It is hard to increase the sales if the sales process - seen as a whole or broken down into stages - is not properly planned and interconnected. Sales Cloud helps companies face the challenges that hinder meeting their sales targets.
Some companies find it difficult to build a well-correlated sales pipeline and quite often this is so because they do not have an effective lead routing system in place. Sometimes the lead quality is poor, i.e. it is fairly unlikely that the leads will translate into actual sales. Hence, every company should ask itself a question: How often do sales representatives run into dead ends because of wrong phone numbers, bounced emails, or wrong-sized businesses? Perhaps they are also lacking insights from the Social Web — from sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. According to third party research, 79% of marketing leads at most companies are not pursued at all.
In interviews our customers confirm that in many situations they simply cannot give enough selling time back to their representatives in the field. This is not because they do not have an appropriate sales system in place, but rather because their sales representatives use a tool that does not reflect the requirements or the environment of the job. For instance, quite often - maybe too often - sales representatives do not have mobile access.
As proof of the pain this causes, according to leading research on the effectiveness of the sales function, 2/3 of a sales representative’s time is spent…not selling. (The State of Sales Productivity in 2015). Instead, it is consumed by reporting, or chasing down experts, e.g. the persons authorised to approve the deal or award a discount. To illustrate this point, let us imagine a sales team of 20 people where every day each person makes two calls to the wrong number. This in itself wastes time. Usually however, the sales person does not just hang up and call someone else - they start searching to find the right number or the right person in that job title. In fact, studies show that sales representatives spend about 30% of their time searching for the data they need so as to do their jobs. This is a tremendous drain on the productivity of the sales organization and the company as a whole.
Sometimes companies that ask for our support have sales representatives who are underperforming. This could be attributed to inconsistencies in the sales processes, but other factors may be involved too, for instance sales persons may be unable to act as a team or the company may have limited automation capabilities.
Interestingly, one of the most universal challenges that almost every organization deals with - and this holds true even for companies that have invested a lot of time and effort into improving their sales performance - is that they do not have enough insight into who they are selling to. This applies to the data about the account - such as headcount, size, industry, corporate hierarchies, the products sold and their value. Research conducted by Salesforce.com shows that 60% of deals in companies not using the Sales Cloud are not forecast correctly.
Each of the challenges above can prevent a company from meeting its sales targets.
Why so many companies still struggle with these constraints?
In the majority of cases the systems they use are at the core of the problem - sometimes the so-called 'on-premise' solutions are applied, sometimes fragmentary systems or simple spreadsheets in certain divisions, multiple CRMs or CRM-like tools are employed.
All such systems and their disconnected nature are holding companies back from driving more productivity and effectiveness from their sales teams. For example, if a company makes forecasts in Excel spreadsheets, it must realize that the information it relies on quickly becomes outdated. In effect, there is no meaningful way to collaborate on the forecast data, the correctness of the decisions is questioned and performance is hindered.
If challenged with keeping account and contacts in the systems clean and accurate, most companies embark on costly efforts involving spreadsheets and manual processes, which are typically error-prone. And, over time, people start to question the reliability of the data.
In short, building mobile and social capabilities into the company’s core and embedding them into its selling tools is crucial for creating an organization that is strong from the inside and on the outside – to fully connect with the employees, customers, partners, and products. As result, the company will be able to close more deals and by implication, grow faster.
The Sales Cloud is helping companies grow their businesses across every major metric. Salesforce customers have seen, on average, a 37% increase in win rate and 43% increase in lead conversion. In addition, their sales productivity is higher by 44% and forecast accuracy - by 48%. All of these indicators combined translate into the most important metric, namely a 37% average increase in revenue.