This article originally appeared in print in the August 2015 issue of CRM Magazine, as part of our Best Practices White Paper entitled "Leveraging Salesforce.com With Powerful AppExchange Tools." Click here to download the complete PDF. Click here to see more CRM Best Practices Series White Papers.
Today, almost all aspects of sales are accelerating, and keeping pace can mean the difference between success and failure.
Fueling the acceleration is a changing buyer-seller dynamic. Buyers today (both B2B and B2C) are shopping online in record numbers, they do research on their own, and when they are ready to engage with a company, they expect a fast response from a rep who is responsive to their needs.
To keep up with the accelerated pace of today’s buyers, sales teams are increasingly including a larger mix of inside sales professionals, a new breed of sales people who interact with their buyers remotely. In fact, a recent study by Velocify found that 46 percent of sales leaders reported a move within their sales organization from field sales to inside sales.
New sales climate not without its challenges
This new sales climate has paved the way for new sales technologies that solves a few key challenges:
Challenge #1 Sales reps aren’t following up with leads fast enough
Despite billions of dollars spent to generate leads, sales reps typically do a poor job of managing their leads and opportunities. In fact, one in three interested buyers never receive a call back from a sales rep, and a staggering 12 percent receive no response at all, according to a Velocify study on seller response to inbound leads. What’s worse, leads typically wait 3.5 days on average for the first phone call and most sales reps give up after just one contact attempt.
Challenge #2 CRM puts process onus on the rep
So, why are reps neglecting incoming leads? The reality is, in a highvelocity sales environment your reps are faced with hundreds of daily activities, and struggle to efficiently prioritize tasks. As their list of daily “To Do’s” piles up, it’s easy for leads from prior days to slip increasingly lower in priority. Sales reps also continuously face the “what to do next” dilemma, attempting to wrap their brains around the many different variables that make one lead or opportunity more important than another. The trouble is, CRM solutions were built for field sales, where the urgency isn’t as critical and most reps are working fewer larger scale deals.
Challenge #3 – Sales leaders are pressed to grow revenues, challenged by CRM limitations
Sales leaders are also under significant pressure to drive more revenue while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of their sales machine. Fact is, most sales leaders have trouble pinning down exactly how leadsbecome “opportunities.” Today’s Sales leaders need (1) a better way to automate and enforce a disciplined contact strategy so all leads and opportunities receive the appropriate level of attention, (2) a better way to identify leads and opportunities that are being neglected, and (3) a way to optimize their sales machine, to ensure it is always running at peak performance.
Making the case for a high velocity sales solution
Through the use of high velocity sales practices and automation tools, sales leaders can inject more speed,discipline, and productivity into their sales organization.
Solution #1 Ensure your sales reps respond rapidly
Industry research shows rapid lead response is the single largest driver of lead conversion. In fact, calling a new lead within 2 minutes of receiving it can increase conversion rates by as much as 160 percent, and Velocify for Salesforce can help you get there.
Solution #2 Keep leads from falling through the cracks
If you’ve ever pulled a sales report and found new leads were going uncontacted or had received just one or two calls before a sales rep moved on, you know you’re leaving money on the table. Velocify’s solutions are laser focused to help sales teams intelligently prioritize the next best activity, serving up new leads, uncontacted leads, and scheduled followup appointments at the appropriate time.
Solution #3 – Deploy incredibly consistent sales practices
If you’re like many sales organizations, you have a lead followup strategy in place. However, you’d probably agree that tracking and enforcing your desired followup practice is a significant challenge, and your team often falls short. Velocify research has found most sales reps make just 12 contact attempts on a new lead before giving up, yet it’s proven that 58 calls is optimal.
How eHarmony grew sales 158% with Velocify
In 2013, eHarmony launched a new “offline” service, eH+, to target busy professionals unable to effectively balance the management of relationship opportunities through eHarmony’s traditional online dating service.
The new eH+ service required the sales team to sell the eH+ service at a premium price. With each salesperson working anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 leads per month, the team found it extremely difficult to prioritize which lead to follow up with first.
Prior to using Velocify for Salesforce, eH+ leads came into a database then went into Excel and were then exported into a phone burner app. There was little intelligence built into who the reps were calling, which meant a lot of time spent dialing and less time having actual conversations. eHarmony turned to Velocify for Salesforce to help their sales team prioritize high value leads based on a guided selling framework. Velocify’s integrated dialer also helped reps rapidly call through their high volume of leads.
“After implementing Velocify for Salesforce, we increased sales by 58% within two months, and within six months we increased sales by 158%,” said Jane Riley, sales executive at eHarmony. “We’ve only had an 89% increase in leads in that same amount of time, so basically we’re more efficient with every lead that comes in now.”
One of the big reasons we saw such transformative results so quickly was due to the prioritization functionality within Velocify. We were able to integrate lead scoring based on key attributes and prioritize our leads so we can focus on the highest quality leads that are more likely to close first. We also leverage the prerecorded voice mail feature.
Velocify is a marketleading provider of cloudbased intelligent sales software, designed for high velocity sales. Velocify helps sales teams keep pace with the speed of opportunity and increase revenue by driving rapid lead response, increased selling discipline, improved productivity, and actionable selling insights.