Are your sales efforts effective? Today how we sell, and our sales performance, as a result, is going through an incredible change. Thanks to your company’s fantastic website, all of the amazing technology at our disposal, and social selling connections, sales teams are doing far better than they did last year. Or are they?

I speak with business owners daily. They provide me with an extensive list of frustrations. What are they? Many are related to poor CRM adoption, lack of sales training and lousy prospecting results. Here are some results I found:

  1. In a survey, by The B2B lead, 71% of sales reps say they spend too much time on data entry. After a sizeable investment in an updated website and CRM, the new software remains “in-the-box,” that is unused, according to Steven Macdonald, the SuperOffice.com. He cites Forrester Research which found 49% of CRM projects fail. Moreover, according to The Business Wire, (quoting CSO Insights), less than 40% have full-scale end-user adoption. Moreover, if interested, Capterra Research has some interesting CRM data usage across the board. Why the lack of use? Salespeople do not want to use your new CRM until they are trained and see the value. Of those surveyed, half of sales professionals are dissatisfied with their sales tools.
  2. 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting (The B2B Lead). Five years ago, B2B companies were having success with outbound methodologies. Prospecting methods using direct mail, cold calling, blasting emails, trade shows and insisting salespeople attend networking events have had a diminishing return.

Question, with your most recent effort to find new customers (trade show, networking, direct mail or cold calling), how many leads were generated, acted upon and turned into a paying client? If your sales team remain untrained on how to prospect, you are in fact losing money. I have one client tell me he mailed 7000 offer letters out to a prospect list and never received one call. Not one! That is a zero ROI on a $9000 expense. Another client came home from an out-of-state trade show with 272 leads. How many of those leads converted into a customer? Not one.

  1. For those of you with an interactive website, it can be one of your best-prospecting After all, they are coming onto your site because they have interest. But how many of those “visitors” are captured? Did you know if you follow up with a lead within 5 minutes, you are 9x more likely to convert them (InsideSales.com)?
  2. Lost sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies at least $1 trillion a year (The B2B Lead). Are you tracking the effectiveness of your prospecting, marketing campaigns, and sales closures?
  3. Moreover, here is the most painful of all the statistics. Only 33% of inside sales reps time is spent actively selling (The B2B Lead). If they are only actively selling a third of the time what else are they doing during business hours?

Five years ago, a CRM systems were widely promoted to be the new technology that would revolutionize sales. Today, as I see it, it is an added cost, it is a lagging indicator, and your salespeople will not use it effectively until they are trained and shown how it will benefit them. Rather than being engaged, they find ways not to use your CRM system. “How will this help me sell more? I was used to the old system, and now I have to learn this?” is a common question I hear from sales professionals.

To add to the lack of use is the lack of understanding. Rarely does anyone in the company know enough to train, teach, coach or embed a selling process. Or worst, the purchase of the CRM program overlooks the sales package add-on which is rarely included due to budgetary constraints. Not included, no doubt, due to expensive marketing campaigns with poor results and lousy prospecting efforts! In a previous blog, I wrote about the Three Outcomes You will Receive from a Good Sales Coach. Sales people struggle to understand how to engage, nurture and educate a potential lead and ultimately turn that lead into an opportunity and a delighted customer. A sales coach could help.

If you liked this blog, please share on social media. If you are a struggling business owner, sales manager or a sales professional looking to considering a sales coach, let’s talk. I am Will Harley, with harley-consulting.com, a growth services company. With over 20 years of business leadership experience, I leverage my experience to help owners achieve their goals. Sign up just to talk. Leave a comment; I promise to reply immediately.