With marketing and sales often siloed off into separate departments, it’s easy to forget they share the same goal: to drive revenue for your company. Without strong marketing, sales teams risk wasting time on poor-quality leads, while a weak sales team makes it harder to capitalize on marketing success.
Depending on your industry, it can be hard and costly for your sales team to qualify every lead sent by the marketing team. For example, an enterprise-level B2C service may receive hundreds of leads each day. Since a sales rep needs to attempt contact, on average, eight times to reach a customer, it’s more cost-effective to focus on leads ready to make a purchase. However, determining who fits into that category is not always easy and can lead to many prospects slipping through the cracks.
It leaves the question of what to do when marketing generates more leads than your sales team can handle. How do you ensure you’re contacting the hottest leads? Through sales acceleration, teams can gather critical insights to help move leads through the sales process.
What Is Sales Acceleration?
Sales acceleration refers to any strategy or tool that pushes leads through your sales cycle with greater efficiency. Sales acceleration is designed to increase sales and marketing activity yield by cutting out or automating inefficient processes.
For most companies, sales acceleration involves implementing new technology, such as automation, AI, and data visualization, to drive more sales for the business. Overall, it’s about getting a lead to convert faster without putting more strain on your team.
Since businesses vary widely by industry, sales acceleration strategy can take many forms. For some, sales acceleration involves an overhaul of their entire sales process, including hiring and training. For others, it could mean adding software that makes the sales process go a bit faster.
How Does Sales Acceleration Fuel Business Growth?
When implemented effectively, sales acceleration will reduce your cost per acquisition, increase your team’s capacity, and shorten your sales cycle. By shortening your sales cycle, you free up your team to engage with more prospects more frequently, generating additional sales. This can mean the difference between revenue growth and stagnation for some businesses.
What Are the Sales Acceleration Solutions?
There are sales acceleration tools that solve all kinds of business problems. Whether you’re struggling with lead qualification, an overworked sales team, or messaging, there are numerous tools to streamline your sales process.
Buying is not a linear process. One day a customer could be desperate to switch cell phone carriers only to be distracted a few hours later. In some cases, it can take years for a customer to decide. If you are in sales, you want to make sure you reach leads when they are receptive to your message. There are many sales acceleration tools that can make it easier to find and reach qualified leads.
Lead scoring allows you to identify customers who are most interested in purchasing their products. Businesses assign numerical values to prospects based on their target audience, website activities, and other information collected from their website. For example, you may give a lead who’s viewed multiple pages of your website a higher score than one who left after a few seconds.
Businesses interested in using lead scoring can implement a system manually or try predictive lead scoring. Machine learning parses through thousands of data points in predictive lead scoring and picks out your best leads.
Sales reps spend a significant portion of their day writing emails to customers who never respond. Email tracking saves your sales team time by notifying them when a customer opens their email, which links they click on, and any attachments they’ve viewed.
Following up on prospects can be time-consuming, especially in the B2C vertical, where qualified leads overwhelm sales teams. Because new leads are constantly funneling into call centers, the average sales rep follows up two to three times before moving on to the next prospect.
Automation makes it easier for sales teams to follow up with customers. Instead of relying on their memory, sales reps can schedule emails or texts that follow up with prospects at a later date. Companies can even develop scripts for their sales team, reducing the time they spend writing.
Data Visualization and Analytics
Marketing works hard to gather insights that inform decision-making, but they aren’t always accessible to your sales team. You can highlight analytics most beneficial for your sales team through data visualization tools and display them in a visual, easy-to-understand format. Sales can then use that data to craft effective messaging for prospects, among other use cases.
Grow the capacity of sales through artificial intelligence. Now capable of emulating natural human speech, AI can analyze the interest level of simultaneous prospects based on their responses and forward the most qualified leads to sales agents.
How Do You Implement Sales Acceleration?
Understanding what sales acceleration is and why the solutions promote business growth is the first step of this process. The next step is applying the following strategies to covert leads with maximum efficiency.
Analyze Your Business
Before creating your sales acceleration strategy, determine weak points in your business through qualitative and quantitative research. You can measure performance based on hard data, but don’t forget to interview your sales team as well. Your team will be able to tell you how they spend their time, what frustrates them, and what they struggle with, allowing you to pinpoint opportunities for sales acceleration.
Next, diver deeper into your sales process, determine areas of improvement, and set concrete and measurable goals. For example, if you notice your sales team has a low email open rate, aim for a rate that exceeds industry standards. Ensure you can measure goal attainment through key performance indicators. KPIs worth noting include:
- Sales Cycle Length: The average time between the first touchpoint and close.
- Average Lead Response Time: The average amount of time it takes for your sales rep to follow up with a lead.
- Activity Ratios: The success rate of each sales activity. For example, the number of customers who fill out a form on your website.
Define Your Target Audience
You want your sales acceleration strategy to help, not hurt, your ability to reach your target audience. If your product or service is only applicable to certain population groups, like people over the age of 55, find a tool that helps you disqualify leads outside of your target audience.
Choose the Right Tools
You’ve determined what you want to achieve. Now decide how you want to achieve it. Implement solutions that advance your goals and integrate with pre-existing business tools. You may find numerous free sales acceleration tools, but your business problem may be best addressed through a paid solution.
Refine Based on Feedback
If your sales acceleration strategy involves a massive process overhaul, don’t be alarmed if your team gives a negative response. It takes time to get used to a new process. If your team still struggles after an adjustment period, consider refining your process based on their feedback.
You may also discover better-use cases for your technology as you learn more. Don’t be afraid to apply your new knowledge. With new technologies arriving daily, expect sales acceleration to be an ongoing process.
Sales Acceleration for Your B2C Enterprise
Accelerate business leads by using Aktify’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence platform. With Aktify, your business can have text conversations with thousands of sales prospects without your sales team lifting a finger. Contact Aktify for a demo to see how you can increase capacity and free up your sales team to focus on what matters most: closing sales.