How to improve your sales workflow

TL;DR:

  • If your sales performance consistently fails to meet your expectations, there’s a good chance that the issues are rooted somewhere in your sales team’s workflow.
  • When there’s friction or disorganization in your workflow, it can affect your sales productivity. These inefficiencies can result in missed prospects, slow response times, and poor engagement that hurts your conversion rates.
  • You can optimize your sales process by organizing lead information, delegating and managing tasks, tracking prospects at various stages in the sales pipeline, and coordinating engagement to close more deals, among other improvements.

Research shows that the average sales professional spends just one-third of their day selling to prospects. The rest of the day is spent entering data, researching leads, scheduling calls, and performing other menial tasks that hog precious time — and potentially put some of your sales opportunities at risk.

Average sales rep

The less time you spend selling, the fewer revenue opportunities you will create for your business. But you can support your team by creating a sales workflow that leverages automation and other valuable tools to offload those menial tasks, giving your sales team more time to focus on what it does best.

Every business has a workflow that guides its sales team’s strategies. Yet such workflows can vary wildly from one company to the next. Just as businesses have different workflow strategies, these workflows can drive different results as well.

If your sales performance consistently fails to meet your expectations, there’s a good chance that the issues are rooted somewhere in your sales team’s workflow. But here’s the good news: Workflow issues can be easily resolved with the right tools and attention to detail.

Why is your sales team’s workflow important?

Your company’s sales workflow represents the processes and tasks that underpin your sales team’s operations. This workflow guides the sales team’s activities and interactions, coordinates tasks and deadlines, and keeps individual and collective efforts on track.

When there’s friction or disorganization in your workflow, it can affect your sales team’s performance. Disorganized lead information can result in missed prospects, slow response times, and poor engagement that hurts your conversion rates — among many other problems and complications.

An ideal sales workflow will enforce consistency in your sales process, smoothing the experience for both sales professionals and your prospects. It should also be scalable to provide consistent support as your incoming leads and sales activities increase. And most importantly, it should eliminate friction for both your sales team and your prospects, creating a seamless experience in which none of your sales efforts go to waste.

How to identify friction in your sales workflow

Signs of friction

Friction is present whenever you have sales processes that waste time or resources for you or your customers. Examples of friction include:

  • Slow lead response times
  • Impersonal email blasts
  • Generic sales messaging
  • Disorganized follow-ups
  • Tedious tasks — such as data entry — that reduce the amount of time your sales team spends actively selling to prospects

This friction can be identified through an analytics-based approach to evaluating sales performance. If a certain stage of the sales process produces a high prospect drop-off rate, it’s likely due to friction present somewhere in that selling stage. A high percentage of leads being lost after the first point of contact, for example, might indicate generic or irrelevant messaging that isn’t effectively serving your customers. A poor conversion rate, by contrast, could be the product of slow lead response times, among other issues in your sales workflow.

Your sales workflow should be thoughtfully built to eliminate friction and support your sales team. This can be accomplished in many ways, such as:

  • Organizing lead information
  • Delegating and managing tasks
  • Tracking prospects at various stages in the sales pipeline
  • Coordinating engagement to close more deals

Benefits of an optimized sales workflow

Benefits of optimized sales workflow

Reduced friction leads to greater efficiency — and, ultimately, better revenue and ROI for your overall sales strategy. By taking steps to optimize your sales workflow, you can expect the following improvements to your sales productivity and overall performance:

  • Improved prospect engagement: This includes faster lead response times and improved messaging in your sales interactions.
  • Centralized engagement tracking: Each interaction with a prospect is logged in a centralized location, giving your team full visibility into each prospect’s progress.
  • A collaborative approach to your sales team’s workflow: Team members work together to support one another’s success. The sales team prioritizes collective success over individual win rates.
  • Prospects never being lost or overlooked: Leads are tracked with ease, and follow-ups are timely and strategic thanks to engagement tracking that includes not only the time and date of the last interaction, but also the content and messaging used in that engagement.
  • An analytics-based approach to improving sales performance: Consolidated sales data provides a platform for developing more effective engagement strategies and messaging for your team.
  • More time being spent selling, and less time being wasted getting organized: Sales automation and workflow tools eliminate the menial tasks eating up your sales team’s time. This clears the way for your team to spend more time actively selling to customers — even as your process improves the strategy behind that selling.

Best practices for improving your sales team’s process

best practices for improving sales performance

Technology, collaboration, and data-driven strategy shifts are key to improving your sales team’s workflow. Here are some of the best ways you can make progress toward this goal:

  • Give your entire sales team access to the same data. Don’t split up assignments and tasks while keeping your team members siloed. Democratize access to this information, including task lists, call logs, and other information that can aid in the coordination of sales activities. Also include the sharing and prioritization of sales tools and resources.
  • Establish a collaborative approach to engaging leads. A streamlined sales team workflow won’t necessarily keep leads assigned to a single team member. Instead, multiple team members may engage leads at different points of their conversion path. A centralized lead management tool can help everyone stay on the same page and avoid overlapping engagements with a single prospect.
  • Embrace automation to eliminate tedious tasks. Data entry, data consolidation, and even phone call transcription can represent a significant cost when performed manually. Automation tools can handle these tasks with ease. Similarly, email and other engagement channels can be automated through drip campaigns and event-triggered delivery, ensuring your sales workflow stays on track and keeps your team in contact with prospects.
  • Automatically route calls and tasks to available team members. You can route calls based on who should be receiving those calls or route tasks to individuals who are available to respond right away.
  • Use sales performance data to provide coaching and mentorship. A transparent view of sales workflows can help you guide your sales staff to improve their engagement with customers, their management of tasks, and other aspects of their productivity. Just as you use this performance data to identify friction and structural problems within your sales workflow, you can also identify performance issues — at the individual and teamwide levels — that can be improved through ongoing training.
  • Invest in sales enablement tools that offer modern support for sales activities. A call tracking platform like CallRail can offer a suite of solutions to better support sales workflows, including seamless calendar scheduling, lead intelligence tools, asset management capabilities, Conversation Intelligence, and 24/7 chat functionality to bolster your end-to-end sales experience.

How technology can support your sales team’s workflow

From data-driven sales coaching to automated engagement and prospect management, technology is key to improving any modern sales team’s workflow. Here’s how the following features of the CallRail platform enable a better sales process for your organization:

  • Call tracking logs customer data from every inbound and outbound call, including the time of the call, the customer’s name and phone number, the referral source of the call, past calls or interactions with that customer, a recording of the call, and more.
  • Lead Center is an easy-to-use, unified business communications solution that lets you manage conversations and contacts, communicate via your customer's preferred channels, and analyze conversations to optimize the customer experience.
  • Conversation Intelligence is an artificial intelligence-driven solution that transcribes your sales calls. This software can help you better understand your customers’ needs and pain points, craft relevant messaging for prospects, and identify opportunities for sales team coaching.
  • Form Tracking complements CallRail’s call tracking feature by providing a similar service for online form submissions. Forms are consolidated in your Lead Center and offer important supplemental information specific to each customer, including the referral source driving their form submission. This information can guide your sales engagement strategy and support more accurate marketing attribution for both on and offline tracking.

Build a culture of sales excellence

If you want to drive consistent success for your sales department, you need to create structures and workflows that make this consistency possible. Invest in technology that positions your sales team to reach new heights.

Ready to take CallRail’s platform for a test drive? Start your 14-day free trial today.

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