I’ve never seen an organization that didn’t want to grow sales. However, many get stuck at a certain level of revenue and don’t understand why they can’t push their business beyond that threshold.
What I’ve found is that the inability to scale revenue generally isn’t a problem with the product or the market. Many of the organizations I’ve worked with have innovative products, and they’re far from reaching the market saturation point. (Even brands as seemingly ubiquitous as Coca-Cola and Tony Robbins have room for growth!)
You see, the reason most companies’ revenue stagnates is structural, not a result of the market. Making structural changes can have big results when organizations …
- Remove friction in the sales process
- Reduce costs and overhead
- Drive the average deal size up
- Drive cost of sales down
- Convert one-time revenue to annual recurring revenue
- Create excitement in the sales department
Today I want to talk about the first point: removing friction from the sales process. Friction exists in all sales organizations – it’s one of the biggest impediments to scaling revenue.
The good news about friction is that it’s an excellent low-hanging fruit when you’re looking to boost revenue. When you scour your sales process for friction, you naturally end up finding ways to impact the other factors. And, most importantly, removing friction will set you up to scale smoothly with customer expansion and sales growth.
Friction in the Sales Process
Friction is what slows a potential customer’s progression through the buying process. This could be anything from a prospect not being able to find information on your website to a poor handoff between the marketing and sales teams, sales and account management, account management and customer service, etc.
The more friction in your buying process, the more likely the buyer will find another solution.
Legacy processes and management insecurity are major sources of friction. For example, at one organization I worked with every new deal needed to be approved by one single person, even though the organization was scaling beyond that one person’s capacity. This significantly slowed down the sales team’s ability to close deals.
A customer can’t see what’s going on behind the curtain of your organization. They only know that it took a sales rep four days to call them after they signed up for a free trial, or that they’re receiving redundant emails from members of your sales team who don’t seem to be sharing information.
The result is a terrible buying experience that can leave your potential customer with a bad taste in their mouth – or you lose the deal completely.
You need to lose the friction. Fast.
Removing Friction in the Sales Process
How do you know where the friction is? Interview current customers to get feedback on your sales process, or look at your data to see where prospects fall out of your funnel. Then put yourself in your customer’s shoes and walk through every step of the sales process.
- When a customer is researching your solution, is all the information they need easily available?
- When they’re ready to reach out, is it clear what their next step should be?
- How seamless is the handoff between marketing and sales?
- How well are you supporting your customer with resources to make a decision?
- What are the unnecessary steps in your sales process?
Take all this information and look at your internal processes. Where can you reduce friction in order to scale your revenue?
Removing Friction Requires Trust
When I suggest places to remove friction, the biggest objection I normally hear is, “We do this to keep our team accountable.”
Organizations build checks and balances into their sales process because they believe it makes their teams more productive or keeps them honest. But these same checks and balances are making it harder for your team to sell.
That’s simply not necessary when you hire professional salespeople, compensate them well, incentivize them for the behavior you want to see, hold them accountable, and reprimand as needed. When you’ve built a culture of trust, transparency, and productivity, you remove friction from your sales funnel.
Are you looking to scale your revenue in 2019? Start by looking at the friction that likely exists throughout your prospect’s journey to becoming a valued customer. This can be a productive and unifying collaboration exercise for your customer-facing teams. And if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to help you streamline your sales process, remove conversion roadblocks, and build a sales culture that drives revenue. Get in touch.
Latest posts by Bob Simril (see all)
- Ready to Scale Your Revenue in 2019? Start by Reducing Friction - January 4, 2019
- Developing a Sales Culture to Retain Reps and Incent Excellence Pt. 2 - October 2, 2018
- Developing a Sales Culture to Retain Reps and Incent Excellence Pt. 1 - October 2, 2018