We see this all the time. You work in a high-demand industry where you get dozens of leads every day, or your sales cycle is long and drawn out across many months. In either situation, it can be difficult to stay on top of all your leads and remember to follow up at exactly the right moment. Inevitably, you and your sales team are probably letting a few (or more) deals slip through the cracks unnoticed. This is why top performing organizations partner with inbound marketing agencies who know how to fill the gaps and increase lead conversion ratios. However, if you have an internal team, this article will help increase their performance.
We refer to this as a “leaky pipeline” and it is actually very common. Fortunately, if you are using HubSpot, keeping track of your deals and improving sales efficiency can be greatly simplified by following these steps.
Set Up Your Deal Stages
The first step in streamlining your sales process is to set up deal stages in HubSpot. Deal stages are great because they allow to you see how many deals you have in the pipeline and how close (or likely) they are to becoming revenue. Over time, this will help you to create a more stable and predictable revenue stream for your business.
Getting started with deal stages will require you to think in depth about your sales process and identify the different steps your prospects must go through to become a customer. You can have as many or as few deal stages as necessary, it just depends on how complex the process is.
At WEBITMD, our sales process is pretty lengthy and requires multiple touch points with the prospect so we have quite few deal stages in our pipeline. Your pipeline may be more or less complex than ours, but it will probably look something like this:
You can customize your deal stages however you want. There is no “right way” to do this and it will vary from business to business. You can also add or remove specific stages whenever you want, so don’t worry about getting it exactly right the first time.
Deal stages can be a game changer for your business, but only if you and your sales team are following the process. Deals don’t automatically move themselves through the pipeline. This needs to be done manually, so make sure that you and your team are placing deals in the correct stage.
For example, if a new lead comes in and books a sales call, make sure you are taking that deal out of “quote sent” and placing them into “meeting booked.” If your deals are not being placed in the right stages at the right time, the entire system becomes broken and chaos ensues.
So make sure you and your sales team are doing your due diligence by placing things where they belong. You will all be thanking each other later when those bonus checks are handed out!
Inbound Marketing 101: Create Task Reminders
When it comes to solidifying any inbound marketing lead conversion strategy. task reminders are another game changing mechanic that HubSpot offers to its users. These are especially helpful to businesses that receive a lot of volume or have long, drawn-out sales processes.
A task reminder is a simple notification that gets sent whenever it is time to follow up with a prospect. These reminders can be sent automatically based on criteria that you have established, such as “follow up with prospect every 7 days.” Here is a quick look at how we use task reminders at WEBITMD:
As you can see, we follow up with new leads after 3 days, again on the 7th day, and once more on the 10th day. If that person has not booked a meeting or moved to another deal stage at that point, we place them in a “future follow ups” bucket and dedicate our time to new leads that have come in.
Task reminders are often the most beneficial tool for sales teams that have trouble knowing where each and every prospect is within the sales cycle. There is so much that you can do with this feature to help improve sales efficiency, but that is a whole other post in and of itself.
With task reminders, users will get an email in their inbox with the name of the task and a link that take them into HubSpot. Once in HubSpot, you can see task notes as well as the entire history of the deal associated with that task. Your task list will look something like this:
Now that you have everything in one place, you just need to make sure you and your team are actually following up with your prospects. Silence never closes deals so it is important to have regular touch points with your prospects as they move through the sales funnel. Knowing who to follow up with and when is much easier once you becomes familiar with the HubSpot Sales tool.
Stopping that Leak
Everybody wants their sales process to be more efficient and close more deals. While you may not be able to close 100% of the deals that come your way, you can greatly improve your odds by following the steps laid out above.