As we face an unstable economic climate and recession, businesses worldwide need to act quickly to weather the storm. In particular, enterprises need to prevent their key players from being held back by standard challenges that will only be exacerbated by these financial pressures. 

In this series, we’re taking a look, department by department, at those pain points and challenges, and see how the CloudSense solution can help.

Challenges Faced by Sales Teams

When the economy is wavering, your sales teams are likely to also. Some common challenges cited by sales directors include:

  • Visibility of the sales pipeline
  • Revenue forecasting, especially when dealing with sales with long lead times
  • Understanding market trends and having data easily available to use with other departments to maintain a competitive edge
  • Keeping track of staff performance and how they are tracking with every opportunity
  • End-to-end sales timeframe: striking balance of speed with value
  • Complex opportunities take a lot of time and effort they often lose time for the smaller more profitable deals 

Sales Directors commonly suffer from a lack of 360 visibility of what is in the pipeline, in particular the details around products and segments. The inability to track data and market trends is a major bottleneck for sales teams, with 70% of organizations not having any sort of data strategy. It’s no wonder that 42% of sales reps say that they don’t have enough information. As a consequence, 43-46% of companies have sellers that do not have the knowledge to consistently find and win deals.

Coupled with their lack of visibility and access to data, 58% of pipeline stalls because reps are unable to add value.

The fragmented nature of sales processes makes it difficult to keep track of processes. Sales and order processes can be so complex that it deters sales reps who no longer want to sell due to lack of understanding. The complexities within processes negatively impacts time-to-market. Complex opportunities take both time and effort preventing sales leaders from being able to offer the best value to customers. In dedicating a lot of time to complex opportunities, sales teams often lose out on the smaller more profitable opportunities.

Without a single source of truth, Sales Directors find themselves struggling to forecast revenue. The inability to see how much revenue is in the pipeline makes it difficult for sales teams to create strategies that will generate revenue and maximize customer satisfaction. 

Customer churn is a perennial pain point for the sales department, and 17% of sales reps say that keeping their prospects engaged is a major challenge. Being the “voice of the customer”, it’s extremely important that Sales Directors and their teams know what customers need, to mitigate customer churn. Due to the above challenges, sales teams are not only unable to identify which customers are close to churning, but they end up increasing the chance of churn. 

To make their role more efficient they need to ensure the operational data is available and allows them to focus on the strategic vision of teams.A good sales pipeline leads to a good sales forecast, crucial to growing your business. Understanding where a prospect is at in the buying cycle is vital to deliver accurate sales forecasts.

With 72% of Sales Directors marking improving pipeline creation as their top priority, according to Gartner, they need to structure their sales process differently, understand customer needs, enhance flexible terms and billing terms. 

How CloudSense Can Help

From a customer engagement through to service delivery, automation is extremely important. Handling 45% of repetitive work, the efficiency gains from streamlined systems and workflows helps productivity immensely. Creating an end-to-end sales time frame ensures a quick time-to-market. With the help of an Order Management solution, the use of a streamlined and automated system ensures nothing gets lost in the noise, giving employees more room and time to focus on value-adding tasks. 

Making the adjustments in the CRM and the buying journey is important. Implementing a CPQ solution to streamline the buyer journey, reducing manual workload, creating opportunities seamlessly and ensuring a quick transition from when the opportunity is created to when the deal is closed. Automating and optimizing this process with the help of CPQ, helps sales teams sell faster and more accurately.

A unified platform supports the end-to-end sales process and drives a positive impact for B2B customers. 65% of employees believe that a unified platform will help them be more productive, and 67% of employees believe that a unified platform will help them achieve a better workflow. Organizations need to look for tools that support and integrate well with existing solutions, ensuring that multiple platforms, solutions and technologies work well together.

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