5 Simple Tech Tips to Grow RevenueRevenue is the fuel that powers growth - but often manufacturers focus too much attention on new sales and forget about current deals and customers. These are the 5 most common revenue obstacles manufacturers face when trying to grow using online tools and technology – and their solutions.
1. THE PROBLEM:
BAD INTERNAL PROCESSES
The biggest revenue barriers often come from within your company. No matter how good your sales team might be at generating new leads, if they’re spending too much time fighting your systems, they can’t give each lead the attention they need.
Review and Automate where possible
Conducting an internal review of your sales processes can be a chore, but it’s worth the effort. Once you chart everything that goes into making a sale, you can pinpoint areas where you can use automation to streamline efforts and give your sales team more time in their days.
There are a number of easy sales tasks you can automate using CRM, or Customer Relationship Management tools:
• Lead Routing
• Follow-up Emails
• Tasks and Reminders
• Customer Re-engagement
In addition to automating these easy wins, a review of your processes will often uncover patterns of inefficiency that are hard to see in the day-to-day. Look for ways to save time, eliminate rework and ensure follow-ups.
2. THE PROBLEM:
INTERNAL RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
A stubborn team that’s set in their habits is another common revenue obstacle. You may have a brilliant sales or marketing idea, but without buy-in, your teams won’t take the risk or bother to learn it. It can be discouraging to bring new ideas to the table if you’re pretty sure your team won’t adopt them.
Show, don’t tell
Resistance to change often comes down to how a message is shared. If your team has followed up on leads the same way or used the same tool for a long time, they’re probably going to want to stick with what they know. Instead of telling them that you’re going to do something new, get them involved from the beginning so it becomes a group decision.
Solicit opinions on what isn’t working, processes that seem ineffective or repetitive, or lead sources that aren’t producing as well as they could. Not just your sales team, but marketing, operations and any team that impacts revenue. Your sales team doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you’ve found a solution to help them close more deals or generate more cash, make sure everyone understands exactly how it’s going to make their lives easier - don’t just focus on getting up and running.
3. THE PROBLEM:
SALES AND MARKETING AREN’T ALIGNED
Sales and marketing teams need to work together for optimal revenue generation, but it’s relatively rare to have both sides working together well. Even if sales and marketing regularly communicate, they may have different ideas of what they consider a worthwhile lead, ideal target or good return on investment.
Clear parameters and goals
Sales teams always want more leads, but everyone needs to have a clear expectation on the number and quality of leads to expect each month. Likewise, you need to clarify what makes a “good” lead vs. a “bad” lead. You need to be clear how to best reach your target customers, answer their questions and objections, and get them excited to keep progressing toward a sale.
More often than not, “we need more leads” really means “we need more quality leads.” More leads are necessary when the ones coming in don’t close or aren’t a good fit for your business. Marketing gets frustrated when they think they’re generating plenty of leads, but then hear a constant chorus of “I need more.” Instead, focus on better leads: higher ticket deals, more repeat customers, and better profit – and ensure both teams know what great-fit leads are and what’s needed to find them.
4. THE PROBLEM:
Sales and Marketing leaders often run into one of two tech problems, both of which create inefficiencies: outdated tools or shiny-object syndrome. Sticking with inefficient and outdated tech because it’s “what you’ve always done” might severely harm your lead-generation opportunities. But the opposite can also be a problem: trying too many new tools and then abandoning them in favor of the next new thing creates confusion and wasted effort.
Focus on the end results
When analyzing your sales and marketing technology (website, CRM, automation), the most important thing is to focus on end results and work back from there. If your goal is to make it easy for your sales team to enter data on new contacts, you might be looking at a different solution than if your end goal is streamlined reporting.
If you’re using outdated tech, you’re likely saving time on training, but sacrificing efficiency and good data. If you’re using too many tools, you’re likely running into a lack of connectivity and clear insight. Either way, you can most likely condense your tech stack into a few core systems – or perhaps even an all-in- one tool – that will achieve your desired results.
5. THE PROBLEM:
Let’s be blunt: a huge revenue obstacle is likely your Customer Relationship Management software. If it isn’t easy to use, doesn’t provide insights or data, doesn’t connect with other systems, and/ or doesn’t automate, then it’s wasting your time and costing you money.
An All-In-One Tool
There are great tools out there. One of our favorites is HubSpot. The base CRM is
free – which makes it easy to get started – and it’s also built so that you can easily expand as your needs grow. You can easily add professional marketing tools, sales automation, and website software – and you’ll be able to see where leads are coming from before they convert. Great CRMs let you automate follow-ups, handoffs and tasks, and can turn your marketing into an engaging “choose your own adventure” designed to generate interest and warm up your leads. Every email, phone call and website click is turned into data you can use to meet the needs of your customers.
By Dave Meyer, President of BizzyWeb