Different ways are there to sell a product or a service, but if you’re aware of your competitors’ sales strategy, it can help you have a streamlined process. With an organized process, you and your whole sales team will be on the same page.
Today, we’ll explain exactly what an efficient sales process should cover and how you can build one entirely from scratch.
What We Will Cover In This Sales process Guide.
What is a “sales process”?
What makes a great sales process
Advantages of having a strong sales process
Steps required to develop a successful sales process
Tips for building your own sales process
Let’s move forward and learn about them one by one.
1. What is a sales process?
A sales process is a journey that every customer covers along with the sales funnel. Your salespeople are making efforts to guide new customers along the different touchpoints of that funnel.
2. What makes a great sales process?
Let’s look at the major characteristics that every sales process must possess. Your sales process must be:
Prospect-focused, not company-focused. Today, prospects do not just want great products and great prices, they also want to have an overall good experience and a lasting customer relationship. Therefore, a customer-centric strategy is necessary: it should notify your sales process at each step. Always think about what your potential customers need rather than thinking about what you have to sell.
Clear and to the point. A well-organized sales process is always easy to follow. Each prospect should experience a consistently exceptional standard of service, no matter where they are in the sales pipeline. Your sales representatives must be aware of your expectations and how you’ll assess them.
Easy to replicate. An efficient sales process is clearly repeatable, indicating that it can be performed in the same way, again and again. All your sales team members should be capable of doing this.
Intuitive. The sales process should feel like second nature to your sales team to adopt and follow it with minimal fuss. The more straightforward your sales process is for your sales team, the simpler it’ll likely be for customers as well, reducing pain points.
Aligned with your broader goals. When you’re expanding your sales process, think about how to gauge its success. What’s your preferred benchmark? Which metrics will you be practicing? Sales processes should be aligned according to all the important stakeholders’ goals, with check-ins at regular intervals.
Flexible. It’s simple—especially for up-and-coming small businesses—to be blindsided by unforeseen developments: whether it’s the addition of new technology, new product or service offerings, or other random changes in your particular sector or market. Your sales process should allow you some room to endure so that you can respond efficiently.
Scalable. Your sales process must be capable of growing in tandem with your business. You should consolidate this into your thinking from the beginning.
3. Advantages of having a strong sales process
Here are the advantages that you will get if you have a robust sales process.
3.1 More effective selling
Once a sales process is onboard, your sales team will have a more precise idea of which kinds of responses they have to drive. They’ll learn which cold calls are intended to get appointments, how to close deals, seal new sales faster, use content to push qualified leads further along the sales funnel, and other things.
All this should suggest that you can encourage your customer conversion rate and decrease your sales team’s downtime between handling leads. Eventually, this should indicate a healthier bottom line.
3.2 Faster sales rep onboarding
If you’re introducing new sales reps to your team, it helps you if you have a clear sales strategy in place. A sales process is a roadmap that helps you make sales meetings a bit more effective while also making it more agile to let new salespeople work fully up to speed.
This way, your recruits should soon make a fruitful contribution to outreach, lead generation, and sales. There’ll be fewer avoidable mistakes to correct as well as better team engagement.
3.3 Consistency for your prospects
Sales processes present your brand and its reputation with relevant protection. With a clear and straightforward set of steps in effect, your customers should all get the same exceptional standard of service.
This helps you to make sure that customers’ perceptions of your brand are properly aligned with your vision for it, developing lasting customer loyalty and trust.
3.4 More engaged (and happier) sales reps
In 2020, a survey from Gallup discovered that less than a third of employees felt involved at work, with 14% actively disengaged. Setting clear expectations is one of the most powerful ways of enhancing employee engagement and increasing staff retention rates.
With a well-planned sales process, your sales reps should have a precise understanding of how to sustain new leads and close deals.
4.Steps required to develop a successful sales process
There’s a lot of room for creativity in creating your sales process. We’d highly help it! There are some critical steps that all sales processes must include.
4.1 Do your research
Before going into a cold call script or that great new sales conversation starter, you’ve just been going to try out, ask yourself a question: do you genuinely understand where your customers are at? You have to understand your sales territory plan inside-out, so make sure that the market research is your top priority.
Market research can bring some surprising opportunities for you. It’s a great process of learning not just who your customers are but where they are—incorporating regions, associations, and even which apps they use. This way, you can make a purchase even more, simpler for them.
4.2 Engage new leads
It is also known as sourcing or prospecting new leads; this stage includes taking time to reach out and connect with prospects. It could be in person at a targeted event, through a phone call, or through an email sales pitch (keep in mind the dangers of email overload, though). Social media, too, is becoming more important in this regard.
4.3 Qualify new leads
We’ve all seen ourselves on a wild goose chase before, running after leads that don’t become consumers. Sales teams lose a lot of time and energy in this way, and that time, as they say, is funding. So, once you’ve made the first connection, you need to evaluate just how likely that prospect is to convert. Qualifying leads is very important. It can assist you in assessing how much time and effort to give to each lead; this is known as a “needs assessment.”
A customer who’s still in the initial stages of the buying process may need a somewhat lighter touch; general information about why your products and services can ease their life might be useful. High-value consumers who are locked into what your business is giving would probably demand more regular contact.
Lead qualification can be a big help when it comes to time and resource management. Some businesses utilize the BANT model: that’s Budget (how much the prospect wants to spend), Authority (who are the important decision-makers?), Need (can your products and services answer the prospect’s problem?), and timing (how important is it?).
4.4 Make your sales pitch consistent.
Brand consistency plays an important role, so make sure that your team delivers a uniform message about the products and services you offer, their features, pricing, and so on.
This doesn’t indicate that your pitch has to be just like every other tedious sales pitch. There’s still lots of room to promote fun, entertaining, and innovative ways to show your business to customers: it’s all about your business’s vision and its voice.
However, this portrayal must be consistent from salesperson to salesperson. There is no room for guesswork and as little room for error as possible.
4.5 Address prospect concerns
We want our love pitches to be as simple as it is possible, but they rarely are. You’ve learned to view it from your client’s perspective: they’ve worked hard for their money, and however much they love the look of your products, they want to be assured that they’re getting the most bang for their buck.
It’s necessary, therefore, that your sales process involves messaging that you can probably use as rebuttals to client queries and objections. This enables you to predict customer responses and assures you have an authoritative and convincing reply available for deployment, putting the client’s mind at ease.
Of course, the messaging will differ depending on the particular queries and concerns of your clients. Take the time to do the basic research before your presentation. This should support saving your sales team from being caught flat-footed.
4.6 Close the deal!
Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t fumble at the finish line. To bypass this, you have to ensure that your closing steps are accurately standardized and that your sales team knows them. This helps to make new customers think they’re properly cared for as the transaction winds down.
Specific closing steps will differ depending on the type of business involved, but they might involve sending or adjusting quotes, negotiating contracts, and signing necessary documents and contracts.
4.7 Ask for feedback
After closing the deal, there are two more steps, and they’re critical ones, both for engaging existing customers and building future referrals.
One of the most agreeable times to ask for customer feedback is instantly after the sale has been completed. Don’t be shy about it—follow up with your customer! Their opinions about your business are still fresh, and hopefully, they’re positive ones. It’s the ideal time to collect testimonials. You might feel a bit awkward asking, but by adding this stage into your sales process, you will be able to understand customers’ experiences.
4.8 Nurture the relationship
By keeping your existing customer costs less than acquiring a new one, you can let your survive. So, with that in mind, make this fact integrated part of your sales process.
Also, once a sale is completed, the customer relationship has only just started. At this step of the sales process, what happens needs to be mapped out: whether it’s describing the handoff to customer services or staying with the sales team to cross-sell, upsell, or ask for referrals.
By setting this, your team should have a fair idea of promoting repeat business before moving on to pursue the next lead.
5.Tips for building your own sales process
Now that we’ve discussed the critical steps of any compelling sales process, here are some best methods for helping you map out your own:
5.1 Audit your existing sales process
Consider this as a brain dump, where there are no incorrect answers. Get your sales team to plan out how they currently drive a lead through the sales cycle, from lead to customer. You might be shocked to learn how each rep manages things or uncover some areas where your team seems confused or lacking in support.
5.2 Bring great minds together.
No team is perfect. As you plan to develop your sales process, tap into the experience of your marketing, product development, and customer service teams. With a different planning team, you should be quite able to craft pitch and objection messaging and brainstorm ideas to focus and delight customers at each stage
5.3 Consider the timing of each step in the sales process
Yes, timing matters. For how long should your team wait between outreach attempts? How long should reps wait for a response before deciding that a lead is unviable? Think about the buyer’s journey, and set preliminary time benchmarks at every stage of the sales process. This will let you standardize the process even further and better understand your real conversion, Tim
5.4 Consider and plan for scalability throughout the process
Ideally, your business won’t remain the same size forever. You have ambition: you’ll need to expand and grow. It would help if you accounted for this when settling your sales process together. Consider how you might want to change your plans and tools as your business’s circumstances change.
These plans and ideas should be included in your sales process so that your team has a warning of what it wants to do when it’s time to scale up.
5.5 Test drive and tweak the new process
Think of your sales process like switching on a light: don’t just flip a switch; use the dimmer. Get one or two of your salespeople to use it first and solicit feedback from them; you can then utilize this to inform how you roll the process out to the rest of the team.
Some team members might initially be unsure about using the new sales process, so it might help if some of their coworkers are on hand to dismiss any misgivings from their own experience of using it
5.6 Set meaningful goals
It would help if you determine precisely how a strong sales plan would look. This will help you decide whether or not it’s working. Set relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) at several stages of the process; these could incorporate the number of new leads per sales rep or conversions over a certain period.
Whichever KPIs you prefer, you must make sure that they’re important and directly impact revenue. Wasting time analyzing vanity data can be a barrier, and it narrates little about how your team is performing.
5.7 Make adjustments to the process
Your sales process must be a living and breathing document that you can adjust as your business grows.
Determine how frequently you’ll check on the KPIs you’ve taken, and make sure you adhere to that schedule. Get it down in black and white, so it’s part of the layout. Add monthly or quarterly reviews to your calendars once you’ve chosen on a schedule; this way, all stakeholders will remain clear on the process and what it intends for them
5.8 Educate and launch the new process
This is a crucial point. If you want to understand how your new sales process influences your business’s bottom line, you have to ensure that your sales team is well-versed in it. Please make an effort to ensure that everyone understands how the process works and how to make it work. You can design a template, run training sessions, and even make a game of it.
5.9 Gather feedback, adjust, repeat.
As we have mentioned above, the best sales processes are intuitive, and you will be able to ascertain whether or not this is the case once your sales process has been in place for a while. Everyone’s had the chance to obtain some hands-on experience of using it.
Once you’ve started your new sales process and it’s been operational for a while, ask your sales team what they make of it. Ask them whether they’ve found the process simple to follow, and if not, why not. They may have some beneficial ideas for improving the process, so be sure to take their feedback correctly into account.
Wrapping it up
With the right blend of people, tools, and creativity in place, you should be able to create a sales process that’ll streamline the lead-nurturing campaign (and workflow) as well as increase conversions. As we’ve emphasized throughout this guide, your sales process must present your business with the room it needs to grow:
Think before you plan: make sure you create in the space and flexibility required to adapt the process to the requirements of your business as it expands and adapts to changes in the market. Lastly, make sure your sales process adjusts with your business’s vision, voice, and overall objectives.