Learn how to create a sales process for your team to close more deals and increase sales conversions.
However, developing an in-depth and well-structured sales process has been shown to greatly improve overall company performance*. When compared to companies without a developed sales process, those who have one are likely to outperform competitors by a fair margin.
A sales process, or the sales cycle, is a structured and standardized approach used to optimize the performance of sales teams and personnel.
It usually involves 5-7 steps that are: Prospecting, Preparation, Approach, Presentation, Handling objections, Closing, and Follow-up. In other words, it’s providing a framework for salespeople to follow.
However, it’s an abstract framework rather than a step-by-step guide. It’s intended to provide big picture steps to the sales process without intruding into the personal approach or scripts salespeople may be using.
In short, it’s a way to provide structure to a mostly hectic process that is sales. Additionally, it provides an easier way to acquire sales performance metrics and talk about possible improvements.
There are numerous benefits that having a well-defined sales process brings. Most of these have a direct impact on overall performance:
➜ Structure. Having a structured approach allows the entire company to track its funnel and potential leads better. Additionally, it provides a foundation for many other benefits.
➜ Better data. If a sales process is in place, every step becomes measurable, which means accurate data can be collected. Such information can be utilized to derive insights and discover areas for improvement. In turn, the sales process can be then made more effective.
➜ Easier onboarding. One of the key factors that determine new employee onboarding efficiency are well-structured learning materials. Having clearly defined steps in the sales process allow newcomers to grasp the inner workings of the company a lot quicker.
➜ Increased revenue. Structure, defined processes, and optimization all point in one direction - more revenue. All of them reduce time and resources wasted on activities that bring little value to the company.
➜ Accountability. Having a clear process makes it easier to discover areas of improvement in your sales team. Since every step can be measured, managers can understand the struggles a particular team member may be going through. Additionally, it may reveal areas where the entire team might be having trouble.
Finally, there’s an important distinction to be made between the sales process vs sales methodology. These are two related but different concepts that both serve as a way to benchmark efficiency.
While the sales process is the high-level structured approach to the steps taken to convert leads, sales methodology defines how each step is to be performed. Methodology, therefore, is the particular strategies employed during each step of the sales process.
The sales process in every company will be slightly different. In fact, copying and pasting the structure from one company to another might not be as beneficial as creating a unique approach to sales.
Even if most sales processes will revolve around similar steps, taking the time to build a unique one for your business will be significantly more beneficial. In order to create a sales process, you should take several steps before presenting results:
Eventually, the sales process will add up to a multi-step approach that can be easily explained to anyone. Often they can be represented in graphs or visualized to make the sales process easier to understand.
As noted previously, a fully developed sales process will usually be truncated down to several steps. Each of these steps will represent a part of the lead’s journey into becoming a client. We’ll break down a sales process example to provide a better understanding on how to develop a great framework.
Prospecting is the universal step in all sales as it’s essentially a way to develop and find leads. Usually, the process will involve strategies used to find out the most suitable candidates to approach. At this stage, figuring out important details (e.g. who is the decision-maker, what would be the best way to advise them, etc.) is the primary goal.
During the preparation stage, it’s important to figure out whether the product or service offered by the company fits the lead’s needs. Taking pricing, implementation, required features, etc. into account is the way to go.
After that leads should be approached. That is, once the needs, current pain points, and solutions are analyzed, an initial proposition should be made. That proposition should be tailored directly for that customer.
Presentation is where the real pitching begins. As the lead’s needs and desires have been figured out, a solution to his worries can be provided. Of course, that solution would be the product offered. However, the presentation is one of the few steps that can’t be really explained in-depth as its efficiency is highly dependent on the skill of the salesperson.
Handling objections is quite obvious for anyone that has been in sales for quite some time. No one in the B2B sphere buys a solution or product right off the bat without hurling some objections.
Closing and follow-up are the two finishing steps in any sales process. Some companies forego follow-ups or do them very lazily. However, follow-ups are where a lot of upselling or improvements happen.
Building a sales process for the company brings tremendous benefits. In fact, we might even go as far as to say that every company that wants to grow has to implement a structured sales process.
However, the sales process isn’t the end-all-be-all of optimization. Implementing software solutions that help salespeople develop, reduce costs, and improve their day-to-day activities is crucial as well.
Want to find out how you can get the most out of your sales team with software?
Check out SnapCall, the solution that allows your customers and leads to hop on a voice or video call with your team directly from your website. Book a demo with us today.Salespeople often have a certain distaste for strict structures and deadlines. After all, the process is about listening to the needs of a lead. That seems impossible to do if the sales process and methodology are predetermined.