Broken sales process? Here are 7 tips to fix it for startups

You must have seen teams that are well-prepared with a sales strategy, have answered all sales queries in the pipeline, created forecast reports, etc. But even after ticking pretty much all the right boxes, startups find that their sales numbers still look quite anemic. 

The sales pipeline is short, deal closing dates keep getting extended and opportunity values are sinking. Meanwhile, salespersons are still overworked and low on productivity! Yikes!

Most definitely, there is something wrong with the sales process. It needs to be fixed. And especially in this current business climate, there is no time to waste. 

If you have been seeing your company’s realities reflected in the last few sentences, don’t sweat it – you are on the right post!

What help do startups need with their broken sales process?

Your salesperson should find it easy to sell to the target group. At the same time, your customers should find it almost intuitive to make the purchase. To find out if you are doing it right, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Does your team truly understand the buyer and their needs? 
  2. Has the sales workflow adapted to the ‘new normal’ of everything being digital? 
  3. Are there any roadblocks to getting the paperwork exchanged and signed?
  4. Have the mundane tasks been automated so that your sales team can focus more on ‘selling’?

If you answered no to any of these, you know where your sales team needs help!

 

7 tips startups need to fix their broken sales process

If you wish to take initiative and optimally control the entire sales process, during the pandemic, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Re-design your sales pipeline: Understand how you want the entire sales workflow to look like from creating a database and setting targets to closing the sale. Then, strategically set objectives for the sales team for these key events. Make sure it mirrors the buying stages of your customer. Also, ensure that you:
    • Identify who the best contacts are at the buyer’s end and source their contact details
    • Define which activities are required at each stage of your sales cycle
    • Plan your calls and improve upon your pitch
    • Onboard a really good sales team
  2. Train your team to better meet buyer needs: The mantra is simple, the better you know your customers and their specific needs, the more you will be able to sell to them. Once you identify your target customers, group them into buyer personas molds based on their personalities and buying behaviors. Then, train your sales team about how to approach each buyer type, which will help them capture the right leads and custom-fit sales process to meet the needs of each type of customer. By understanding the buying patterns of each type of customer, your sales team will be able to nurture leads more efficiently.
  3. Set-up and automate triggers for sales actions: You need to be able to track the potential buyer’s behavior – such as onboarding of a new hire, company expansion or new funding, buyer opens your email, your current contact getting a new job, etc. These can be the triggers that can improve buyers’ receptiveness to a sale. If you can get a solution that automatically traces and alerts you of such events, your sales team can close virtual deals much faster!
  4. Eliminate paperwork: Are your salespersons spending ⅔ of the day on admin work? This would include writing emails, signing contracts, data entry, researching leads, and scheduling calls. If yes, then that leaves your team with only 2-3 hours a day to invest in the actual selling of services or goods! In turn, that slows down your deal closing! Since a good portion of the admin tasks is paperwork-related, you can optimize the sales process by digitizing the signing and sending of sales documents using a legally compliant and binding eSignature solution. SignEasy, in particular, is so effective and easy-to-use that it was named ‘Leader’ in Aragon Research’s Globe 2021!
  5. Make job aids contact-free: Though sales have traditionally been a field that relied on face-to-face interactions with decision-makers, that has to change now that there are stay-at-home orders in place. By digitizing sales aids, tools, sales collateral, and assessment guides the sales team can stay connected to their customers while working from home.
  6. Communicate sales expectations effectively: In light of the struggles that employees are facing in terms of managing work and personal life, managers should revisit normal sales performance expectations. If you set achievable, realistic targets, your sales team will be more motivated to put in their best efforts. Especially at a time when managers and salespersons are working remotely, you need to communicate these expectations openly and frequently so that your team is not left feeling overwhelmed. 
  7. Utilize data more: At every stage of the sales funnel, you can use historical sales data to refine your strategy and processes. This, in turn, would improve conversion rates. The data can be used to manage everything from pricing to messaging and creating case studies to hook prospective customers. You should consider using a powerful CRM track and harness all this data to make better sales decisions. 

Why startups need SignEasy for sales 

Sales invoices alone account for a lot of paperwork. Then there are pitch decks, quotes, NDAs, sales contracts, etc. If any of the documentation gets stuck, you stand to lose that sale. And that’s a significant loss that most startups cannot afford to take, especially during the pandemic. Luckily, everything from filling internal forms to getting eSignatures and collecting sales documents can be achieved efficiently and remotely, by using SignEasy. Here are the core USPs of this solution:

  1. Integrates with legacy software – Your sales team can sign, send and save documents without ever stepping out of the CRM or productivity tools. By ensuring that your team’s core workflows are not disrupted, you can save on productive selling time and get salespersons to focus more on selling.
  2. Speeds up closing of deals: Your sales team most likely doesn’t have to have access to an office printer, scanner, or courier service anymore. With SignEasy, they can now sign and share documents from anywhere and anytime!
  3. Eliminates internal approval bottlenecks: No more manually following up with internal team members for approvals on sales pitches and decks, as SignEasy sends reminders at regular intervals!

Conclusion

Whether your small business’s goal is to win large business contract leads or increase revenue, you need to take a completely innovative sales route during the pandemic. Technology can really save the day, in terms of making most sales interactions sustainable, contact-free, automated, and data-backed. And to this end, you don’t even have to make a huge investment.

For instance, you can revolutionize your sales team’s day-to-day life with SignEasy (starting at just $8 per month). Click here to try out the eSignature solution for an incredibly fast and legally compliant signing experience.

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