White or brown bread? Rent or buy a house? Dog or cat? Exciting new job or in-house promotion? In our everyday lives, we’re faced with an endless barrage of decisions. As you’ve probably experienced, too many decisions can feel overwhelming and is likely to make you not want to decide at all. If every decision feels like life-or-death, then you can go completely blank, letting opportunities pass you by.
One of the biggest mistakes we see in struggling businesses is a focus on lead generation over lead nurturing. Lead generation is finding new potential clients and getting them interested in your company, while lead nurturing is using a series of milestones to convert those leads into paying clients. Both processes are vital, but if you throw all your efforts into finding new clients and none into talking to them and cultivating trust, you won’t have much to show for your efforts.
Being responsible for a sales team can seem like a thankless job. No matter how many deals you close, there’s always more to do and bigger numbers to hit. And that doesn’t even take into account the strategic elements and the onboarding and support you do for new clients.
As a business owner setting up your sales team for the first time, you have a unique opportunity – you get to create efficient systems from the beginning, and avoid the problem many of your competitors face. Cumbersome sales pipelines ingrained in company culture are expensive to change and cause inefficiencies. You can capitalise on those inefficient systems by offering your leads and customers a superior experience.
In a previous article, we’ve already covered the common sales funnel mistakes businesses make. These are assuming all leads are equal, confusing leads, and a cumbersome onboarding process. In this article, we look at three more common sales pipeline mistakes that could be costing you precious leads and hampering business growth.
This checklist is designed to help you organise your sales process and ensure you have all the tools in place to create a streamlined experience for leads and new customers. Depending on the type of business, you will choose only the stages that are required.
As a business, if you’re extending credit to your customers, then you’re operating based on the trust that they’ll pay you in due course. Unfortunately, some companies won’t be able to meet their duties and will default on their payments.
When we talk about visibility in your sales pipeline, we mean the ability to dive in at any point along the process and see what’s going on. It’s like driving a car at night – you’ve got to put your headlights on, otherwise you could be heading right toward a cliff and not even realise it. Knowing what’s going on in your business is invaluable. Why? Let’s find out.
When you uncover something new in your business that can give you a competitive edge, it feels a little bit like being an archaeologist, brushing aside layers of sand to reveal glittering jewels.
Have you ever wondered how much time a sales rep actually spends selling? Since 1990, Pace Productivity in Toronto, Canada, has been conducting studies on knowledge workers. They have some interesting stats to report about how a typical sales rep spends their day. We’ll outline some of the results below, but if you want to know more, you can see their findings here.
A smooth, seamless onboarding experience leaves your brand new customers feeling supported and valued. If you give them convenience, professionalism, and trustworthiness (especially with their banking/account information) they’ll reward you with years of loyalty.
In business, you need to keep moving. Forward momentum is vital for growth and success. Nowhere is this more true than in your sales pipeline, where cadence is what matters if you want to get ahead.
As a company who supplies goods/services to other businesses, your sales pipeline can be particularly complicated. This article looks at the different stages of your sales pipeline and the common challenges and barriers to success that impact your business
Our sales team just want to get the account opened, they are there to look after the customer and make the sales happen. Too much time was being spent going between our accounts team and the customer. Tony Broome, CEO, Burns & Ferrall
Last week we rolled out additional features to achieve what is referred to as an 'Enforceability Opinion' from our lawyers Kensington Swan. Essentially our mission has been to ensure that a 1Centre digital application is far superior for our Suppliers by way of enforceability if the unforeseen was to happen and a customer had to go to court. We have achieved this by implementing Electronic ID Verification, legal acknowledgement features, a print application function for all parties (Supplier, Applicant & Guarantors), and a lot of other smaller amends down to individual words - so no one has any doubt about what they are electronically signing or doing. All whilst maintaining a simple user experience.
"Digitising our Trade Credit Application Processes has enabled us to have instant visibility of customer prospects. Everyone involved can see exactly what's going on, creating efficiencies right across the business especially in the admin team. We've gone from a laborious process, to one that is faster and easier to manage, especially now that I have full visibility of the application prospects my sales team are generating" - Paul Baker
"As a Supplier this is very simple easy to follow. Such a basic process that saves our sales reps on the road paperwork, time and hassle. With the technology we all use every day its crazy that companies still use paper based old school applications and make the customer do all the work”
"We rate 1centre as the best in the business. It is a intuitive straight forward system and simple to implement. A great example of working smarter not harder. NED Collections feels extremely confident moving forward setting up or altering Trade Accounts. I have no issues recommending, you would be a fool not to get on board."
1Centre is bringing the ever increasing trend of digitization to the credit application world. With 1Centre, organizations can manage the entire lifecycle of credit applications digitally – information is updated from the relevant places (companies registers, for example) and the workflow around applications becomes completely visible. A supplier simply sends a prospective customer a link, and that customer can fill in the required forms online – with much of the data automatically being populated into the form.
No matter how big or small you are you’re not immune to debtors not paying what they owe you. Surprisingly, some businesses choose not to protect themselves when trading on credit, or don’t have the correct documentation or supporting Terms & Conditions. Not surprisingly these businesses tend to be smaller where resources are limited and or their customer base isn’t dynamic – or growing at a rapid pace. Here are some of the reasons why, that we’ve uncovered:
Firstly - What is Trade Credit? The general consensus - trade credit is an agreement where a customer can purchase goods on account (without paying cash), paying the supplier at a later date. Usually when the goods are delivered, a trade credit is given for a specific number of days – 30, 60 or 90. Managing trade credit account processes believe it or not comes with an array of different risks outside of credit. These include lost opportunities due to Sales Reps dropping off trade applications never to be seen again and poor customer experience due to time delay in processing applications – some accounts can take months to open depending on the supplier.
Research shows that it can cost up to 30 times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. It pays to stay very close to your customers, so you know their exact needs, today and tomorrow. Your aim is to be irreplaceable as their supplier.