How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
Winning More Open Opportunities
Is your sales pipeline a highway or a parking lot? Do you ever wonder how much new business you miss out on with your current customers because no one followed up on a request for proposal or an open lead? How are you tracking new sales opportunities? How are you following up on them?
Robust pipelines are always in motion. New deals and opportunities are either moving steadily toward a closed sale or your sales reps should be actively disqualifying them from your forecasts. And each step in the process should be consistent, measurable, predictable and repeatable.
Unfortunately, many wholesale distributors take a hands-off approach with their sales reps’ pipelines. They figure that the rep is the closest to the deal and so the rep must know best how to drive a sale to close. In today’s busy environment, there are simply too many moving parts and pieces in a complex business-to-business sale for sales reps to follow up consistently with their opportunities.
Studies show that persistence pays. As much as 50% of sales reps don’t follow up on sales leads more than once, yet 80% of sales do not close until at the fifth to the 12th contact. As a sales manager, it is critical that you manage the contact rates for your distribution sales process.
The best-run distribution sales operations track the activities and milestones associated with each sales opportunity. That way you can track the performance of each of your reps against an objective measurement and step in when a deal is at risk. SMP helps you manage your team’s opportunities with simplicity. Your reps log every opportunity in our system. Who is the customer, who is the key decision-maker, when is the expected decision date, what products are needed, and how much is at stake from a dollars-and-cents approach? What’s the action plan? It’s easy to outline your sales process using SMP activities like tasks, meetings and phone calls. Then when it comes to working your process, you can track forecasted opportunities, forecasted close dates and amounts, tasks, meetings, calls and all steps toward a closed sale.
We know we can’t win them all, but with improved visibility—from the sales rep all the way up the ladder to VP of Sales—we bet you’ll win more of them than you are today.