Even though your sellers plan to hit quota each quarter, 54% of deals still never close. Slow, outdated sales tools and processes are still a main contributor to the problem, holding your sellers back from closing business. Worse, a manual sales process can push you out of consideration for a deal and offer your competitors an advantage.

A combination of manual tools, paper signatures, bad data and an incomplete tool stack can be the reasons why you lose business through the sales cycle. Resolving these roadblocks can free your sellers to focus on selling and provide a superior buying experience. If your competitors make the same changes before you, they will close business faster and keep you behind plan.

Reason 1 – Manual Tools and Tasks

Manual tasks – from data entry and note-taking to managing paperwork and wet signatures – slows down your sellers. Each task your sellers need to do by hand takes time away from selling and sets up another roadblock in the deal. If your competitors use this time to close before you, they can win more deals.

Replacing manual sales tasks with automated solutions is the highest value change you can make. At the foundation, a CRM will keep selling data organized and easily accessible, replacing spreadsheets and paper notes. Other tools, such as eSignature technology, email automation and analytics, replace time-consuming or difficult tasks. Automating as much of the process as possible gives time back to your sellers to reach more contacts or focus on closing activities.

Reason 2 – Paperwork Actually on Paper

Technology that automatically manages paperwork to signature cuts time to close deals and makes signing simple for buyers. When your competitors leverage eSignature technologies, they offer buyers a convenient, well-managed process that gives them an edge. With an estimated 89 percent of businesses leveraging only customer experience as their competitive advantage, you cannot afford to have your prospects struggle to review and sign.

eSignature technologies can integrate into your sales tool stack, so that sellers can trigger a new document and track process right from the CRM. Each step of the process can be tracked and automated, sending reminders to buyers to sign and alerts to sellers when delays happen. Sellers win back more time to complete other selling activities, and buyers are delighted with a friendly process to close.

Reason 3 – Bad Data

A curse of manual data entry, bad data puts the entire sales process at risk. From misidentifying a contact to missing a crucial detail in the deal, small inaccuracies can add up to competitive risk. BrightTALK found that bad data alone wastes 550 hours in the average sales team. If your competitors are investing in automated solutions for data entry and integrity, they may be able to leverage data faster and more effectively.

To fix bad data, cut it off at its source. Invest in CRM and data sourcing technologies to manage vetted data automatically. Encourage sellers to diligently note their interactions and key deal steps in the CRM, preventing forgotten details. Connect your tools to flow data from one system to another, preventing hidden data. While painful, regular data audits to close out old notes or fix outdated email addresses can help mitigate a bad data problem.

Reason 4 – Sales Tools that Don’t Talk

Sellers have access to more tools than ever, replacing data management, notes and signatures with digital solutions. While these tools help sellers get more done, they can also create more roadblocks if they are not communicating. If your sales tool stack does not integrate with other tools, your sellers can struggle with multiple sources of record and redundant tasks.

Ensure your sales tools can integrate and communicate to remove these roadblocks. While all systems do not need a perfect integration, you should at least be able to share data automatically. When each tool provides the right information to other tools in your stack, your sellers no longer need to chase down information by hand. Your competitors will struggle to find gaps to enter the conversation.

Learn more about how Octiv can empower sellers to save time and avoid competitive loss.