How to Better Align Your Sales Process with the Customer Journey

The process of buying and selling saw drastic changes over the past few years. Earlier, the sale was a universal approach.

Now, it is more fluid and dynamic.  Both business and buyer’s journeys thrive on understanding the ultimate goals, transparency, and an inquisitive tendency.

You may think that both of the parties share more similarities. Although, it’s quite the opposite. Both have contrasting expectations from one another.

Customers usually look for services or things to fulfil their needs. On the other hand, sellers incline more on reaching revenue targets and satisfying customers.

In simpler words, lets see “How to Better Align Your Sales Process with the Customer Journey ” your marketing teams should understand these basics to make sure both enjoy a mutual advantage while growing your business.

Moreover, it is indeed true that the market is ever-changing. Simultaneously, a customer’s journey is also ever-changing. It has become a much more customized process.

However, many fall under the pretence that customers are likely to follow a well-worn trail. In reality, the whole process is a random leap of faith.

Additionally, in the initial stages of a customer’s journey, marketing remains resolute. Similarly, decision-making in the case of complex purchases also remains unvarying.

It is easier to spot the shortcomings that your sales team might be facing when you set the strategy against your customer’s journey.

Why is the buyer’s journey important?

why is the buyers journey important

A well-planned sales strategy allows a business to avoid miscommunication with the buyers.

Transparency with your customer will help your business grow. But how can you ensure that? Well, this factor depends on how your sales rep handles the buyer’s journey.

Also, the only solution to guarantee alignment with the customer’s journey is to personalize the sales processes.

For marketing teams to establish consistency, sales process revision is the key. This will help you to understand the needs of the target audience.

Moreover, to make your business more demanding, focusing on a scripted sales strategy is primitive.

Instead, businesses with aligned strategies ensure to guide their customers through their journey. This also contributes to gaining credibility and reaching more target audiences than usual to leverage sales for maximum gain.

Personalizing sales strategy to align with the customer is a powerful visual tool. You can understand market trends and figure out the steps taken by your customers before making a decision.

This allows you to recognize the stages of communication with your business. Moreover, this is an important factor for the sales team.  They will base the sales strategy on this information. 

Moreover, you can gain a clear insight into the bigger picture, their experience with the company.

This helps in comprehending the customer’s expectations alongside predicting the change in customer’s behavior.

Your customer’s decision-making process predominantly depends on the following factors:

  • Problem Recognition.
  • Information Search.
  • Evaluation of Alternatives.
  • Purchase Decision.
  • Post-Purchase Evaluation.

Steps guide to Align your sales process with the Customer Journey

Reconsidering goals and definitions

Misalignment is easily avoided through reframing stage definitions and targets. In simpler words, it is common for the sale process to “ pass” a stage.

This stage incorporates whether or not a customer will purchase at a given time. Furthermore, this qualification can be a sales perspective.

On the contrary, your buyer can perceive this as committing to change.

Reframing and resetting goals allows you to revise your customer’s targets and expectations. This helps you to build clear and valuable communication.

However, it is important to look at whether your buyers understand what to expect from the business.

Sometimes, your customers face confusion. Providing guidance will go a long way to align your business while you attract more target audiences.

Recognizing Value points

Identifying the value points is another important step on the list. Map out all the possibilities that can help you offer value to your customers.

To align your business correctly, think about analyzing solutions, make sure multiple opinions or issues for your buyers are answered.

Testing and Validating

Changing your strategy is a great step. So, better safe than sorry. Before you venture out, seek consultation from high-experienced personnel.

They will help you give the feedback you need. Moreover, they can also suggest ways to improve your strategy.

Besides, validation also incorporates testing. Run a pilot program to check whether the strategy is worth it.

Although, if it is a complex process, testing can be difficult. However, your sales team can help you with predicting the possible outcome of the strategy.

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To put this plainly, this platform can help sales rep avoid chaos and attract target audiences in a productive way.

ALSO READ : Time Management is the Key to Being a Successful Sales Rep


Time Management is the Key to Being a Successful Sales Rep

We have often heard the saying “time is money”. For sales reps, the saying is very accurately put. It is true that time management is a vital aspect of any sales rep.

However, at the same time, the fact remains that this is a very tricky job for every sales rep.

A recent study conducted with 200 sales reps has produced the following result:

  • Only 28% of the sales reps practice a dedicated time management system.

Out of the total active time period, a sales rep focuses only 35% of the time on selling while the remaining is spent on all other tasks.

In this article, we will look at some awesome tips to better manage your time as a sales rep. But before we do let us understand why time management is so important for a sales rep.

11 Best Time Management Tips

Plan a customer-centric prospecting schedule

Prospecting is one of the main tasks of any sales rep. However, planning a well thought out prospecting schedule can be a bit tricky. Mostly because the time you have blocked out for prospecting might not match well with your clients’ schedule(s).

This is why you must always focus on planning a customer-centric prospecting schedule. This means you will need to track and know your target clients’ behaviours and routines. That is the best way to match your clients’ time with yours.

A general rule of thumb does state that the best time for prospecting is in the early morning or late afternoon. However in the end it all comes down to how well you know your customers’ routine so that you can match both times.

Track your Time Smartly

11 Best Time Management Tips

Tracking your own time makes fundamental to time management. If you cannot figure out where your time is going it is the wisest thing to do. You can use various time tracking software that is readily available in the market.

With these softwares, you can track the amount of time you are spending on specific tasks. Give it a few weeks time and you will start to see a pattern. This is important as you can then analyse your routine and figure out how you can be more productive.

There is a widely practised technique that encourages everyone not just sales reps to work in bundles of 25-minutes to maximise productivity.

Take it one step at a time

There is a very common misconception that multitasking makes you more productive. Let us make one thing very clear: It is nothing but a myth. The more you multi-task the less productive you become. Many studies have concluded to this fact.

What these studies found out is that while you are multi-tasking in reality your brain is scurrying from one task to another in rapid successions. This results in you losing to about 40% of your productivity. This is because as your brain is constantly shifting its focus from one task to another and cannot concentrate.

This is very bad for a sales rep as it makes them inefficient. That is why it is always recommended to finish one task at a time by prioritising on your sales activities.

Batch your tasks and appointments

There are some very simple processes that can literally change the way you do your job: grouping, time blocking, and batch processing. Grouping similar tasks together is a great way to effectively carry out your tasks and improve your productivity.

You may consider blocking specific periods of time daily for your cold calling tasks. It is always recommended to do the same for returning calls rather than checking your voicemail all day long. The latter can really bite into your otherwise productive time. Successful sales reps are those who get their job done ahead of time. Most of them designate an hour or two every afternoon for scheduling a prospecting action for the next day. These practices are proven to improve workflow.

Learn to say NO

It’s no mystery that chasing the wrong prospect is nothing but a waste of time. As a sales rep, we all have a system in place to qualify and disqualify leads. However, it is hard to let go of any prospect even if there is a very slim chance of a conversion.

This is where you need to start saying no. You must be able to say “No this lead is of no use to me” while scrolling through your leads and move on to the next one as fast as you can. To do this you will have to understand what makes a good prospect and what doesn’t.

Once you have embraced saying NO to useless leads your time management will become even better. Nobody wants to chase a dud lead.

Follow the 2-minute rule

It is a general rule of thumb that states that if you can finish your job in 2 minutes then just do it instead of putting it off for another time. If you keep procrastinating you will soon end up with a tedious and long to-do list that may seem impossible to finish.

For instance, let us say you are an automobile sales rep. You found a prospect from your cold calling and they want you to send them an e-brochure of the make and model of the car they are interested in. It’s best to send them the information as soon as you get off the call. If you put it out for after you have finished your cold calling, you may end up forgetting to send the brochure and lose a potential client.

Try to Avoid Distractions

Avoid distractions

Distractions are all around us in many different forms. Make no mistake they will divert your attention from the task at hand. Even though a loss of a minute or two does not affect your productivity at that moment but it will add up over the course of the day. And this is harmful to your productivity.

You can tackle them by planning your day ahead of time. That is one way to look at it. For any sales rep, social media is a very important aspect. However, checking updates and newsfeeds online for 15 minutes can easily turn into an hour of wasted time watching funny videos. In the end, it all boils down to the fact how much you can keep yourself from being distracted. There is no hard and fast rule to do so. It’s in your willpower to not get distracted.

Start using Email Templates

There is a time for everything; a time to be creative and a time to be strategic. While contacting a prospect many of us start from scratch and try to write a new email every time. This is inefficient and unrealistic at the same time.

In spite of the fact that your email prospecting must be tailor-made for each individual and situation, you can still manage your time efficiently by using email templates. Chose the template that fits your requirement and customizes it according to your customer’s requirements. This is a very effective way to increase productivity.

Eliminate non-essential tasks

To maximize your selling time, look for administrative tasks you can automate. Saving a few minutes here and there will quickly add up — and as an added benefit, you can direct more energy toward activities that are actually challenging, like giving demos or answering tough questions.

Every sales rep has to row through a sea of non-essential administrative tasks. This eats off a huge chunk of productive time. That is why as a sales rep you must always focus on automating such tasks.

There are softwares you can use to send sales collateral and quotes that are used parallel to CRMs. You can send a professional-looking yet personalised proposal without wasting your time. You can also use route planning software to reach your clients efficiently while planning the rest of your time.

Streamline all repeatable tasks

Streamlining tasks simply means reorganizing them. Streamlining repeatable tasks will help you to avoid repeating them by automating them or using shortcuts where you only need to customize them. This really helps to save a lot of time.

If your company is targeting a specific type of buyer, then most of your prospects will be similar. This is where streamlining your tasks becomes effective. For example, in such cases, you may consider developing a core set of questions to work from and customizing as per client assessment. This is much more efficient than sitting down every time to make a brand new list of questions.

Take breaks but don’t overindulge

Breaks are as important as avoiding distractions are. Some of us use distractions as an excuse to take a break from work. That is very harmful.

However, it is similarly harmful if you do not take breaks either. In fact, taking scheduled breaks have often found to help increase productivity. A 5-10 minute break is very helpful to clear your mind from the knots where you are stuck. This, sometimes, helps to figure out a solution to a seemingly impossible problem.

However, you mustn’t overindulge yourself into taking breaks every now and then. This has an opposite reaction on your productivity and you may as well end up losing your job.

Time management is a very tricky task for most sales reps, but at the same time, the successful ones are those who have ingrained this to their lifestyles. With the above tips, you won’t have to worry too much. Follow them and you will be able to effectively manage your time.


5 Ways How To Simplify And Must Do To Your Sales Process

Ask any Sales personnel and they will tell you that salespersons are amongst the most overworked and stressed professionals and that, Sales is the most unforgiving career options one can choose in the current economy.

But it doesn’t need to be so. That is why, in this article, we will try to understand the reason behind such conclusions, and how we can simplify a sales process, thereby improving our work environment.

Living in the 21st century, we are privy to the rapid advancement of technology, which has also reached the Sales industry with much impact.

At first glance, it is supposed to make things easier for sales reps and managers, but in reality, the opposite is true.

5 Steps of the Sales Process :

  1. Approach The Client
  2. Assessing your best leads
  3. Automate tedious admin works with a CRM system
  4. Consider investing in Marketing automation software
  5. Complete The Sale And Follow Up

1. Approach The Client :

The Nature of the Approaches can varies according to your sales methods , which you are using on daily basis , for approaching new clients.

You will never see most of the client on Phone Calls, whereas you want a firm sales executive person , who had well knowledge of dealing with complex minded person and get with the positive response from the client.

But for this, the first step is to build a Good Relation with the client and then approaching the sales good according to the requirements.

This can be done, by introducing yourself and telling them, who you are and what kind of work our company does, so that, their level of trust can increase on yourself first, then gradually you can sale anything, for the profit margins.

2. Assessing your best leads :

The success of any business relies heavily on lead qualification and prioritizing. This is because unqualified leads can be very frustrating for your sales rep and this can lead to a decreased rate of deal closures.

The reason is quite straightforward – not every lead is your prospect.  This is why adopting a structured approach to lead identification and qualification becomes so crucial.

With such an approach, one can integrate developing buyer personas for lead identification that can prove to be a very effective method for your sales teams.

Buyer personas help your sales reps to sort out which leads they need to prioritize and which not to. This can impressively decrease the need to focus on everyone.

There are many sales tools available for simplifying these steps even further.

3. Automate tedious admin works with a CRM system :

In this age of technology, your sales reps need not bury themselves into tedious admin works that tend to pile up with each lead.

The last thing your sales reps want to do is investigate each potential leads manually to bring out their prospects.

This can easily be automated using various Customer Relationship Management or CRM tools that are readily available in the market.

The best thing about these tools is that your sales reps can learn from each result. While choosing who you should focus on, the most useful thing to do is to assess the best marketing campaign for them.

With CRM tools, you can automate this process altogether as these sales tools use the existing data on your leads and give you the assessed results.

4. Consider investing in Marketing automation software :

Other than CRM tools, you can also consider various marketing automation software that is also available in the 21st-century world.

In fact, many successful businessmen recommend investing in this software. They are very powerful automation platforms that you can greatly benefit from.

These tools help your teams to automate various ongoing tasks like email marketing, social media marketing, and much more.

With these tasks being automated, a lot of the time, that was otherwise being consumed in executing these repetitive tasks, are now available to your sales reps.

They can now easily focus on the tasks that require their immediate attention, like following up with their best prospects in hopes of closing a deal that is almost at closure, etc.

5. Complete The Sale And Follow Up :

In this Final Phase, Just complete their order and on monthly basis, just take follow-up on regular basis, so that client will feel comfortable with your products.
With a simpler sales process, you can save both your costs and labor. This, in turn, makes your sales process more effective and efficient.

So, now that you know what you need to do in order to simplify your sales process, you can effectively draw up an action plan that suits you the best.

ALSO READ : Work Smarter: Live Chat Best Practices


The Ultimate Guide to Sales Email Automation

Mankind has come a long way in history and so has technology. With these advancements in technology so too has sales techniques & strategies, campaigns and tools have also changed drastically over the ages and continue to do so.

Now as we step into the second decade of the 21st century, sales techniques and tools are once again undergoing upgradation; this time with the Ultimate Guide to Sales Email Automation.

Automation has been spreading like wildfire sometime now. In this article we will try to understand everything there is to about Sales Email Automation as simply as possible.

Sales Automation

To understand Sales Email Automation, one needs to understand two things first Sales Automation and Email Automation.

So what is Sales Automation?

As you can understand from the word automation, we are talking about automation software. But then how are they relevant to sales? Well, let’s take two cases:


Let’s say you are the Sales Manager of a leading sales firm. Your daily sales tasks include setting up the targets for your teams, analyzing their performances, and predicting upcoming sales potentials among many other tasks.


Say you are a sales rep from the same company and your daily sales tasks would mainly include prospecting, retaining your existing customers, and focus on achieving your targets.

Now in both cases, there are many repetitive tasks. These tasks are quite time-consuming and most often lead to missing out on a few minor details like losing track of prospective clients.

Now, what if you could focus solely on closing more deals and outsource these tediously repetitive tasks to someone else? I’m not talking about a human; rather a software.

With so many tried and tested platforms, including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and automation tools, your job can become at the same time a lot easier, smoother, and smarter. That is what we call Sales Automation software.

Why Sales Automation?

With an automated sales process, tracking leads and following-up with them becomes guaranteed to never miss out.

This is because with automated communication you will keep getting reminders about your follow-up schedules and this makes sure that you don’t miss out on the task.

For many newcomers, getting to fully understand how the sales process works and how to identify the shortcomings in one’s sales process becomes a nightmare.

The most asked question is “why do my leads never lead to conversion?” With a fully automated sales pipeline, you can easily track and identify the stages where you are losing most of your clients.

Another leading problem becomes identifying and understanding the source of your leads and clients.

Without fully understanding where the lead is entering your pipeline from, you cannot understand your target audience and this will pose a problem to strategize a better sales campaign. With automation tools, this becomes very easy.

Sales Process Automation

The sales process of your sales teams is an important asset to your business. With a well-defined sales process, you can take on your sales campaigns effectively.

With automation, you can further improve the efficiency of the existing sales process by identifying the loopholes and cracks and improving them.

Thus Sales Process Automation can be defined as the process of automating the various steps and tasks in your existing sales process, so that the sales reps can focus more on connecting with prospects and selling to your customers, without having to worry about the various administrative tasks.

With these process automation tools, you can enjoy a much more streamlined workflow. One such software is particularly very important: the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.

This is so because the CRM tool acts as the center of the wheel holding onto the various spokes.

Without a proper CRM tool, you cannot effectively carry out other automation tools. The CRM tool can help automate these following key tasks in your daily sales process:

  • Prospecting
  • Lead Enrichment and Rotation
  • Lead Scoring and qualifying prospects
  • Daily Follow-ups
  • Deal Management
  • Reporting and Dashboards

Email Automation

In 2020, we have many different forms of sales tools and email is one of them. With the improvements in technology, some might think that the age of emails is coming to an end.

But the scenario is quite different. According to a US-based survey, about 95% of online consumers from the country use emails as the preferred mode of communication.

The survey also shows us some figures that highly suggest that email is far from being ‘taken over’. According to them, about 2.8 mil emails are sent every second with around 43.5 mil consumers checking their emails daily.

This has paved the way for email automation. It is an automated emailing option where the right emails are sent to the right people at the right time.

That too without having to do it yourself! The main aim of email automation like any other sales process automation is to nurture leads into customers.

But how exactly does it work?

There are many email automation tools in the market and each of them has its own working methods with their own UI. However, the general working principle can be chalked out as follows:

  1. A random person visits the website of company XYZ and completes certain actions like filling out a form or downloading an eBook.

2. The contact information of this person is automatically added to the marketing database of that company.

3. Based on the location, preferences, behavior, etc criteria, these gathered data are segmented into different audience segments.

4. Next, the marketing teams will create a campaign depending upon these leads and data by setting up trigger points to schedule when and to whom the emails will be sent automatically.

5. The person(s) visiting the website will receive emails depending on the conditions and trigger points set by the marketing teams.

Benefits of Email Automation

Email automation can help your sales and marketing campaigns in a much smarter way:

  1. It works on its own and all you need to do is set up the criteria or checkpoints to guide the automation process.

2. It helps you understand the best time for your sales team to contact leads by following up with their interests as not every lead might be your prospective client(s).

3. Studies show that 90% of consumers find personalized content much more appealing and with email automation tools you can do just that as you can target their interest because the tool helps you nurture your leads too.

4. As the whole process is automated you can save up a lot of time that you can focus on other tasks and outsource these repetitive tasks to your AI friend.

5. With email automation, the need for a large sales team making daily cold calls becomes very less important and so you can cut back a lot on your investment costs. In turn, your reps can contact the leads at the right time.

Sales automation tools are becoming more and more imperative as we go forward in this age of technology.

With so many cool time-saving processes your reps can focus on what really matters and leave the administrative tasks to AI. This helps businesses make time from otherwise repetitive tasks that bog them down.

ALSO READ : Personalize Outreach at Scale with Sales Engagement Automation

So get started with your sales and email automation tools and lead your business from a simple startup to one of the leading brands in the market.


10 Mistakes Sales Representatives Makes Way Too Often And The Solutions To Avoid Them

A career in sales can be very rewarding in spite of the challenges that comes with it. There has always been increasing pressure on a sales representative to over-perform.

However, even with the best practices executed, sometimes, experienced salespeople make mistakes that are quite common. While sales mistakes can be avoided, they are not inevitable.

To prevent these pitfalls and sell at the optimum level possible, sales representatives must-

  • Recognize their mistakes
  • Understand why they are making them
  • Envisage the magnitude of repeating them
  • Learn how to avoid them in the future

Through careful planning and education, it is indeed possible to sidestep these mistakes. Here are 10 common mistakes sales representatives make and the solutions to avoid them.

Let’s have a look at the following

1. Talking a Lot

While sales representatives are characterized by their art of speech, most of them talk too much during conversations. Sometimes sales persons forget that selling is not all about being a good speaker but a good listener.

Many research studies have proved that all who have attained success in their sales career practice active listening. One of the key reasons why buyers choose a specific vendor is because they felt he understood their closest needs.

Talking a Lot

2. Less Knowledge about target customers

Another common mistake most of the sales representatives make is trying to sell to anybody and everybody. This mistake not only identifies his poor research skills but also displays that he is not taking his job seriously.

The lack of clarity in the vision results in unproductive output and one should not forget that sales are a performance-based job.

Now, what is the solution? According to experienced sales representatives, a salesperson must value primarily, identify his ‘target audience’.

After all, the product or service he is advocating for is meant for a group of audiences and just blindly approaching everybody is a bad idea.

3. Approaching Buyer without proper research

A sea of changes has occurred in the business arena over the course of time and today’s B2B buyers expect a purchase process that is more individualized and unique.

  Here, a sales representative has a huge role to play way before he reaches out to his prospects.  Before meeting the prospect, a salesperson must first learn about the prospect- who they are, their expectations, goals of the industry, etc. The best solution to come up with an effective result is reaching the prospect only after good research.

Not only it enables you to ask informed questions but also even prospect appreciate your dedication. Research consumes some time but it is always better to reach five assured customers than trying your luck on a dozen prospects .

4. Lack of Genuineness

Even though customers immensely rely on sales executives, several times, there have been instances when a salesperson has wrongly directed a customer.

In this booming market sphere, a sales executive must always deal with its prospect ethically. He should always remember that he is not selling a dream. While, this dishonesty might benefit him in the short-term, but it will harm his sales career in the long run.

The solution to this problem is available with finding the value of your product or service. If your prospect accepts something bigger, have the guts to admit it. Tell him that your brand will be considering the fact rather than making false promises.

5. Not upgrading your sales skills

If you look back into the sales strategy then and now, you will trace many differences that have taken place in the last decade.

While some basic strategies have remained constant for sales executives, with time, you should keep working on your soft skills and also develop new strategies and enhance the old ones.

The solution to this is first, self-evaluation and secondly joining coaching classes or other similar activities.

Experienced sales executives with a proven record of accomplishment have attained success by upgrading themselves no matter how good they were in their jobs.

6. Neglecting the existing customer and always hunting for new ones

One of the best sources of revenue growth can be by keeping on serving existing and satisfied customers. A sales executive often tends to look for new prospects without giving enough importance to the existing customers.

Nurturing the relationship with repeat customers is always a better option for these people will help you in the future by referring your product or service to their peers.

7. Paying more attention to non-selling activities

On average, only one-third of the time allotted to the sales representative is utilized for selling activities. Which means that sales representatives keep themselves engaged in other administrative activities that in turn affects their core target. Although most of them have a time management system, only a few follow it.

 Experts suggest spending only designated time for responding to emails and checking them. The rest of the time must be utilized for reaching out to prospects and setting new goals.

8. Lack of ability to identify customers’ problems

Sales representatives who are new to the profession tend to assume that the customers know the solution to the problem. The truth is the other way round as not all customers can identify the problems.

The sales representative must identify the nature of the problem by asking relevant questions.

9. Sending inappropriate content to the prospect

Another key mistake that sales representatives often make is their tendency to forward irrelevant content to their clients. Rather he/she should add value to their buyers by sharing content that will show how ROI can be attained.

10. Not Following a Structured Workflow

A sales representative tends to become overconfident once he witnesses success in his career. He often makes his own work plan, sales strategies and does not follow best practices and effective sales process.

In general, it has been seen that salespeople give up quickly, for example, say just one or two phone calls. However, studies show that most sales are made after four calls and even a couple of more.