Optimized operations bring in the most revenue possible for a company, but unfortunately, most organizations have yet to perfect their processes. Thousands of businesses worldwide leave money on the table every month because of revenue leakage. If a miscommunication between your sales teams results in goals that are out of alignment, there is ample room for revenue to leak. To prevent losses like this, you need a full view of your sales pipeline to find vulnerabilities so you can execute repairs.
Understanding Revenue Leakage
From lead generation to closing a deal, countless invisible weak points may exist within your sales process. If you don’t see those faults, you can’t stop them. Over time, your business loses more and more revenue.
Despite revenue leakage’s detrimental effect on a business’s bottom line, it often goes unnoticed yet remains quite a widespread issue. MGI research estimates almost half (42%) of organizations suffer from revenue leakage. In fact, research estimates every company loses an annual 1% to 5% of realized earnings before taxes, interest and amortization (EBTIA) to leakage. To reach your organization’s maximum revenue potential, you must repair your pipeline.
Find the Leaks
The first step to fixing revenue leakage? Find the leaks.
- Inaccurate or incomplete data
Manual data collection is time-consuming and error-prone, and one small mistake can cost thousands in lost revenue. The more customers you have, the more customer data you collect. Investing in a data-automation tool can significantly reduce user errors and mistakes.
2. Data synchronization errors
When customers upgrade from a basic to a premium plan, someone must update their subscription pricing. However, it’s easy for your account team to overlook an upgrade and fail to update the increased plan cost and invoice accordingly. In cases like this, you lose revenue if your data isn’t synced correctly or at all. More syncing errors create more leaks, which negatively impact your business.
3. Flawed customer engagement
Sales representatives are busy, but constant multitasking and a lack of automation can lead to missed customer invoices — a possibility that increases with more customers. An automated system keeps your busy reps organized and frees up time to focus on upselling while preventing revenue leakage.
4. Obscured pipeline visibility
A holistic view of your sales picture, including pipeline leaks, requires full visibility of every step in the sales process. This strategy helps identify the probable causes of revenue leakage, including factors affecting customer engagement or challenges sales reps face with closing deals. Businesses most susceptible to revenue leaks manually process their data and lack a centralized data bank to provide insights and reports.
5. Insufficient selling time
Sales reps are busy, but how much busy work consumes their time? Most reps spend less than 30% of their week selling. Less time spent selling means less revenue for your business, so free up your sales reps’ schedules by automating their administrative duties.
Investing in a revenue intelligence tool that x-rays your entire sales process, pipeline, CRM and workflows for potential leaks could mitigate multiple inefficiencies and benefit your organization.
Plug the Leaks
Once you’ve identified your leaks, take the following steps to staunch the flow.
- Automate your data
Data synchronization and entry errors cause revenue leakage. Automating your data centralizes it and prevents errors. Using a tool that auto-captures data from all touchpoints guarantees updated and accurate data in your CRM.
2. Use AI to analyze data
Whether you have hundreds or thousands of customers, sorting through all their data by hand to find leaks is impossible and impractical. Using a tool with revenue leakage analytics leverages artificial intelligence to analyze the data, making it effortless to identify root causes.
3. Involve everyone in your organization
The next step involves implementing changes throughout your organization and training and coaching your team to follow the right processes. If your reps consistently forget a specific step in their sales operations, like following up with a lead after an initial meeting, use your revenue intelligence tool to set up reminders to ensure they engage customers at the right time and prevent leaks.
4. Measure your changes’ efficacy
After you’ve found and fixed your leaks, measure your fixes’ effectiveness. If leakage remains due to misaligned priorities or poor communication, take further action to remedy the issues by using your revenue intelligence tool to identify where leaks remain.
In today’s ultra-competitive market, companies can’t afford to lose money. Like an oil pipeline, small seepages can initially go unnoticed unless someone is looking for them. To prevent an environmental (or organizational) disaster, there are controls in place to detect minute changes and alert those who need to take action. Unless your organization can effectively monitor its sales pipeline for leaks, you can expect disaster for your bottom line.