1. Lead Generation Process Analysis
Every sales opportunity starts with lead generation. While the lead generation process will be different for different companies the single common thing for each process is that it needs to create steady flow of high quality leads. It’s not always about the numbers – how many leads were generated but in addition it is about the quality of the leads. High quality leads are your ideal target customers and they will more likely convert to sales. On the other hand low quality leads will drive your conversion rates down and at the same time they’ll consume your limited resources and time – low quality leads are not profitable.
It is crucial to analyze your current lead generation process and find areas to improve it by generating higher quality leads. The ideal situation is to develop a process which will generate high-volume and high-quality leads – this would drive your sales performance dramatically and you’ll achieve aggressive sales growth.
While there are leads generated by events such as one-time marketing campaigns, trade shows, conferences, seminars, etc. there should be a steady ongoing process for bringing new leads on a continuous basis – month after month.
2. Sales Pipeline Analysis
The second step in effective sales analysis is the sales pipeline. Once leads were generated by any company they go through a process of multiple steps with an overall goal of converting or closing the sale. The way your sales pipeline is organized and the steps it uses to move the leads forward in the pipeline is critical for success.
Various strategies and tactics should be tested and the results must be measured in order to improve conversions. When analyzing your sales pipeline replace the word pipeline with the word conversion and go through all the existing steps used by your company and evaluate how each step brings value to the conversion rate. If a certain stage doesn’t contribute to the conversion – it must be analyzed in more details and either excluded or improved.
Do you use one sales pipeline as a conversion process or do you have multiple types of processes for different types of prospects? This is important for companies selling to more than one market segment. Each lead and prospect might be different to a certain extent and by processing everything into one conversion process you might be missing some important opportunities. Analyze different market segments and define clearly the customer needs and preferences and based on that develop different conversion processes.
Even if your sales are growing and showing good trends there might be areas for improvement. By using benchmarking you can identify areas where you can perform better.
You should use both internal and external benchmarks. Internal benchmarking compares results for different sales teams, individuals and processes inside your organization. You should analyze your top performers and based on that develop best practices and improve your processes. In addition using external benchmarks like industry specific and competitors’ analysis you can find out how they perform and analyze their processes, strategies, tactics and approaches.
4. Sales KPI Reporting
By monitoring your sales performance continuously you can identify any trends and changes on time. It is very important to have sales reporting system which will be able to alert you on any variations in your performance. Sales KPIs and metrics tracked on an ongoing basis by using effective reporting such as sales dashboard or scorecard will help you focus on the right priorities on time.
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