Sales Slump - What Now?

Tags: B2B Lead Generation Metrics, Sales Pipeline Troubleshooting, B2B Sales Leads

Sales Slump - What Now?

Many companies hit low spots in sales from time to time. There are a number of factors that cause this and multiple variables to consider.  When sales numbers drop it is important to evaluate the situation effectively and quickly take action to get your sales operation back into controlled and predictable flow.
Here are several key items to evaluate and adjust:

1) Close Ratio – Make sure your deal closing ratio is the equal or better than previous successful months.  If it is lower, go to review item 2.  If the ratio is good, then go to item 3.

2) Win/Loss Analysis – Look for any trends showing why deals are not closing. Once a trend is detected, it is important to correct it and make necessary adjustments using a top-down structure based on importance. Start with deals that are in the closing stage and work all the way down to the tactics that are being used in prospecting activities.

            Key factors within Win/Loss Analysis:

  • Acknowledge and take into account all the environmental changes in economic conditions, industry changes, technological changes, political influences, seasonal and culture trends, etc.
  • Assess what is still working and to what level. This includes a review by type of product/service, vertical/industry, deal size and all other major factors that influence sales. You should put a weighted value to each by importance (example: 1-5, 5 being the highest) It is also recommended that you also interview your sales staff.
  • To understand what factors are contributing to losses you should use the same factors as previous stated but pay special attention to areas such as price sensitivity, competition, state of economy, payment terms, warranties, and product/service validity (is it becoming outdated). You must have feedback directly from the buyers/prospects. Their perception is what ultimately matters. Hopefully, you are getting these data points during the sales process as well as afterwards.

3) Volume levels of the sales pipeline – if the rate of monthly proposals produced is low, it could indicate several problems associated with lead generation efforts such as:
(a) messaging is less effective,  (b) sales prospecting activity has slowed or has become  inefficient,  (c) marketing activities have decreased or have become less effective.

4) Prospect Targeting / List integrity – identify strengths and weaknesses within verticals and titles being pursued. Also, assess the level of bad data encountered during business prospecting.

Constant analysis is key in successful selling and when performed routinely and as a best of practice and, many low producing sales months can be avoided.

Note: Not all aspects can be considered in a short write-up, so ask Minecor about its marketing intelligence and analytics.