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Learn how to use analytical tools in the everyday work of a sales specialist. Discover tools that will make your work easier and allow you to get to know and reach your clients better.
A well-designed sales process is a prerequisite to achieving success in sales. For it to be effective, it should be tailored to the client purchasing process and preferences. Therefore, before you start preparing a comprehensive plan of your actions, define your client in detail.
Personas in the sales process
When creating personas to help you run your sales activities effectively, you need to step outside the customary template which consists of demographic and employment data. Such haphazardly prepared personas lead to companies assuming that their persona is a male aged 24 to 39 from a large city, working as a Sales Director in a company employing more than 12 people. With such a persona, it will be impossible to conduct effective marketing and sales activities.
How to prepare a sales persona?
When preparing sales personas for use in sales processes, the following elements should be considered:
- Demography - sex, age, place of residence.
- Education and employment - job name, company size, sector, length of service, scope of duties of that person, KPIs at work, etc.
- What is the persona’s typical day? - define the ideal points of contact with your brand, e.g. does the persona read particular news portals during a lunch break, or is it active on LinkedIn or Twitter in the evening? Remember to take into account the devices used in specific circumstances.
- What kind of problems do you solve? - How will the solution you propose solve the key issues of your perfect client?
- What is the "carrot"? - Discover the ambitions and objectives of your persona. Find out whether using your solution will allow it to achieve company objectives (e.g. improving a specific process) or personal objectives (e.g. recognition in the eyes of others).
- What fears can the persona have? - For the carrot to work, you need to be aware of the concerns of your persona.
- How does it make purchases? - Determine how your persona makes purchasing decisions so that planned actions are consistent with its behaviour.
Many sales specialists rely on the declarative data that they have collected throughout their careers when preparing their personas and sales processes. There is nothing wrong with that. However, data collected in this way, which is often based on our private beliefs and experiences, is not always a true reflection of our sales persona.
The operation of sales departments can be considerably enhanced by marketers with access to data which can define your ideal customer and its habits. The data contained in the tools commonly used by marketers can help sales specialists reach decision-makers and close sales opportunities more effectively.
What tools should be used to create sales personas?
The world of marketing offers various types of tools that allow you to measure specific indicators. Unfortunately, only some marketers take full advantage of their potential.
A key tool worthy of recommendation is Google Analytics. The Audience Report is what we need to focus on. This report contains information about age, gender, location, interests, but also data concerning the devices used by visitors to your website.
The Mobile Traffic and Technology sections provide information on telephone types, operating systems and web browsers, among others. It is also possible to check which content is of interest to users according to their location or the social network they used to enter your site.
Sales specialists should take particular interest in the tab Audience > Technology > Network. Why do I mention this? The reason is that numerous companies have their name set as the name of their Internet service provider. This gives you the ability to identify the companies from which users enter your website.
If your company carries out paid marketing activities, consulting Google Ads is an absolute must. Make sure to check the Demographic targeting section. You can, for example, use it to analyse individual groups and compare those who saw or clicked the ad with those who converted it.
Placements will, in turn, show you on which pages your ads are displayed (e.g. remarketing banners). This will allow you to become acquainted with your personas and see which websites are viewed by those at whom the advertisement was directed.
Google Ads reports can also tell you which keywords are of greatest interest to your audience and result in target page entry.
In contrast, the data contained within Facebook will allow you to get to know your audience better. There you will find information about the relationship status, level of education or position held.
Google Search Console
An additional Google tool is Google Search Console, which in my opinion is not a commonly used solution, which is a pity! The Performance Report gives you information on queries that led to your website from organic search results, as well as additional information about landing pages, device types, etc. You will also be able to see which Internet pages contain links to your website.
The data collected in this way will allow you to create a persona using more data, making it easier for both sales specialists and marketers to operate effectively. Remember to collect as much data as possible to build the most complete image of your sales persona.
Once created, the persona is subject to continued optimisation. Both your work with the client and the data collected using analytical tools can alter the direction of your sales process. That is why it is so important to draw conclusions from the actions in progress.
Key challenges in the sales process
Much is said about conflicts between marketing and sales departments. There are as many reasons as there are specialists on the market. Marketers accuse traders of limiting their thinking to declarative data and individual customers. Sales specialists, on the other hand, expect marketers to send better quality leads and be more client oriented.
Where sales specialists are unable to conduct advertising campaigns, this process can still be made more effective. Thanks to the information collected by Google Analytics (Report: Audience > Technology > Network), the sales specialist will be able to reach companies which have visited the website but did not complete the form.
Albacross tools operate on a similar basis. These tools identify users who appear on your website and, based on the data collected, assign them to specific companies.
This enables the sales specialist who prepares for a cold email campaign to take a closer look at those companies that have already visited the website in question. Such a tool makes the chance of establishing contact with a potential client much more probable.
A good idea for establishing contact with a potential client is to enable them to contact the company directly by phone. In this case, a tool worth considering is CallPage, which enables telephone contact within 28 seconds.
Lead Response Time
Keeping track of client needs is one of the principal challenges in the sales process. Research conducted by Harvard Business Review on a group of more than 2,000 companies in the United States shows a clear correlation between contact time and the effectiveness of commercial activities.
The graph above shows the time needed by the companies to respond to customer inquiries. Other interesting metrics can be found in the infographic prepared by HBR. According to the information provided, contact with the client in the first 5 minutes increases the chance of a sale by as much as 10 times, when compared to 10-minute waiting time.
Adding this parameter to the performance indicators of sales specialists could have a considerable impact on the sales results. Therefore, it is worthwhile to create the conditions for sales specialists to receive a notification on the need to contact the client as soon as possible.
Analytics in the sales process
A sales process that is customer-oriented will be effective if it is tailored to the tasks performed by sales specialists, as well as optimised and implemented in a way that supports it and enables its analysis. Its effectiveness is influenced by many factors, including suitable tools and consistency in implementing the assumptions of a particular process.
The analysis and optimisation of activities performed are also crucial factors. At this point, it is worthwhile to refer back to the previously mentioned tools, which will provide us with additional information to supplement that collected by sales specialists.
An important aspect, which also needs to be addressed when analysing the sales process, is the evaluation of commercial offers. A commercial offer, as well as a telephone conversation with a client, is key to the success of any sales activities. Thanks to tools such as Sellizer, we can evaluate the effectiveness of an offer by examining, among others, the time spent on particular sites and the number of page openings or resendings of the offer.
The above guidelines will enable you to plan your sales activities more effectively and embed them in a specific sales plan. Remember, however, that the plan itself will be ineffective if it is not enforced. If you have questions about the issues raised in the article, please let us know in the comment field.