How to Patch the Two Biggest Cracks in Your Sales Process

Discover how to eliminate the two primary issues that are slowly leaking revenue over time in your sales process—follow-ups and data hygiene— and how to patch them up. Read on for more.

How to Patch the Two Biggest Cracks in Your Sales Process
Do not index3
Do not index3
Created on
Apr 17, 2023 04:40 PM
Type of content
Ready to post?
Ready to post?
Final Draft Due
Do you remember hearing that Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme when you were a kid? Did you feel sad that “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again”?
Cracks are certainly destructive to eggs. But in sales processes they can be a little harder to spot — and can result in lost revenue.
After working with dozens of customers on improving their sales process execution, we’ve discovered two primary issues that are slowly leaking revenue over time —follow-ups and data hygiene — and how to patch them up.
Hoping to keep your sales processes successfully balanced (and not tumbling to their doom?). Here’s how to eliminate and fine-tune these two overlooked process areas.

Process Error #1: Follow-ups

Marketing, sales, and customer care are never one-and-done processes. They’re ongoing, and reps need to be prepared for constant flux and regular contact with prospects and clients. But more than half of salespeople never follow up with prospects if their initial phone calls or emails are ignored. Following up with leads — period — is critical, but team leaders and management should evaluate both timing and frequency of follow-ups to ensure their reps are successful.

Get the timing right

When it comes to follow-ups, timing really matters. A rep who responds within an hour is 60 times more likely to qualify that lead as a rep who waits 24 hours. That number is staggering. A day doesn’t sound like much time, but it sure makes a difference when you’re trying to qualify leads and move them through the pipeline.
Timing needs to be spelled out in your team playbook. Write down a precise timeline for when follow-ups happen — 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour. Choose a timeframe that makes sense for your team and test it out. Can you gauge a positive response as a result of this quick turnaround? If not, determine if the timeframe you set is actually being enforced. This could be an area where your process is shaky.
If you do see a positive result, terrific! Check in with your team leaders to ensure this timing continues. Or consider making another incremental change to quicken that response time. Every minute counts.

Find your frequency

In addition to nailing your timing, finding the right frequency for follow-ups matters too. It’s a delicate balance between staying front of mind and being in your face. While you don’t want to appear pushy, you also don’t want a prospect to forget about you.
By reaching out to multiple contacts multiple times, you can increase response rates by 160%. That means not just reaching out on several occasions but also deciding how long to wait between each contact. For products with higher price points, the lead time on a purchasing decision is likely to be on the longer side, so don’t follow up the next day before anyone’s had a chance to discuss your demo. A week is probably a better time frame.
Another thing to keep in mind with frequency is variety. Don’t limit yourself to one method of communication when you’re following up. Already emailed a prospect and left them a voicemail? Hit them up on LinkedIn or send a text message next time.

Process Error #2: Data hygiene

Data hygiene is the process of keeping your sales data up to date and accurate. Just like keeping your teeth brushed and flossed every day keeps cavities away, taking the time to tidy up your data makes your sales process a lot cleaner.

Input quality data

Step one to a sparkling sales process is data input. Your data is only as good as what your reps put into the CRM. But what sort of data do you need? Ultimately, you’re looking to qualify leads and move them through your sales pipeline.
According to LinkedIn, the top five ways that sales organizations use data are to:
  • select accounts to target
  • select industries to target
  • assess performance
  • select geolocations to target
  • define the buying committee
Armed with the right information, sales reps know who to approach about their product or service. By selecting particular characteristics, such as company size, industry, or location, leads are qualified or disqualified. That information must be entered into the CRM so reps can either continue to follow the trail of a hot lead or shut the door on prospects that don’t qualify.
But if that qualifying or disqualifying data doesn’t get entered, the sales process breaks down. Promising leads fall through the cracks, or reps waste time on leads that aren’t good fits. Instead of garbage in, garbage out, aim for accurate input, profitable output.

Manage your data

Access to correct data matters for decision-makers, but only a third of marketers actually feel they can rely on their CRM for accurate data to make those decisions. We all know that data isn’t static, however. Contacts change as people shift roles inside an organization, a company relocates to a new city, or a business expands internationally.
Start with an audit of your data. See what you’re collecting. Maybe you don’t need all the input fields you currently have. If a field doesn’t help you target the right leads, consider dropping it from your platform. You can also use an automated system to cleanse your data, e.g., finding duplicate email addresses and merging or removing duplicate records.
By updating your data and making data hygiene a regular part of your process, it’s easier to maintain contact and trust with your customers. Client trust is a foundational piece of your sales process — don’t let cracks form there as well.

Tighten up your process

Finding the loose seams in your process doesn’t need to be hard. Start by examining your team’s practices of follow-up timing and frequency as well as data hygiene and management. Then, stay on top of those processes with a revenue optimization tool like Gluework to proactively monitor your operations.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to speak to one of our experts today.

Get Our Latest Ebook - The Importance of Timely Sales Follow Up

How to boost your top of the funnel conversion with better execution.

Get Ebook
Aviv Bergman

Written by

Aviv Bergman

Co-Founder at Gluework and RevOps Expert