6 Steps to Customer Engagement and Sales Efficiency

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Key Takeaways

  • Pessimism is on the rise, and sales organizations are experiencing longer and more failed deal cycles.
  • AI-powered sales forecasting helps sales leaders make data-driven decisions, increase sales efficiency, and create proactive strategies.
  • Intelligent automation can increase revenue, save time, eliminate manual processes, and reduce errors.

Sales efficiency and pipeline health are top-of-mind for growth-focused business leaders today. With pessimism on the rise, sales organizations are experiencing longer — and more failed — deal cycles. As both businesses and individuals make more discerning buying decisions, it’s important to prioritize increasing customer engagement and sales efficiency.

Six Steps to Optimize the Sales Process

The organizations that optimize sales efficiency do so by employing the right tools and leveraging them effectively. Adapting your sales strategy starts with focusing on the right opportunities. It requires visibility to keep your team members accountable. These six steps will prepare your team to be successful in difficult selling environments.

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Identify customers that are most likely to purchase from you. This includes leveraging your existing customer base. By targeting your ideal buyers and top-tier customers, you can generate quality interest instead of spinning your wheels.

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Make sure each member of your sales team knows who they are personally responsible for and hold them accountable. Implement a comprehensive activity tracking process in your CRM and tie actions to a campaign for easy reporting.

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Update your organization’s messaging and content to be relevant in today’s market conditions. What does your ideal buyer care about? What are their top concerns? How can you position yourself at the right time in front of the right audience?

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Ensure each member of your team is involved and completing enough sales activity to reach your sales goals. Dynamic reports and visual dashboards, for example, are a great way to measure progress and efforts.

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Implement forecasting and other sales metrics that make it very clear to the whole team if the organization is on pace with your set goals. As the saying goes, what gets measured, gets managed. Use your data to ensure you’re managing to the right areas.

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Increase your sales efficiency and effectiveness through real-time coaching and participation in sales calls, deals, and strategy sessions. Regular stand-ups are a great internal tactic to keep everyone on the same page and moving forward in the same direction.

Improve Sales Efficiency with Forecasting

Using sales forecasting reduces uncertainty and leads to increased responsiveness. It also acts as a mitigation measure by highlighting potential problem areas proactively. Using data to uncover obstacles makes them easier to avoid. Additionally, sales forecasting enables easier decision making by aggregating pertinent data. Sales leaders can feel more confident about the direction they are leading their team because they’re making data-backed decisions.

However, in order to generate and interpret sales forecasts accurately, you need the right tools.

Without a CRM and consistent data inputs, sales forecasting can be both unreliable and unscalable. CRMs like Salesforce and Microsoft D365 Sales can leverage AI technology to improve forecast accuracy, predict results, and track your sales team’s performance.

Regardless of your solution, the data you use to build your forecasts needs to be consistent and reliable. Without the right sales processes and inputs in place to combine sales activity, closed won opportunities, and aggregate that information against marketing campaigns and tactics, you’ll never have the visibility and access you want out of your sales pipeline.

You can use the following forecasting reports and performance indicators to drive better sales results.

  • Einstein Prediction:

    Using leading AI, Salesforce Einstein’s can generate a prediction graph for your sales team’s forecasted deals this month, calculate the median predicted amount for each manager’s team, and then provide a performance summary graph to visualize goal completion.

  • D365 Forecasting:

    Embedded Power BI reports and dashboards connect with D365 Sales data to create sales pipeline reports showing most sold products by sales stage, territory and forecast ratio. The report also includes forecasted KPIs, enabling sales managers to analyze their team’s pipeline performance. Built-in Copilot AI features in Power BI such as fluctuation and distribution help sales managers identify root causes in changes to KPIs like close rates, product revenue, and discounting rates.

  • Prediction to Quota Gap:

    This metric highlights the difference between the predicted forecast for your organization and your current sales quota, so you can “manage to the gap” with your sales team more effectively.

  • Closed to Quota Gap:

    This measures the difference between your team’s closed deals and their current sales quota, so you can see who is falling behind and may need additional support to reach sales goals. This can be particularly effective when combined with sales activity reports to see if certain tactics are driving better results.

In short, with the right key performance indicators and technology in place, you can take the burden of predictions and forecasting off your shoulders so that you can make strategic decisions that enhance the customer experience and support your sales team.

The Role Automation Plays in Sales Efficiency

Automation can help sales and marketing teams do more with less by taking over tedious, manual processes and enabling sales professionals to spend more time building relationships with customers and prospects. Entire sales cycles can be automated, from creating an opportunity in your CRM to closing won and all of the steps in between, including monitoring RFPs and generating proposals.

If the scope of automating your entire sales cycle seems too big, it’s important to remember that small automations can have a big impact, too.

Automating quote-to-cash fulfillment can have a big impact on revenue — over half of finance leaders say improving the quote-to-cash process could increase their revenue by at least 5%.

Additionally, simply automating contracts and invoice processing can save time, reduce manual errors, and eliminate inefficient paper pushing processes.

Watch the video below to see an end-to-end automation of an invoice approval and entry process.

Ready to get started with intelligent automation in your organization? Our team of professionals can help you build a platform that engages your customers and creates resiliency in your sales.

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