Your Sales Pipeline is Leaking

Read Time: 5 minutes

Author - Olga Kamylevich

Olga Kamylevich
Published: January 24, 2018

Your Sales Pipeline is Leaking

Where Does the Time Go?

In 2016, the Sales Enablement Optimization Study from CSO Insights stated that salespeople lose about 64.1% of their time doing non-selling activities. The loss of time to non-sales activities continues to be an issue for inside sales teams.

Fast forward to the present and time wasted on administrative tasks is still an issue. A few of the areas that tend to drain time from a sales rep’s day include:

  • Creating outbound sales emails and quotes
  • Documenting sales activities
  • Scheduling meetings with prospects and customers

Strengthening the Pipe

At any size organization, from small business to enterprise level, losing any amount of time on administrative activities can mean the difference between your team making or missing their quota goals. Optimizing certain sales processes with cloud-based automation tools can put a stopper in the these non-selling activities for your sales team. With a cloud-based solution, sales teams have full access to necessary resources and information at any time, from a desktop to a laptop to mobile devices, giving them the ability to be proactive rather than reactive. Let’s look at three areas that could be effectively improved by automating them, giving sales reps back valuable selling time.

Composing Emails and Quotes

Sales reps send out a lot of emails. The outflow is usually composed of email campaigns and related follow-ups. Cutting down on sending emails is not necessarily an option but providing an approved set of templates in a central location can cut down on composition and response times. The same strategy works for quote requests. A closed deal is more favorable for the sales rep who is the first responder.

Out of 433 companies tested for their response times, only 7% responded in the first five minutes after a form submission. More than half didn’t respond within five business days. Source: Drift

Manual Data Entry

Manual data entry is not only huge time suck, it can be costly and the data could be full of errors. Instead of selling, sales reps can be wasting this time managing the recording of every interaction, email and documents generated for a prospect account. Importing quotes, cutting and pasting in emails, and typing notes into a prospect or account record are not a revenue-generating activities.

In their 2017 State of Inbound, Hubspot reported that 45% of salespeople say they spend over an hour performing manual data entry. Source: Hubspot

A cloud-based automated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is the answer here. A CRM platform will help your sales team streamline and centralize, among many other sales-based admin tasks, the documentation process. Approved email templates can be pulled into the CRM for global accessibility. Emails can be simultaneously sent, logged, and even tracked within the platform. Every interaction with a prospect can be also be automatically logged with follow-ups and alerts scheduled.

CRM system adoption increases sales by up to 29%. Source: Salesforce

Cloud-based CRMs are continuing to prove to be one of the most invested technologies for companies looking to grow their businesses. Super Office shows the adoption growth of cloud-based CRMs over the past 9 years has overtaken the traditional on-premise solution.

Scheduling Appointments

Getting an appointment booked with a prospect is a hard task for sales reps. Beyond outbound campaigns, a good number of emails sent are ones trying to book a demo or discovery meeting with a prospect. Automated scheduling can reduce the time they waste on trying to schedule and reschedule appointments. The right online scheduling solution can have a positive impact on sales enablement and help drive revenue growth.

Roughly 12% of clicks turn into appointments: a survey by Pingup reported that 11.9% of clicks on “book an appointment” buttons resulted in scheduled appointments. Source: LSA Insider

Self-scheduling is one way for your sales reps to reduce time wasted on scheduling meetings with prospective customers. When a scheduling link is used in their outbound emails or even email signatures, they give their prospects scheduling control. Their prospect has the ability to easily select an appointment time convenient for them from your sales rep’s open time slots. An added convenience is that this is an activity that can be done any time of day or night since the link is not dependent on your sales rep’s office hours.

Scheduling happening 24/7: the company observed that 40%of bookings were happening after business hours. Source: LSA Insider

Online scheduling can lessen the time your reps waste on chasing prospects in email or on the phone to schedule and often reschedule appointments. Self-scheduling can also give your sales reps a greater assurance that the prospect will keep the appointment. Online appointment scheduling not only lets your sales reps get back to selling, no-shows become less likely.

Their Time is Valuable to Everyone

This list is certainly not representative of all the daily tasks that can consume a sales rep’s day while they are trying to hit their numbers. However, when automation tools are used, and used correctly, for these three tasks, then the time recovered for actual selling increases. An investment in automation tools benefits your sales reps with an upstream effect for your organization’s top-line growth. Win-win!

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