Like a lot of businesses, your sales team is at the core of everything you do. Finding new business, getting them over the line, maintaining relationships and plenty more. On paper, sales should function like a fine-tuned, well-oiled machine, but under the hood you may realise there are cracks in the engine that can cause unwanted friction for your team.
What is friction? Well, the exact definition in a physical sense is;
The force that makes it difficult for one object to slide along the surface of another or to move through a liquid or gas.
The by-product of this is the slowing of motion and usually, excess heat.
Translate that to your sales team, and it's more-or-less the same. Sales friction means anything that creates challenges for your sales team that can slow productivity, processes and create tension between team members, potentially leading to heated conflicts. As a team leader, having your team working in a hostile and frustrating environment is the last thing you need.
What does sales friction actually look like?
Friction in sales can look different from business to business, but usually there are some telltale signs like the following:
1. Bad alignment between departments i.e sales, marketing, and services
Alignment between departments is vital to create an effective and seamless business. It encourages collaboration, team work, and understanding within the business. Without alignment, departments don't communicate, work independently, and work towards their own goals. As you can imagine, this can lead to a very divided team.
2. Lack of sufficient training and upskilling
How can sales sell your product if they don't understand everything about it? How can marketing succeed if they don't truly know they market they're in and the people you're trying to attract? How can services deal with queries and complaints if they aren't equipped with the knowledge of the products, business, and employees they helping. Seeing a trend here?
3. Poor and unclear processes
I think I talk to this person? I think that work is owned by that employee? Whose responsibility is that? Is it marketing or sales? No one likes feeling around in the dark, fumbling, trying to find their way.
4. Difficult to use CRM
Difficult to use, hidden costs, functionalities that are all over the place, relentless upkeep. Sometimes your CRM is just frustrating to use. No two ways about it.
Now, having a clear sales process is vital. It creates a smooth process for everyone in your sales team to follow, creating clear guidelines and expectations. If your sales process is unclear and lacks proper methodologies, this is where friction can start to creep in and cause problems.
Nobody wants to work in an environment that is plagued by friction, so you should take the time to clearly map out your sales process before you start to address any of the pain points. Once you've done this, you can focus on creating a 'frictionless' sales team.
Identifying and fixing your friction points
Understanding the different types of friction is key to being able to identifying where your problems are and how and why they occur - which is the first step you need to take to start to create change.
Once you've identified where your problem lies, you can create the right strategy to change this.
- Bad alignment between teams? Review the process of how your business works and try to iron out the kinks.
- Lack of training and upskilling? Change your induction process to make sure your new employees are starting out with the knowledge they need to thrive and continue to upskill them when and where you can.
- Poor process within in your sales team? Sit down with everyone from your team, management and sales reps, and listen to all ideas on how you can create a streamlined process.
Finding out what you need depends on your business, but taking the time to identify and fix your problems will be time well invested.
Addressing your CRM
The CRM you use can greatly impact the friction caused in your team and the last thing you want is a Frankenstein CRM causing this.
You may be asking what a Frankenstein CRM is and the answer is quite simple. A Frankenstein CRM is a CRM that was a built for a specific purpose but under the ever-changing digital landscape and the dynamic needs of modern CRM users, they were forced to change and rushed to get features in. When they couldn't keep up, they started acquiring companies and bolting pieces on, creating a clunky and hard to use CRM. Read up on our blog all about this to learn more.
So when you have a hard to use CRM, what are the problems this can cause?
- Sales leaders needing to continuously ask their sales reps to enter data into your CRM.
- Sales leaders need to cobble together forecasts from different systems.
- Sales leaders need to pester sales ops about getting data or new fields into the system.
- Sales leaders are at odds with marketing over who’s living up to promises.
- Sales leaders are scrambling for the right information for meetings with their bosses.
The answer to this is Hubspot's new Sales Hub Enterprise. Say goodbye to having to settle for a CRM that’s powerful or a CRM that’s easy to use. Sales Hub Enterprise is built for all — giving sales leaders, sales ops, and sales reps the control, flexibility, and insights they need to succeed.
Here's a snapshot of what makes up the new HubSpot product:
- A powerful, scalable CRM database
- Sales acceleration tools that let reps efficiently manage their day and their outreach
- CPQ tools to help you master the second half of the sales process and close more deals
- Reporting to tie everything together and understand what’s happening in your business.
In unison with reviewing the processes in your company and addressing any friction points in the journey, a change in your CRM could see your business really start to thrive, without friction holding your team back.
If you're in the process of looking at all the CRM software specs and features, while also cross referencing their importance and all the pricing options - we've created a free CRM comparison to solve this for you!
Download our free CRM comparison tool today!