When your company is well synchronized with market needs, prospects buy and money flows. Unfortunately, few companies can maintain a constant flow. Salespeople churn out demonstrations, samples and proposals. Marketing departments churn out newsletters, ad copy and brochures. But not enough prospects close.
What makes the sales funnel flow faster? The key is coordinating your sales and marketing efforts—aligning everyone in your organization according to the questions you ask your prospects at different stages in your relationships with them. These questions form the logical connection between the work of sales and the work of marketing.
Marketers need to know the questions that salespeople ask of customers at different points in the selling cycle, so they can provide the correct types of support to make selling easier. Likewise, salespeople need to know when to turn to marketing expertise to build customer knowledge and awareness, especially when customers are not ready to buy.
If you don’t have enough prospects ready to buy, review and refine your questioning strategies, then realign your sales and marketing organization around them. The following are three questioning strategies that you can use to make your sales funnel flow faster, and some examples of how to sales and marketing can work together to move customers through the funnel.
Strategy #1: The sales funnel ‘problem / solution question’
The problem/solution question strategy emerged to address the old adage, “You can’t sell the solution, unless you’ve sold the problem first.” For example, Michael Bosworth’s Solution Selling (Irwin, 1995) offered techniques for motivating prospects by uncovering their pain.
If the customer has exactly the problem you can solve, but isn’t consciously ready to buy, problem/solution questions can help you show that the fit is right. But don’t use them when your customers are not in decision-making mode and simply need information.
Strategy #2: Sales funnel objectives, strategies, and issues
The second type of question gets at your prospects’ business and departmental objectives. What strategies will they use to achieve those objectives? What issues and challenges do they face? Stepping back to get a broader view, you can scope out people’s perspectives (including decision makers’), as well as departmental politics and priorities. You can build relationships, steer clear of time-wasters and start generating a consensus, even
before you start “selling.”
Strategy #3: Sales Funnel Synchronization
Synchronization questions are key to effectiveness. Marketing and selling never work when you ask your prospects to take actions they are not ready for. If the problem you solve is not on a decision maker’s radar yet, that person will not recognize the value of your products and services.
How a CRM can help with your Sales Funnel
A CRM system benefits an organisation through the visibility of its sales funnel, including all sales activities. The visibility that the sales funnel gives is fundamental to managing sales performance and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost. If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered within the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data. A CRM system will enable structured data to be used to access performance. This assessment should indicate which sales person is out performing others.
ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider with over 30 years experience in helping clients successfully onboard user-customisable CRM solutions. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful business process management.
Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation. This helps organisations become more competitive, customer focused and ultimately more profitable.
If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our video’s or eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. You can contact us today on 0330 223 6362 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.
Source: Sales Performance