Is Your Sales Process Slowing Your Growth?

Russ Chadinha

In the United States, companies are beginning to pursue growth opportunities, and we’re seeing cautious optimism in the business environment as we emerge from the economic malaise of recent years.

Globally, research from the World Bank predicts that GDP will grow at 2.8 percent this year, 3.4 percent in 2015 and 3.5 percent in 2016. Is your company’s sales process prepared to capture its fair share of this growth?

In a growth environment, companies tend to be fairly effective at getting leads into the sales pipeline, because buyers are out looking for opportunities to drive their business. The biggest challenge is to speed up the velocity of the opportunities through that pipeline.

How do you grab those opportunities and move them through the pipeline as fast as possible to aid your company’s growth? In part, the solution is to make sure you’re highly efficient in how you handle your interactions (or touch points) at each stage in your sales cycle. That’s where Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tools are able to help.

Here’s a review of three key milestones in your pipeline:

1) A relevant sales offer: To start, you need to interest potential buyers by presenting them with a relevant offer. To get past this first filter in the sales cycle, you must be able to present your products and services as ways to meet the prospect’s business challenge. Your sales reps need the ability to provide the right information to the prospect, talk intelligently about the product and how it addresses the potential buyer’s needs, and prepare a comprehensive offer that’s relevant and priced in the ballpark.

The goal at this step is to get in the game. It’s important to arm reps with tools that make it easy to assemble the accurate and comprehensive information into a coherent and relevant proposal. Getting this step right demonstrates your professionalism and reduces iterations, improving responsiveness and keeping you in the running.

2) Proposal and demonstration: Now that you have passed the first stage, it is time to show what your solution has to offer them. At this stage, the customer/prospect is weeding out the options/prospective suppliers. Reps need the right information and support to demonstrate all of the ways your company is ready to solve their business problems. The goal at this step is to stay in the game.

3) Demonstrate market intelligence: At this stage, it’s time to close the deal by demonstrating that you’re solving the prospect’s challenges. Your sales reps must be enabled to negotiate from an informed position, giving them the best chance to win.

For successful negotiations, reps need the right price and right products to win the business. And that means offering your customer a product mix that captures the whole value of what they’re looking for, and doesn’t miss any opportunities to cross-sell or upsell additional value that’s relevant to the customer.

In Amazon’s sales environment, for example, Amazon captures this additional value by using a variety of recommendations. When you’re looking at a product you want to buy, you’ll also see additional products under headings like “customers who bought this item also bought these items.” In a similar fashion, sales guidance technology helps sales reps target a large number of products effectively to present the customer with a comprehensive solution.

Unfortunately, companies often don’t have a sales process in place that’s able to drive velocity at these three points. For many organizations, CPQ sales software offers the ability to improve sales effectiveness and drive growth, helping them capture their share of the emerging economic recovery.

Ready to learn more about using CPQ to improve your sales process? Download our free e-book , “5 Ways CPQ Keeps Your Sales Pipeline Moving.”

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