You as a CXO get concerned that sales travel has been costing a lot to the company. But on second thought, there’s not much you can do about it. Sales’ success is integral to the company, and no matter how cash-strapped your company becomes, funding the team well to generate leads is part of the business objective.
So without further ado, let’s re-define the course of action and dig deeper into the company’s sales assessment procedures and look at 5 unconventional ways to maximize sales ROI.
1. Co-relation between Funnel health and Travel
• Influence on the funnel, before and after travel:
Health check-up of the CRM funnel is very important for the sales pipeline. It answers simple questions like, at which layer (Top of the Funnel (TOFU), Middle of the Funnel (MOFU), and Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)) customers are converting and where they are dropping off.
For instance, a healthy funnel is distinguished by maximum conversion activities in the MOFU and BOFU layer, wherein, the sales team employs their best practices to convert leads and upkeep the funnel’s health. As part of the best practices, travel becomes a mandate at this stage, as face-to-face meetings have a higher impact on the conversion. These travel are not just any client meetings but relationship-building strategies. Consequently, process expenditure jumps up exponentially in this segment due to an increase in to and fro. This necessitates proper tracking to be done to ensure all delegations are on the right path. Below are the key factors that help analyze the health of the funnel:
- Are the travels to the client site converting and generating enough revenue?
- If it’s a relationship-building meeting, what are the possible ways to cut costs?
- How frequently the sales team travels?
- Are they making the most of these visits?
Report generated from these audits not just helps decision-makers identify the status of their funnel, but also determines where to optimize costs in the future and where policies are to be mended.
A better and granular way to refine the reporting is by, scrutinizing the CRM data conversion ratio of a specific geography. This gives better insights like the inclination of the sales personnel to travel in specified geography and the effectiveness. The density of sales meetings required for a region and more. Such data when collated makes it easy to do the mathematics on geo-specific conversion and come up with solutions like whether to double the minimum number of meetings and more.
2. Travel system and process optimization:
• Points /rewards for corporate benefits
For every sales trip made, it’s the executive who earns the flight/ hotel reward point, but at the company’s expense. It’s good that companies are being liberal with point benefits earned by employees. But when accounted on a broader scale, findings say organizations are losing on a generous amount of incentives that they could have utilized to compensate costs on different occasions. A constructive way to deal and make the best of such a situation is: organizations tying up with hotels & airlines to get special rates, additionally ensuring that employees continue to receive various reward points that come along. Having such a setup would be a win-win situation for both sides.
• Opting right mechanism of booking to reduce time
One of the most overlooked aspects is - employees spending unnecessary time on bookings. These days numerous booking applications populate the internet. Getting a flight/hotel booked is no uphill task with the myriad of options available at hand. But organizations fail to perceive the fact that scouting sites to find the right booking can be time-consuming. Almost, 3X times of what could have been saved with a travel and expenses management tool. Not having the right mechanism to complete such tasks on time can be frustrating when there are other works to take care of. And not to forget the approval cycle that follows after the selections are made for the trip.
For such occasions, having a travel and expense management tool like TrackEx can help overcome decision fatigue. TrackEx is a unified platform that comes with a multitude of features that gets the work done in a jiffy (quick selection of tickets/bookings from a wide inventory, faster approval and more) and saves on time too. Further, the tool can be customized as per the company policy, to keep a check on employee’s travel behavior. Investing in such a powerful tool can automate and simplify travel.
3. Dominate micro-markets: Stratagem for a better return
Small and medium enterprises can opt for this method as a solution to compete with industry giants. To start, organizations can define micro-market to the sales team by analyzing and segmenting it based on geography, revenue levels, user patterns, and other relevant factors. Then comes, calculating the market penetration potential and finding areas of lucrative opportunities within the region. Once these get sorted, organizations can allocate resources accordingly to extract maximum possible returns from every micro-segment. Furthermore, based on the challenges, if needed, they can increase the density of sales personnel for that specific region or identify and accumulate qualified leads to level up targeting.
In short, enterprises need to apply their best tactic to make the sales attack strong for a small targeted area. Having such an approach will eventually show results and help build dominance over the region.
4. Some Points to Ponder upon:
• Learning from past mistakes
Find it strange or not, sales personnel never confess their mistake of going wrong in their approach, they blame the company’s or prospect’s s shortcomings to save their back. Well, it is a lost cause, with both parties blaming each other, but, there’s learning to be inferred from every such failure. Considering these instances to improve and re-evaluate future sales approaches can be a wise thing to do.
• Reporting and analyzing what went well and what did not
An overall analysis of the sales ‘hit and misses’ of the month or year, gives a breakthrough into the company's shortcomings and strengths. This report, when discussed as insight with the team, can help them visualize the loopholes in the process and use it as a pre-scripted guide to prepare well for the next month/quarter/year.
• De-coding success factors
Scrutinizing top sales performances on parameters like - approach taken to close the deal, how the lead was generated, and what kind of research was done on the prospect, and sharing these findings as learning with the team, can impact the sales output. Moreover, top performers should be encouraged to get involved in knowledge sharing sessions where they are given the platform to elucidate their proven methodologies. In the long run, this will ensure that closing sales lead is not just an individual incentive-based task, but a skill development process that requires team commitment.
By covering these four points on improving sales ROI we have made our best attempt to help CXOs to improve their sales. We welcome our readers to add to this list by sharing some of their proven methodologies of increasing sales ROI.