One of the most stressful things a sales team or sales-driven organisation can face is a sudden, unexplained drop in sales and leads.
While some seasonal changes in lead volumes and sales performance is to be expected, it still bites when you see your numbers drop suddenly and unexpectedly.
But why is this the case? You’ve developed a strong sales enablement strategy, have a great inbound sales team, clearly defined buyer personas, and your marketing campaigns are running smoothly.
However, many organisations don’t have the processes or tools for deeper investigation into sudden drops in sales performance or lead volumes. For many, finding the source of the problem is a daunting task.
In this guide, we will look at some common reasons why you’re experiencing poor sales performance and a drop in leads, why it’s essential to fix it, and what you can do about it.
Poor sales performance and a drop in leads are problems you have to solve. Without solid sales and a healthy pipeline of new leads, your business will struggle to survive.
But before you can take steps to solve a problem, you first need to understand the reasons why the problem exists. To help you diagnose your poor sales performance and drop in leads, we’ve listed some common reasons why you’re sitting with this problem in the first place.
The most obvious reason for a slower sales month is that you’re just not seeing the same traffic volume through your primary sales channels. With fewer leads, you’ll naturally see a drop in sales even if you keep your conversion rate up.
It’s estimated that 36% of small to mid-sized businesses are making their sales on the internet via their websites. If you’re using paid and organic search to drive traffic to your website, various tools can help you analyse why you are experiencing a drop in sales or leads.
Google Analytics can help you understand trends in your organic search traffic and help you interrogate why specific metrics are seeing a drop.
If you’re using paid search to drive leads to your website, you can use Google Ads to track changes in your share of search impressions for your keywords, changes in budget that may point to increased competition for keywords, and more. By analysing this data you may find some clues as to why your traffic volumes have dropped.
If the problem is not the volume of traffic to your website but the conversion rate once your prospects have visited your site, other issues may be at play.
Have you changed any of your key pages recently? Did you update the landing page copy or tweak how you position your solution?
Even a slight change in what information greets new prospects when landing on your site can hugely impact your conversion rates. In the best cases, such changes will increase your conversion rates as prospects now receive more relevant information that closely meets their needs.
However, the opposite is often true. That great idea you had to refresh your landing page copy to boost your conversion rates has led to confusion or disengagement from your prospects. The new content simply isn’t answering the question your prospect is trying to solve, leading to drop-off and lost sales opportunities.
If you’ve made any recent changes to the landing page copy and now experience a drop in sales, consider reverting to the previous copy and see what impact that has.
Sometimes a drop in sales performance is simply due to customers and prospects not finding the information they need to make a purchasing decision. Suppose the type of information customers seek is not readily available. In that case, they’ll likely shift their attention to another product or service that can more clearly meet their needs.
Market changes can also impact the way you talk about your product. For example, if your product helps with business productivity but companies are suddenly looking for something to enable collaboration due to a switch to remote work, you’ll fall out of consideration. This is because the way you speak about your product doesn’t meet the now-changed demands of prospective customers.
Take a closer look at your content marketing strategy and use analysis tools to better understand what information your prospects need. Then adapt your strategy to ensure you deliver the information you provide is of the highest relevance at every stage of the buyer journey.
Few things drive away prospects in this age of instant gratification than taking too long to respond to a customer or prospect query. Lead response time directly affects sales: nearly eight in ten sales go to the company that responds first to an inbound lead.
Do you have benchmarks for inbound lead response times and tools to measure and track your team’s lead response times?
The ideal time to respond to an inbound lead is five minutes. After five minutes, your odds of connecting and qualifying that lead drop by a massive 80%. And yet, industry data shows that the average time it takes a B2B inbound sales team to respond to a new lead is a mighty 42 hours.
Sales teams using email response management tools, such as timetoreply, can set and track custom SLAs for inbound lead response times, track inbound lead volumes, better understand peak times and nudge sales reps who are taking too long to respond to an inbound lead. This closes the gap between your prospect reaching out and your sales team connecting with that lead, significantly improving your chances of converting that lead.
Make sure you have correctly set sales targets. Sales targets should be realistic and attainable. Without attainable goals, sales teams may feel defeated before they have even begun.
What tools can you use to empower your team to reach their goals? In the age of technology, you cannot afford to leave sales up to manual processes. Make use of an email management system to empower your teams.
Slow response times can negatively affect your sales performance. Ensure you track your current email response times and review them against industry benchmarks.
If you’ve seen a drop in leads and sales, you’ll want to take immediate steps to resolve any issues and get your hit rate back to its peak.
One of the quickest ways to boost your sales success is to improve your lead and sales response time.
Still not convinced? Here are three compelling reasons why you want to improve your lead and sales response time:
As noted earlier in this guide, companies that reply quickly to inbound sales leads are almost certain to close more sales than slower competitors.
A study found that companies that respond to a sales lead within an hour are up to seven times more likely to influence decision-makers. Those that took 24 hours to respond were 60x less successful than teams that responded in sixty minutes or less.
Focus on reducing your inbound lead response time to boost your sales success and fill that pipeline with hot leads.
Customer experience is the great differentiator of successful modern businesses. And few things leave customers smiling as much as quick, attentive service and fast response times to their queries.
Improving your lead and sales response time contributes to a great customer experience. With 86% of buyers saying they’re willing to pay more for a great customer experience and customers willing to spend up to 140% more after a positive experience, the benefits are clear.
Earlier in this guide, we briefly discussed the importance of optimising your primary sales channels. When you’re spending marketing dollars to reach and influence potential buyers, you want to make sure you make the most of it when they contact you.
A quick response to inbound sales helps you maximise your marketing spend and delivers a better return on investment than if you let people wait. The longer a prospect waits for one of your team to get back to them, the less likely it becomes that you’ll close that sale. And that’s just a waste of time and money.
timetoreply Ignite is purposely built for inbound sales teams. It is quick and easy to install and requires no change to standard workflows. With simple integrations to Microsoft Outlook and Google Workspaces, timetoreply Ignite is one of the best ways for companies to boost inbound sales revenue by beating competitors to the sales deal.
Sales teams that want to offer a responsive customer experience and optimise how they deal with email inbound leads should use timetoreply Ignite. Team managers can gain instant visibility over deal stages to identify potential bottlenecks. Team members can optimise their performance in real-time, including the number and cadence of customer touchpoints, to drive more revenue. Since timetoreply Ignite works with all major business email platforms, any sales team can deploy timetoreply Ignite to upgrade their response times and efficacy.
timetoreply Ignite offers a range of benefits and features to supercharge how your inbound sales teams handle leads. Access timetoreply Ignite’s detailed dashboard to:
Let’s get you started today, so you can have access to the email reporting analytics that will help optimise team performance.
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