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The Sales Ops Checklist: 10 Tips for Automating CRM Processes and Supporting Revenue-Generation Initiatives


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Behind every good sales rep is sales operations, the men and women ensuring you have the best technology and processes to maximize every opportunity. Here are 10 tips for automating CRM processes and …

Behind every good sales rep is sales operations, the men and women ensuring you have the best technology and processes to maximize every opportunity. Here are 10 tips for automating CRM processes and supporting revenue generating initiatives. Not every list for sales and marketing!

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  • 1. CHECKLIST 10 Tips For Automating CRM Processes And Supporting Revenue-Generating Initiatives It is the job of sales operations to ensure that the technologies and processes are in place to maximize every opportunity — that task, though, is getting increasingly complex as the lines between sales and marketing blur. It used to be that once the marketing team tossed a lead “over the wall” to the sales team, it was the end of marketing’s involvement in the process. Today, the marketing team is helping to support the sales effort further along the journey to accelerate the sales cycle. Alignment between the marketing and sales teams is crucial in ensuring that sales reps have all the right resources in front of them when they make that call to a buyer. Forty percent of sales reps fail to hit their quota, according to Forrester, while 30% of reps turn over each year and it takes seven months to ramp up one salesperson. The customer relationship management (CRM) system needs to be the central repository, since it is where sales reps spend the majority of their time. However, reporting, analytics, data and tools for tracking pipeline progress and supporting revenue initiatives are also imperative to converting leads and accelerating the buying cycle. Here are 10 tips to help sales operations support the process: 1. Prioritize the right leads. All leads are not created equal. According to MarketingSherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales, while only 27% of those leads will be qualified. A lead scoring system jointly developed by marketing and sales, and implemented and supported by sales operations is a linchpin in the process. A CRM system can identify which leads are hot. 2. Bring intelligence — not just product information — to the table. The sales and marketing teams need to collaborate to ensure sales reps are presenting buyers with the content and resources that address their needs in the moment. Having the right sales enablement tools that work within the CRM system is crucial to making sure that the content and context adapts to the buyer’s individual journey. Salespeople need relevant resources to engage with prospects about industry trends and identify situational selling opportunities. 3. Make it easy to find the right resources. Providing a central hub for all of the content, subject matter experts, sales tip sheets and other information gives salespeople the tools they need to accelerate opportunities. In many organizations, salespeople rely on the CRM system for all of their daily activities. 4. Meet buyers where they are in the buying journey. Buyers may have completed as much as 70% of their research online before ever talking to a salesperson. Because buyers come to the conversation more educated than ever, it is important to connect with them at whatever point they are in the process. A CRM system can help identify the right path for each type of buyer, taking into account his or her 1
  • 2. profile and the actions he or she has taken. For example, after a lead has downloaded a white paper, it may be appropriate to send an invitation to a webinar. 5. Develop processes that can be applied in multiple situations. Flesh out scenarios for different types of buyers and different industries to help salespeople address some of the key concerns and objections raised by buyers. Groups of buyers and buyers at similar points in the buying journey often behave in similar, predictable ways. SiriusDecisions calls these “observable outcomes,” and defines them as measurable, verifiable actions or responses from a buyer. For example: Has the buyer identified a budget is available? Has the buyer provided decision criteria? Did the buyer schedule a follow-up meeting for a demonstration? 6. Adapt to different selling situations. While being adaptable seems to contradict point No. 5, people still buy from people and every purchase has its own set of requirements. A CRM system and sales enablement tool can make these adjustments in real time, so a sales rep is always presented with the appropriate collateral and resources for a buyer at that particular moment. 7. Foster a collaborative relationship between sales and marketing. As marketing looks to improve the lead conversion process and sales looks to accelerate the sales cycle, responsibilities are blurring. The goal is more closed deals. 8. Become a trusted advisor. Buyers don’t need sales reps to spout the features of their product, as they have already done as much as 70% of their research online before engaging with a salesperson. Buyers are looking for partners who understand their industry and its particular challenges. Salespeople who can access the correct subject matter experts and other relevant resources from the CRM system will have an edge. 9. Communicate efficiently and effectively. The salesperson has just one shot on that first call to capture the attention of the buyer. Marketing and sales have to work together on the right materials to ensure that the first call, and future calls, are productive. Speed of response is also essential. According to research conducted by Dr. James Oldroyd, Ph.D., the chances of entering the lead into the sales cycle increase 21 times if called within five minutes of the sales rep receiving a message from the buyer compared to 30 minutes. 10. Offer support once the deal is signed. The sales team will continue to check in with current customers to see how their needs have changed and what challenges they are facing. Be adaptable to any adjustments as they arise to help foster a long-lasting and profitable partnership between the company and client. 2
  • 3. When a company embeds its sales processes, sales tools and sales training in a dynamic platform that pushes these resources out when and where the sales team most needs them, it can accelerate opportunities and drive greater revenue. To learn more about bridging the gap between opportunity and revenue, visit Corporate Headquarters 155 N. Wacker Drive Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60606 312.506.1700 877.542.7266 3