Between September 2020 to July 2021, the Sales Funnel Acceleration Assessment conducted by Peter Strohkorb Advisory surveyed over 200 sales professionals and business leaders across Australia.

Here are key insights from the study.

1. A Clear Brand Promise.

People often make a buying decision with their heart, and then try to justify it with logic afterwards. In sales emotions matter and it is important that we send out a very clear message to our prospects about our customers’ experience.

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60% of respondents do not have a clear brand promise.

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2. Well-defined Products And Services

Sales organisations have trouble articulating to their customers exactly what they are trying to sell to them. Half of all respondents do not have a clear definition of their products or services which poses the question – are we confident that our Prospects and Customers understand our products and services right from the start?

Half of all respondents do not have a clear definition of their products or services.

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3. A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) And Killer Business Introduction (KBI).

Your value proposition must be more than a mere motherhood statement, such as: “We really care”. Instead, it needs to be hugely credible and must easily distinguish your business from that of your competitors, and you need to be able to back your statement up with evidence.

80% of respondents do not have an effective selling proposition with which to attract and engage their ideal customers. This often creates a huge top-of-the funnel problem with insufficient sales leads and poor conversion rates.

80% of respondents do not have an effective selling proposition.

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What is your Unique Selling Proposition? I.e. can we clearly state what makes our business and its offerings unique, and why a buyer should absolutely be interested in what we do? What makes us and our business different from that of our competitors?

4. Who is my ideal customer?

Just under half of all respondents are unsure of who their ideal customers are. This often results in poor prospecting results and wasted lead generation efforts, leading to frustrations and low morale.

Just under half of all respondents are unsure of who their ideal customers are.

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There is little point in engaging with the wrong kind of prospects. You are better off engaging with the right kind instead.

How clear are we on what our ideal customers look like, in terms of industry sector, size of their business, their geographic location, job title, their challenges, their opportunities, their ambitions and motivations, etc.?

5. Where do I find an ideal prospect?

More than 60% of respondents are unsure of WHERE to find their ideal clients. This creates problems with prospect engagement, poor sales quota attainment and loss of market share.

More than 60% of respondents are unsure of WHERE to find their ideal clients.

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6. Access and engage the effectively.

A combined total of more than 80% of respondents do not know HOW to engage their ideal customers in a sales conversation. This is THE KEY CHALLENGE IN SALES TODAY. Ineffective prospect engagement kills your pipeline, waists your sales leads and creates an army of unimpressed prospects for your brand.

More than 80% of respondents do not know HOW to engage their ideal customers in a sales conversation.

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Once you know WHO your ideal customers are, and WHERE you can find them, the question turns to HOW to engage them in a meaningful way that draws them into a sales conversation.

7. Skills to eliminate competitors

More than 70% of respondents say they are ill-equipped to fend off their competitors. This results in too many lost deals that should have been won, unpredictable forecasting and messy pipelines.

More than 70% of respondents say they are ill-equipped to fend off their competitors.

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Let’s say you successfully engaged with a prospect. You are in the running now to win this deal. However, very rarely will you be the only seller in this race. Instead, you will most likely have to beat off any number of competitors.

How good are we at fending off our competitors, and ending up our Buyers’ one and only choice?

8. Using a sales proposal process to close more deals

There is often a degree of confusion between the sales proposal content and the sales proposal process. Sure, what goes into a sales proposal is important, but the way it is presented is also critical to its success.

More than 70% of respondents say they do not have a sales proposal process to help them win more business.

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9. A superior pre, during and post-purchase customer experience

Most businesses understand how mission-critical the customer experience is to the success of a business at every step of the way. But do we really know how well, or how poorly, we are doing in that regard?

70% of respondents don’t seem to be fully focused on their customers.

Is this something they just don’t take seriously in their business? Is it a matter of culture? Is it a matter of leadership? Are the wrong KPIs and metrics driving this behaviour?

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10. Keep customers loyal, win repeat business and to turn them into advocates

The experience our customers have with us does not end with a purchase or a transaction. The post-sale experience is critical insofar as it will determine whether they will choose to come back to do more business with us, or not.

Just under 60% of respondents admit that they do not have the ability to turn their turn customers into repeat customers and advocates who refer new business.

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Will your customers rave about you, or will they rant? Is their experience a pleasant one that will make them recommend you to their friends and colleagues? Or is it one that will more likely make them warn people off doing business with you?

Conclusion

No business should rest on its laurels, there is always room for improvement.

Real leaders are not afraid to admit they don’t know something and that they can always learn something new.

Real leaders are not afraid to ask for external help, advice and guidance.

The report clearly shows that there are enormous untapped opportunities for improvement, to lift sales, to give customers a better experience, and to grow the business.

What are you going to do about it?

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Peter Strohkorb is an international B2B Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Expert, specialising in the Tech, IT and Services Sector. Peter’s vision is a world where organisations enjoy sustainable sales growth by maximising the effectiveness of their customer-facing resources through his structured Sales and Marketing productivity framework. Over more than 20 years in executive Sales and Marketing roles for some of the largest technology corporations on the planet Peter witnessed the waste, cost and personal frustrations that occur on both sides when Sales and Marketing teams do not collaborate as well as they could. This personal experience fired his passion to create his The OneTEAM Method™, which is both his solution to this problem and the title of his first book. In December 2019 his book was voted #33 of The 88 Books all Marketers should read. Peter is currently working on his follow-up book, titled “Smarketing™: Sell smarter, not harder” to be published in 2020. Apart from being a successful consultant and executive mentor Peter is also a popular corporate speaker, MC and facilitator, a guest lecturer in the Executive MBA program at the Sydney Business School and a popular subject matter expert in both traditional and online media. Peter also runs a specialist sales and marketing thought leadership forum on his YouTube channel and through his webinars. He has received industry awards for his Sales & Marketing Assessment tool, his thought leadership content and for his research into the state of Sales & Marketing Collaboration. Peter holds a “Mini MBA” in Marketing and Management from the prestigious Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) in Sydney. He is also a graduate at the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Sydney and is a professional board director. Peter lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family. He is looking forward to hearing from you.