Salesforce Easy Start Refills a Dry Sales Funnel
G2 Performance, a national marching band uniform supply company based in Delaware, had a common sales funnel problem: How do you keep your salespeople focused on sales activities that return the most orders while at the same time filling the top of the sales funnel for nurturing future customers?
G2 specializes in designing and producing high-performance marching band uniforms for high schools and colleges, treating band members as “Marching Athletes.” G2 had a deep database of existing, past, and potential customers, but they lacked the time and tools to organize and prioritize these contacts for their salespeople. Although their customer service was excellent in handling product ordering, tracking, and delivery efficiently, they lacked a systematic approach for managing how to manage and upsell products to existing customers while farming new prospects.
G2 had been using Salesforce for a year-and-a-half, but the company wasn’t seeing any ROI. Sales staff weren’t inputting enough lead data to be useful and prospective targets weren’t organized, prioritized, and tracked properly to feed Salesforce dashboards. On top of that, sales felt that management was not truly committed to consistent reporting. Opportunities inevitably fell through the cracks, and they had no way of even knowing how many opportunities were being ignored.
Once G2 realized that getting the most out of Salesforce was going to require some effort, they asked The Alias Group to optimize Salesforce in their “Easy Start” customization program to bridge the gap between their ROI expectations and their real-world experiences. Salesforce customization means organizing leads, matching unique sales terminology to Salesforce’s opportunity stages, and developing seamless reporting to analyze and measure sales performance.
During on-boarding, Alias focuses solely on a company’s existing sales processes and what has—and hasn’t—worked in the past. We also break down what is unique about a company’s sales processes and find the holes in their processes. After gaining a complete understanding of G2’s sales processes and lead management goals, Alias structured G2’s Salesforce CRM instance to match the business structure, the product categories, the lead categories, and the “opportunity stages” throughout the sales funnel. Customizing in this case meant using the right language and lingo, mirroring sales staff processes inside Salesforce, and developing dashboards and reports that drove participation and returned insights.
Alias focused on making certain input fields mandatory and then following through with periodic review of reports based on those fields.
These are the four pillars of that feedback loop:
Input Lead Source: Understanding where leads are coming from is a critical component for growth.
Populate Account Information/Profile Fields: Creating a structure on the types of questions sales staff should ask enables sales to develop more efficient and successful strategies.
Create Opportunities: With structure in the opportunity process, shortening that sales cycle becomes part of your culture.
Analyze Metrics: Meaningful reports and dashboards identify where sales staff are doing well and where they need help.
(More on these four critical processes here.)
Once everyone was on board with the new processes, G2 was able to realize a number of key advantages with a dramatic uptick in opportunities, leads, and tracking. The reports and dashboards that Alias created enabled the sales team to remain organized and focused on the right activities.
Both sales staff and management were now able to visualize the fruits of their efforts. G2 immediately gained customized fields, more meaningful stages, targeted sales efforts, and visibility into leads and contacts. The company now had real-time visibility into the progress they were making in connecting with leads, managing the pipeline, converting prospects, and discovering what strategies were working.
Now that the G2 staff have a proven, repeatable sales process and a refined Salesforce instance, they are seeing definitive results of increased sales and shortened sales cycles. As a matter of routine, they are developing new business with an organized lead development process that fills the top of their sales funnel continuously.
G2 Performance Founder Vaughan Sawdon was pleased with the quick turnaround success of the four-week project. “Alias was upfront and honest,” says Vaughan. “President Chris Dohl explained: ‘You don’t need a Cadillac; you just need Salesforce customized to your sales process.’” Vaughan points out that the company’s Salesforce instance now matches the 14-step sales process that is unique to G2, and how managing their client database has gotten easier with weekly check-ins. “Account visibility allows us to address needs of stalled sales process and pinpoint assistance immediately,” Vaughan says.