Top 3 reasons
your sales department
doesn’t sell and how
to solve it
Key findings:
Explore the core digital challenges sales
professionals face in their day-to-day work
that prevent them from hitting targets
Discover how to overcome the data silo
problem and get a single source of truth
Learn how to facilitate user adoption of
the new technologies as well painlessly
implement changes to your sales processes
The world is
Digital challenges
#1 Complexity of sales processes
and inability to change them
#2 Siloed customer data
#3 Low user adoption rates
for sales technology
The world is accelerating at record pace, and the change has become the new norm.
To become and remain successful in such a fluid environment, sales organizations have
to cope with these changes. Being the lynchpin in networks that create turnover, sales
teams should be at the center of innovation and change. And for sales department to drive
results and deliver meaningful value to customers in the digital age, they have to overcome
numerous digital challenges.
However, it is not that easy. Why is it so painful? What are the main pain points that sales
reps and sales teams are facing every day when it comes to leveraging technology and
managing data? There are actually many including but not limited to a long and painful
implementation process, low user adoption, disconnected applications, organizational
misalignment preventing sales departments from quickly implementing and adopting
changes. This, in turn, prevents the entire organization from growing and remaining
companies remain today from the original 1955
By 2018, companies will recognize change
Fortune 500 list. (
management as a key organizational
differentiator. (Proci)
Complexity of
sales processes
and inability to
change them
New technology and further digitalization facilitate emergence of new business models.
Business processes are getting more complex and non-linear. The sales funnel has
evolved as well. Not so long ago, the sales funnel was sale’s responsibility, then it
shifted to marketing activities, and most recently then it has become a little bit of both.
Now marketing support is expected throughout the sales funnel and sales support is
expected throughout marketing funnel, as they are trying to convert marketing leads into
opportunities. Today, sales pros have to figure out what works for their business and
industry. And this requires that experimentation and change.
Sales success ultimately means the ability to quickly adopt new business models
based on the customer needs, engage with a customer at any touchpoint of the
funnel. Knowing the processes knowing where to go in the process, knowing what
certain things needs to be changed or optimized is crucial for effective work of every
sales rep.
The ability to constantly change becomes one of the crucial success factors for sales
organizations. What does it take technologically to support that kind of change?
Customer journey alignment improves win rates by
Aligning sales strategy with customer
as much as 15%. (CSO Insights)
journey can increase the lifetime value of
each customer by 26%. (SBI)
There continues to be much discussion
Overcoming the
7 steps to painless
sales process
about ongoing changes and operational
excellence pursuits in sales process
management. The following seven
steps will help you properly implement
process changes with discipline based
on the insights and best practices for
process optimization.
1. Know the current process
Having a complete understanding of the process is undoubtedly the first point to
take care of if you want to be in full control of every process stage. “Why doesn’t it
work?” – is one of the most popular questions at this stage. That is why it’s of crucial
importance to be aware of how the process used to work before trying to make any
adjustments to its flow. The knowledge of the process lineage, distinct identifying
of the change to be made and analytics on the process improvement goals are the
fundamentals of a successful change.
2. Analyze the current process
The tool you’ve chosen to analyze the sales process doesn’t actually matter, be it
process mapping, cause/effect analysis or any other, but you should better consider
answering to the following questions:
Which of the steps create bottlenecks?
What step is the most time-consuming one?
What are the process steps that do not work the way they need to?
What steps slow down the whole process?
Are there any steps that are markedly more resource-intensive or costly?
Are there any steps that affect the quality in the negative way?
3. Communicate the change internally
Make sure to take into account the opinion of all the affected stakeholders from the
very beginning. You should get their detailed feedback before changing a process in
any way, especially if this change influences or threaten interconnected processes.
An integrated and all-embracing approach to sales process change will help you
avoid and forestall possible misunderstandings and contradictions that may arise.
What’s more important, it will allow you to find the most effective way of making the
change while considering stakeholders’ preferences.
Overcoming the
7 steps to painless
sales process
4. Clearly identify the change to be made
As soon as you managed to identify the process to be dysfunctional, you should
think through every detail of the new one. It is very important to start with building
a visual process scheme to avoid some inaccuracies appearing only during the new
process implementation.
5. Declare a clean line of the change
The next step should be the definition of a clean line that will help you categorize the
data as “value before change” and “value after change”. Basically, a clean line is a
specific point in time that serves as a benchmark of process change, which will help
you later to conduct an analysis on the change results.
6. Execute the Change
After completing all the aforementioned steps, you can proceed with the change
execution. Armed with the most modern technology, it will not take much time
for you to materialize your plans making sure you get the maximum results.
A comprehensive BPM solution will enable you to streamline the existing processes
and change them on the go.
7. Analyze, optimize and sustain
After the change is implemented, results should be measured and analyzed. Was the
change effective? Were the source or sources of variation and process bottlenecks
eliminated? This insights can be used to further improve the process, and, most
importantly, control the sales process. This will help you maintain an ongoing change
and faster adapt to the changing behavioral customer patterns.
of sales teams say limited insight into issues
are managing business processes
until it’s too late / lack of timely insight into
the sales process creates ineffective internal
through document management systems.
processes. (
Siloed customer
data causes a
roadblock to sales
and overall better
The number of applications used by the typical business is staggering. Even at the small
business level, the average is 14.3, as reported by Intermedia. Not surprisingly, when we
look at the enterprise-level that number jumps substantially to just under 500 according to
The majority of your sales reps would fight for each and every app proving their
effectiveness and irreplaceability in their daily workflow despite the huge problem
that arises with app abundance — siloes. It is almost impossible to consolidate all
the customer data if each piece of data is kept in a separate application, therefore
preventing the reps from seeing the full picture.
The work of all the company departments – sales, marketing, service, IT, and other —
should be properly aligned to get the best effect of Big Data availability.
Data-driven decisions are only possible if all your teams have access to the same
information. Moreover, centralizing the customer data in one environment will allow
managers to track employee performance and accurately forecast sales volume.
of companies’ data is dark - data that is
By 2020, that number of dark data
generated but not used. (
will be 93%. (IBM)
Overcoming the
the data silo
The convergence of data, devices and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence are
making the vision a plausible outcome for businesses undergoing Digital Transformation,
which also means breaking down the data silos, and aligning your core business units.
Overcoming this problem requires a clear plan but thankfully, intelligent technology has
matured and is here to help.
1. Understand where your data silos come from
With digital transformation being the main business trend lately, businesses digitized
the information, which only made the challenge of identifying the data silos more
complicated. The majority of sales reps got used to working within their silos, so
detecting them will not be an easy task. Data silo problems may appear due to the
many factors: lack of IT staff to integrate it, data incompatibility or inaccuracies,
app proliferation, lack of time for data aggregation or outdated technology used to
consolidate it.
2. Define long-run objectives
Think about your long-run objectives to understand how to efficiently get rid
of data silos. If your main purpose is to build a strong sales team that is capable
of making accurate data-backed decisions, you are to equip your sales reps with
a comprehensive tool able to help them. Obviously, you may think that building
proper infrastructure takes much time, money and effort, but with modern
technology, you’ll understand that the complexity of this task is dramatized.
Overcoming the
the data silo
3. Profile your unstructured data
Start with profiling and segmenting the existing customer data to understand what
data you have as of now, its location and accessibility, and get a clearer overview of the
scope of further work. It is vital to understand that if the data was exported to some
offline storage, its value is lost as it becomes available to the limited amount of sales
reps, and this is the way silo appears. By using cloud applications with AI capabilities
that are capable of orchestrating various apps with multiple data sources, you can avoid
this kind of a problem.
4. Encourage cross-department communication
Some employers underestimate the importance of communication within the sales team
and between different departments, though it is one of the most widespread reason of
data silos. The access to the same information in real time will significantly improve reps’
individual performance and will positively influence the overall sales results. By using
a unified platform for communication across the entire organization, companies can
streamline internal communication. Making each department aware of companywide
goals you can begin to clear up unintentional data silos.
of CEOs are concerned about the quality
of respondents are overwhelmed by data, and
of the data they’re basing decisions on.
while 81% agreed that data should be at the center
of decision-making, only 31% have adjusted their
operations accordingly. (Forbes)
Low user adoption
rates for sales
While the right technology provides sales teams with visibility into deals and the
customer lifecycle, sales reps often regard these apps as hurdles to active selling time.
User adoption of the new sales technology totally determines the success or the failure
of the project.
Today, sales reps are also a part of the digitally-native community that want to work in
the same way that they live outside of the office — fast, with instant access to data, be
mobile, intuitive, simple, and eye catchy. This is why organizations that want to maintain
the user-friendliness across the entire IT environment must consider deploying the
corresponding sales technology, which is easy to implement and ready to use right away.
The risks of low user adoption:
Wasted financial investment
of senior executives
Lost data
explained that their biggest
challenge was getting their
Low productivity
staff to use the software.
(Really Simple Systems)
Toxicity within teams
Low user engagement
of sales teams rate
improving their use
CRM initiatives have a
of sales technology as one
staggering 63% failure.
(Merkle Group)
of their most important sales
objectives over the next
12-18 months.
Overcoming the
Keys strategies
to facilitate user
adoption and
embrace the
With the right strategies and technology facilitating user adoption, sales leaders can
motivate their reps to embrace the change quickly and fully.
1. Outline the value of the new technology
Before you roll out the new technology, think: what will sales reps get out of this?
Hammer down the core benefits specific to reps such as better analytics and time
savings, and emphasize these during training to get a buy-in from management.
2. Get teams involved early on
Often business roll out the new technology without any or minimal training or internal
marketing. Drumming up excitement and support can help get the necessary end-user
feedback on the early stages of the implementation thus giving insight into how the
new tech blends into your environment. Early team involvement can also get you tech
advocates on the early stages of the journey.
3. Don’t overwhelm sales reps
Pick the handful of features of the new tech that are critical for salespeople, and roll
those out first. As reps get more comfortable with the system, you can release new
features incrementally and deepen their adoption.
4. Make sure the sales technology is under the same hood with
other tech at your organization
Implementing a technology that will act as another data silo is not the best strategy in
2018. Whether this is a sales automation software or any other app, it should feature
powerful integration capabilities so that you can get a complete picture of core business
operations, not a separate department. What’s more, with a platform like bpm’online,
organizations can integrate their whole app infrastructure to act like a single unit
enabling the real-time data sharing.
Digital businesses change the competitive landscape. Unforeseen and frequent
change has become the new normal in business today, and sales organizations
must become more resilient, adaptive and creative. By embracing adaptive
change your sales team can emerge with more efficiency and a competitive edge.
Obviously, it is impossible to drive innovation without a right technology to support
the transformational initiatives. Intelligent and highly customizable platforms like
bpm’online can help your organization accelerate revenue growth by aligning data,
processes, and teams enabling them to better connect with digital native customers
and rapidly adapt.
Bpm’online is a global business software company leading in the space of business process
automation and CRM. The company has been highly recognized as a market leader by key industry
analysts. Its intelligent platform accelerates sales, marketing, service and operations for thousands of
customers and hundreds of partners worldwide.
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