What’s the Difference Between a Sales Process and a Sales Model?
The sales industry is a challenging field that requires composure, which is why sales management must do their utmost best to keep things on as much as possible. The onus doesn’t only fall on the sales reps as potential leads can be unpredictable. This is why representatives require structure and consistency.
There is a big difference between the sales process and the sales model. The sales process refers to a company’s steps to generate leads and close deals. On the other hand, the sales model is how a company sells its products or services. A sales model is a company’s philosophy, structure, and methodology to generate revenue.
A good sales process and model are essential for closing more deals. By improving these two things, your sales organization is better positioned to convert more leads into customers.
This article will examine the difference between a sales process and a sales model. You’ll also see why the distinction matters before you invest in the sales process and sales model improvements.
What is a sales model?
A sales model is a plan for how your business will generate and qualify leads, move the leads through the sales process, and close deals. The model should consider your company’s unique pain points and the decision-makers who can solve them. The model should also outline the steps involved in each sales cycle stage and how your sales team will interact with potential customers.
By having a transparent sales model, you can better identify qualified leads, reduce the time it takes to close deals, and maximize your chances of success.
What is a sales process?
A sales process is a set of steps your sales team follows to generate leads, qualify them, and closes deals. The process begins with identifying and targeting potential customers with a need or problem that your product or service can solve. You then work to understand their pain points and what’s motivating them to consider a purchase. Next, you create a proposal or pitch that explains how you can help solve their problem. Finally, you close the deal by getting the decision maker’s buy-in.
Your sales process’s success depends on qualified leads ready to buy. Your team needs to be able to identify the decision-makers within each organization and build relationships with them over time. The sales cycle can vary from days or weeks to months or even years, so it’s essential to be patient and persistent.
Advantages of sales model
The primary function of a sales model is to help break the sales team goals into measurable steps. Sales reps must train the prospect and tailor the sales process to their needs. You can implement the sales model by articulating your customer’s needs and goals.
Here are some of the ways your organization will benefit from having a sales model in place:
♯1: A Clear Path for Sellers to Follow
Few sales reps have consultative selling competency skills, which is why you need a sales model. If they know what needs to be done and what tools to use at each stage of the sales process, they’ll be able to help the teams supporting them too.
♯2: Increase Speed to Market and Improve Onboarding
When everyone in the sales organization uses the same tools and processes to support the sales process, it’ll be easy to improve speed to market and quicken onboarding process of your new hires. According to a research, sales organizations with consistent training and enablement functions outperform their peers by 19.8% to 31.6%.
♯3: Improvement of Method
When sales management has a standardized approach, employees learn what is not working efficiently. They’ll also be able to iterate on the existing model and improve as time goes on. There is a general rule that you can’t “set and forget” your sales model; it must be a living thing that sales managers can improve upon as the organization changes.
♯4: Forecasting Sales Revenue
A measurable process coupled with standardized tools and steps to follow at each sales stage allows decision-makers to know precisely where issues are and how to solve them. With that, sales management can predict when things will happen.
♯5: Increase in Quantity and Quality of Qualified Leads
With a sales model in place, reps will be able to know precisely how to qualify a deal and be able to qualify leads properly. It’ll help to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the sales team.
The Inconveniences of sales model
A good sales model provides the sales team with the necessary tools for analyzing challenges and seeking the best solutions, but it also has its conveniences. Here are the common inconveniences of the sales model:
♯1: It’s solely sales-centric
One of the inconveniences of the sales model is that it focuses solely on sales without considering the customers’ needs. This makes sales reps pushy and aggressive because they’re more interested in closing the deal and less interested about the customers.
♯2: It doesn’t facilitate purchase decisions
More often than not, the sales model doesn’t provide the guidance or support potential clients need to make a purchase decision. It can pose a problem for complex products or services as customers will get lost in the sales cycle.
Advantages of a sales process
The function of a sales rep is to connect customers with the product or service they want. However, if you put in a consistent method for achieving sales, it’ll be easy to convert qualified leads into paying customers.
You’ll see better results by providing your sales team with a straightforward process. Here are some of the ways your organization will benefit from having a standardized sales process in place:
♯1: Improved Efficiency
With a sales process in place, your overall sales efficiency will improve. It’ll help to eliminate unnecessary sales steps and tactics. In doing so, your sales team can focus exclusively on effective strategies. Sales reps with experience with each step in the sales process will feel confident when selling to close more deals.
Additionally, your sales team will have the chance to concentrate on the buyer personas that needs conversion. They’ll have in-depth knowledge of the amount of cold calls/ phone calls that should convert to an appointment, how to close more quickly without thinking about objection handling, etc.
One of the ways your organization can profit from having a sales process is more organization in your sales team. Imagine a sales team without an organization. That means nobody will know their roles in each department. The sales manager needs to ensure everyone is on the same page. The sales process will make your weekly sales meetings more efficient.
♯3: Increase in Revenue
When you have a sales process, there’ll be more sales. Your reps will know how to support customers and understand the buyer personas. With that, customers will have the time and space to decide when they’re ready to purchase your product or service.
♯4: More Accurate Forecasting
If your sales team members know where they are in the sales process, they can easily predict and forecast how soon a sale might happen. It helps understand how leadership distributes qualified leads and manages workloads. It’ll also give you a more consistent picture of how many closed deals occur from a given number of qualified leads. With that, you’ll be able to predict your win rates and set quotas more accurately.
♯5: Accountability Management
Holding your team members accountable is much easier when you put a defined sales process. If there’s a stage of your sales process that’s not growing, you can hold the department accountable. It’ll help to bring necessary improvement to the company.
The inconvenience of a sales process
A good sales process has advantages, such as attracting more qualified leads and closing them faster, but it also has convenience. Here are the inconveniences of the sales process:
♯1: Pushing Potential Leads
Some companies fail to understand what potential clients are willing to do at each stage of their journey. Thus, they make the mistake of thinking getting customers to buy their product or service is their primary concern. If your sales process doesn’t teach your reps about understanding the buyer personas or pain points, they’ll be wasting time with prospects.
♯2: Make Selling Harder by not Solving Sales Reps Problems
Most companies use methods to help sales reps add more burden to their work. For instance, sales training which teaches ways of researching customer pain points takes a lot of time and labor. Thus, the sales reps are not in the picture when creating the sales process. It should bring improvements to the sales funnel by meeting the needs of all parties involved.
♯3: Managing for Results and not Deal Flow
Over time, sales managers have perfected the art of sizing up their sales reps, their sales funnel, and their customers to make the business successful. They must be present to pull the strings, and that’s the problem. When the sales team follows the sales process to the core, they’ll only achieve results and not be able to succeed without it.
Adopting a sales model can be of great benefit when constructing a successful sales process. It can help your sales organization to have a solid basis for the mentality and the strategies your sales reps bring to interact with potential customers.
As a sales leader, once you have established a proper sales model and process, you should commit fully to their execution. With both of them, your sales team will possess the tools and techniques to successfully get new customers and close more deals. However, it’s important to note that you can adjust your sales model to fit your business’s specific interests and processes.
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