test subject lines, CTAs, and copy
Are you getting open rates of at least 50%? If not, you need to test out more subject lines.
Are your cold prospects easily converting into demos? If not, you need to test out having multiple CTAs throughout your messaging body and different variations of how you explain the value of what you’re selling.
There are infinite ways of communicating a message and you can’t only rely on the original messaging you wrote, no matter how proud you are of it
If you and your team are having trouble coming up with ways to optimize your outbound sales copy, consider hiring a lead generation agency to help out.
#4 Constantly write and rewrite response templates for not interested prospects
To a certain extent, sales is a numbers game. Some people will be interested and others will not.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to persuade those who are not interested otherwise.
If you’re not getting any demos from negative responses you’ve tried to “flip,” you need to work on new response templates.
#5 Listen to your salespeople’s cold calls
You may have a great cold calling script, but are your salespeople delivering it well?
You’ll need your salespeople to record their sales calls and you should go through them one-by-one until you’re confident their delivery is perfect.
Cold calling is a great, but underused sales channel. If you manage to reach prospects by phone consistently, but you’re unable to generate meetings, you should consider hiring an external expert.
#6 Record your sales demos and constantly fine tune
Are your sales demos converting into proposals? If not, do you know where the demos are dropping off?
Recording and listening to your past sales calls is invaluable because you get to analyze what you and your salespeople are saying to prospects and what prospects are saying about your solution.
If your sales demos aren’t converting to proposals, was it because the prospect wasn’t truly qualified?
Did the prospect give specific feedback about why they weren’t interested or wouldn’t be able to consider a purchase at this time?
The information you receive from talking to your prospects on sales demos will be the most valuable feedback to optimize your sales funnel with.
#7 Get your marketing material in order
If you’re having great demos, but your prospects go unresponsive after you’ve sent over a proposal, you may have a problem with your proposal templates and other marketing materials.
The proposal template and other marketing material you send a prospect after a call is meant to be the best written showcase of everything your company does.
If it looks unprofessional, doesn’t have a good design, or uses unclear language, it’s a bad reflection of your company.
It may make the prospect think twice about working with, particularly if they’re comparing your solution with competitors.
If you’re worried the proposals and other marketing materials you’re sending out are just “okay” or you’re not seeing as many proposals turn into deals as you’d like, you likely need a rewrite and new graphic design.
#8 Keep innovating
Unfortunately, sales isn’t a static profession where you do the same thing over and over and can always expect the same results.
Everything is always changing, whether it’s your clients’ needs, the industry you’re in, and the way people communicate.
The single most important thing you can do to be successful is to continue innovating and trying to do better.