How to Create a Sales Process – Salesdeck
Creating a sales process can be daunting, but with the right tools and strategies, sales professionals can easily accomplish it. A proper sales process will allow you to develop a system that efficiently organizes your sales efforts. Additionally, having a straightforward sales process will help you stay organized and accountable for your progress.
Sales processes are essential for all businesses, especially those that generate qualified leads and turn them into closed deals. Without a well-defined sales process, your sales team may be spending too much time contacting unqualified leads or chasing after closed deals. By mapping out your company’s sales process, you can help ensure that your sales team works as efficiently as possible.
In this post, we’ll make you understand what a sales process is about and how you can create a sales process that accelerates the sales cycle.
What is a sales process?
A Sales process is the process of generating leads and converting them into paying customers. A sales process includes the steps necessary to identify and qualify potential buyers, determine what products or services they need, build a proposal that meets their needs, close the sale, and follow up with the customer. It’s essential to have a well-defined sales process to ensure efficient and successful sales outcomes.
Why build a sales process?
A sales process is a map that guides your sales team to turn potential leads into customers. Without this ‘map’, your marketing team’s lead generation efforts will go down the drain.
There are several reasons to build and implement a sales process. A well-defined process will help you generate more qualified leads, identify and alleviate pain points, and close more deals. You can help your new sales reps adapt quickly to best practices if you have a standardized sales process.
By breaking down the sales cycle into manageable steps, your sales team can reach their goals more efficiently. Last but not least, having a process in place will help decision-makers make informed decisions.
After looking at what a sales process is and why you should create one, let’s move to the stages of a sales pipeline.
Seven Stages of the Sales Pipeline
Stage ♯1: Prospecting
The term “prospecting” is the process of sourcing new leads to start working through the sales process. Like a wheel is to a car, prospecting is an integral part of the sales process. It must also be a part of most reps’ daily or weekly workflow.
You might source potential customers on sites such as LinkedIn or Quora. Additionally, you might also source for them at conferences or industry events. You can also ask present clients to refer people who might be interested in your product or service.
Stage ♯2: Connect and Qualify Leads
Now that you have a list of the potential customers to target, the next stage is to connect, and it’s of two parts. The first part of this sales process stage deals with reps contacting those early-stage leads to gather information. The next part is qualifying new leads. With this, you’ll be able to decide whether or not they’re the ideal leads for your business. You’ll also be able to determine whether or not they’ll advance in the buyer’s journey.
Sales reps can naturally identify qualified leads over a “connect,” “discovery” call, or email. You can ask qualifying questions such as:
“What’s your responsibility within the company?”
“What’s your role daily?”
“What problem do you find a solution to?”
“Why is it important to your business?”
“What other solutions are you checking out?”
Stage ♯3: Research the company
Since you have known about the connect stage, the next stage is the research stage. It’s a stage where sales reps learn more about each prospect and company.
Research is vital to sales reps because it puts them in the customer’s shoes. It’ll enable them to offer a more customized and personalized experience, thereby improving the possibility of closing a deal.
The vital part of this stage is understanding each potential client’s challenges and needs and portraying your product or service as the right option. A salesperson stands out by understanding the company better than the individual prospect who works there.
Stage ♯4: Present an Effective Pitch
Now that you have known a lot about the company, the next stage is to give a compelling pitch. You must run a formal product or service demonstration for your potential client as a salesperson.
It’s important to note that this stage takes much time, mainly for qualified leads. This reiterates that the connecting and qualifying stage is critical because you don’t want to waste valuable time on unqualified leads.
Each presentation should meet the specific prospect’s unique use case and pain points. Not only that, you can take an engineer to the meeting to show the quality of service the customer will get when dealing with your company. With that, they’ll be able to answer more technical questions to which sales reps might not have answers.
Stage ♯5: Handle Objections
One of the most significant traits of a salesperson is handling objections. Prospects might have objections to your presentations and proposal. It’s not out of place, which is why it’s a part of the sales process. Your sales team should be well-equipped to deal with any objections.
Your reps should listen to your prospect’s objections and questions; it’ll help tailor your product to their needs. Research and presentation preparation also allows representatives to identify and expect possible objections. Objections could stem from cost, onboarding, or other parts of the proposed contract.
Stage ♯6: Close the deal
This is the salesperson’s aim by sticking with the initial steps; closing the deal. This stage deals with late-stage activities as a deal approaches closing. It ranges from company to company and may entail delivering a quote or proposal, negotiation, or achieving the buy-in of decision-makers.
Closing a deal should result in a mutually beneficial and contractual agreement between the potential client and the seller. A closed deal means the salesperson receives a commission on the price they negotiated with the customer. The account typically goes to an account manager or customer success representative.
Stage ♯7: Nurture and continue to sell
As a sales rep, your job with customers doesn’t end when you close a deal. You should confirm that customers receive their package and also play a part in transitioning customers to the sales team responsible for onboarding and customer success.
The sales process’s final stage is to continue communicating and reinforcing value to customers. It’ll also help provide opportunities to secure referrals from happy customers. With this, you can also turn them to brand ambassadors.
Now that you have understood the stages in the pipeline to create a sales process, let’s move to the steps often involved in creating a standardized sales process.
Four-step to create a Sales Process
Step 1: Review the Stages of the Sales Pipeline
This step will be easy for you if you consider the initially discussed sales pipeline stages. It would be best if you thought about it before determining what your company’s sales process will look like. After that, consider the customer’s journey to see how it relates to your business model.
If you want to nurture a lead through their customer journey, you can use your sales funnel. It’ll assist you in identifying the larger groupings of tasks your sales team will need to complete. When you effectively review the sales pipeline stages, you’ll be able to obtain qualified leads for your lead generation.
Step 2: Create a List of Your Internal Activities for Each Stage
After reviewing the sales pipeline stages, the next step is to create a list of your internal activities for each stage and how they relate to your business. It’s important to note that some stages might have little or no internal activities. Thus, your business might not need to outsource activities in that stage.
In this step, you can ask questions about how you plan to find potential clients that could benefit from your product or service.
Step 3: Visualize Your Sales Process
Now that you have your master list of activities, the next step is to check to see which actions can be completed instantly and which are dependent on a primary task. You can do this by visualizing the process using flowcharts differentiated with shapes and colors that’ll guide the viewer down the path from the beginning to the end.
This will help train new sales reps about your sales process as your sales team expands. With this, they’ll become more familiar with the whole sales process and know the better way to speed up the process for you.
Step 4: Make Your Sales Process Measurable & Adjust When Necessary
With every stage of the pipeline clearly defined with required activities, display it so your sales team can follow it easily. Next and last, determine how to measure the success of each step. A sales process’ success can be measured by its total values, conversion rates, and averages. Using these key metrics, you can quantify your sales process.
The metrics will help you measure progress and identify arrears for sales process improvement. Updating it could include modifying sales process steps for efficiency or training sales reps on techniques to improve their sales numbers in different aspects of the sales process.
A sales process is crucial to the success of any business. You can develop a sales process that works for your sales organization by following the four steps in this article. The process should be customized to your company’s unique needs and updated as your business grows. It is possible to grow your business quickly and achieve your sales goals with a well-defined sales process.
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