Force yourself to write down your current sales process. What steps do you take? When do you engage your internal partners? What sales tools do you use, and when? How do you define your stages in CRM? If you don't have clear answers to these questions, there’s a good chance you can improve the way you and your team approach deals.
Your sales team can reap numerous benefits of by creating a winning sales process, and paying careful attention to your sales process implementation. Key benefits of following this methodology include:
- Makes you think about, and capitalize on the best way to approach your accounts
- Mid-Sale, you always know what to do next
- Better coordinate internal resources to maximize opportunities
- If something isn't working, you can correct it quickly and methodically
1. Makes you think about the best way to approach your accounts
For sales teams, and new hires especially, a winning sales process allows your organization to learn from top producers how to perform optimally at your organization. Leverage your selling rock stars to determine the best possible way for your team to sell within your organization. There are many tips and tricks for how to create a winning sales process in the Sales Result Blog, but you need to be sure you tailor the way you sell to your organization. Our Sales Consulting Firm uses the motto Your Culture, Your Clients, Your Way because each company is unique, and needs to deploy a sales process implementation that is optimized to their exact needs.
When developing a winning sales process, take every aspect of the sales cycle into account, and refrain from developing it in a vacuum. Developing a structured, well thought-out sales process can be a gift to your sales team if done correctly. Without the input of marketing, manufacturing, finance, executives, and clients, you will be sending your team into deals without the tools to WIN. A new sales process implementation is a time for you to really think through the best possible way to sell within your company, to your customers, and within your team.
2. Mid-Sale, You Know What to do Next
If you didn't have a clearly defined sales process, defining one will remove a lot of administrative chaos from your deals, and will allow you to focus on the prospect more than the ancillary sales functions. Keeping organized is a critical component of succeeding in sales. In the heat of battle, it is easy to lose track of exactly where you are in each of your deals, and this can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities. On the deal level, defining the necessary criteria of each stage allows you to keep track of where each deal is in the process, and how long it's been in that stage. On a macro level, defined sales stages allow you report on how long each deal has been "stuck" in a stage, which stages generally take the longest, and where you need to be focusing your efforts.
If you’ve left a deal on the back burner for a couple weeks, but you know it's in a particular stage, you can quickly figure out your next steps to get back on track. For instance, if you know that you're in "Stage 3", that means you have already accomplished all the defined tasks in "Stage 1" and “Stage 2”, and only need to focus on "Stage 3". Then, by looking at the criteria necessary to move to "Stage 4", you now have a complete list for what to do next on that opportunity!
3. Better Coordinate Internal Resources to Maximize Opportunities
This is critical, especially if you're in an organization where your internal partners get very busy (think the end of the quarter). It is incredibly frustrating for salespeople and other members of the sales cycle to be pushing deals through a bottleneck with a time crunch. This is often avoidable, but salespeople often wait too long, and fail to plan for the internal lead-time on opportunities. Whether you need a demo, pricing review, legal drafting, or any other function where your team is involved, it is much easier to manage with a winning sales process. A good sales process will remind you to engage each of these important team members before you need to run around the office trying to schedule 10 different meetings for the next day. Planning ahead takes organization and dedication to a process that can make your whole team’s life much easier and more productive.
4. If Something Isn’t Working, You Can Correct It And Improve
A winning sales process not only helps you organize what to do next, it helps to make you aware of things that may be underperforming. There are indicators. Tracking the days spent in a particular stage that can alert you to deficiencies in your process. This same metric can also assist in coaching reps that may neglect certain stages more than others. Inherently, every stage will average a different length of time. Having the visibility into how long deals stay in each stage, however long that is, will allow you to investigate ways to speed up your sales cycle and close more deals.
For instance: if you have a demo stage that is extra slow, you're able to look into what is slowing it down. It could be taking too long to schedule the demo team, it could be that you're not presenting to the right team the first time, or perhaps the demo is too short, long, or too standardized to provide real value. Whatever your situation is, you won’t necessarily investigate until you know there's a problem. Standardizing and streamlining allows you isolate variables that will help you sell more, faster.
A successful winning sales process implementation can bring positive change to every employee that touches the sales cycle. Our sales consulting firm says that a Sales Process is a MUST HAVE to Create a Company Culture of Winning. When you begin to define what factors to take into account in your sales process, talk across the organization to be sure you are using the best approach for your accounts. Be sure to define very clear tasks and criteria for each stage so that your veterans and new-hires alike can keep track of all their accounts, and reporting accuracy on stages becomes more valuable. Think about the timing for each participant in the sales process, and how that should factor into your stage mapping: At what point in stage 2 should you start scheduling resources you will need in stage 3? And once your sales process implementation is complete, be mindful of what metrics and statistics from your new sales process will be beneficial in targeting underperforming stages so that you can improve them.