Improving conversion rates

The truth is, there is no one silver bullet to improving conversion rates, although good qualification is key. It is important to be always striving to improve on every aspect of the sales process that is in your control. Just one weak link in the chain and the whole sales opportunity could be jeopardised.

To effectively and accurately qualify an opportunity, the salesperson requires a thorough understanding of the customer, their requirement, the overall market, as well as of themselves and their company’s offering. This total understanding is a cornerstone of the Disruptive Selling program from Cloud 9 Solutions. It must be analysed as early as possible in the sales cycle and reanalysed regularly throughout the sales process.

The Cloud 9 Solutions Disruptive Selling program introduces simple tools to help qualify an opportunity. It enables a salesperson to focus on strengths and weaknesses and their overall understanding of the opportunity, to assist them in the all important decision on how to move forward. It may be that the decision is to not proceed but this can only be made with good understanding and qualification.

Thorough qualification alone does not guarantee improved conversion rates though. A weak proposal, a bad presentation, a lack of support from your company and many other factors can undo a lot of the great work. This is why a strong team and the ongoing desire to keep on improving on every aspect of the sales process is essential.

High calibre sales training can play a very important role in driving this improvement. The American business guru – Tom Peters – is quoted as saying “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change”. It is through constant improvement in all aspects of  the sales cycle that better conversion rates will be achieved.  We can always improve and we can always improve our sales chances.

A 100% conversion rate is the ultimate aspiration, but rarely achievable. However, every lost sale can help improve conversion rates. It is all too easy to sweep failures under the carpet and move on. Proper analysis of why a sales opportunity was lost can be one of the most valuable exercises a team can do. An understanding of why a deal was lost will prevent repetition of the same mistakes and improve subsequent conversion rates.

Poor conversion rates will have significant financial consequences for a company. Profitability will be impacted by wasted resources forcing the company to look for higher product margins. The beginning of a self-perpetuating downward spiral.

In summary, the closer a sales team is to a total understanding of its whole ecosystem the better its conversion rates will be. This must be supported by a strong team and a company that is prepared to invest in their team’s development.