Learning to Scale Your Sales Process
Has your business developed an effective sales process? Is it truly working the way it should? If the answer is no to both questions (or if you’re not sure), then it may be time to learn how to scale your sales process.
While this may seem like a daunting process, it’s made much easier with the availability of new technology that can track buyer behaviour. And there are some easy steps that can help improve the overall success of your entire sales process, even without the use of tech.
Having an efficient and effective sales process is a requirement if a business wants to stand out and succeed. Now’s the time to check your company’s sales process and see if it measures up.
What is a Sales Process?
A sales process is nothing more than a guide, or template, which includes objectives for sales and how to “wash and repeat” the process. That’s it! The template or guide creates steps for each stage of the sales process and for each member of the sales team. It includes information on how to create new leads that convert and so much more.
You might think of a sales process as something like a road map. That’s exactly what it is. The template clearly sets out the process in much the same way a road map guides you on a trip.
Why Have a Sales Process?
The fact is that having a clear sales process improves the company’s bottom line. That translates into higher revenues and growth. With a clear sales process, the sales team is never left wondering what to do next or how to make things happen. They have a road map, which guides them through the entire process.
With this type of guide in hand, employees can ensure they never miss crucial steps in the process. Instead, they may find they’re closing deals faster. The sales team may even be able to spot weak links in the process and fix them faster.
This is why a sales process is valuable to your sales team and the company.
Sales Process vs. Sales Methodology: Is There a Difference?
It can be confusing when speaking about a sales process or a sales methodology. Is there a difference between them? Yes, they are very different.
Sales methodology refers to the framework or philosophy of sales. This guides the salesperson’s approach to each part of the sales process.
It’s possible to use a single methodology for the sales process; however, it’s also possible to use different methodologies on separate parts of the sales process.
Seven Stages of the Sales Process
There are typically seven stages in a sales process, which include:
1). Preparation: this includes research and study of competitors. It’s essential to figure out who the target market is and learn about their pain point.
2). Prospecting: includes doing outreach to find who the ideal customer is, based on the research and prep work done in the previous step.
3). Approach: you have the target market, now it’s essential to learn how to reach them. How can you gain their attention?
4). Pitch/Presentation: present the unique qualities of your product.
5). Objection Handling: answer questions and manage the target market’s objections.
6). Closing: send the proposals, get signatures, and finalise the details of the deal.
7). Follow-up: includes nurturing customers, providing up-sells, and asking for referrals/reviews
Keep in mind that your sales process may vary, and that’s OK. The steps can be rearranged as needed, but the sales process needs to include each of these steps in order to be successful and sustainable.
Key Elements of a Strong Sales Process
Every sales process also needs to include the following key elements:
Customer-focused: it’s a fact that customers are savvier buyers than in the past. For this very reason, businesses need to put the focus on their customers’ needs and wants.
Clearly defined: the sales process needs to be clearly defined at each step of the way. That means each member of the sales team must understand the sales process and their part within the process.
Repeatable: the sales process should be understandable and repeatable by each member of the team. This helps to avert confusion about what happens next, who is responsible for what, and more.
Predictable: is another important element of the sales process. This means the sales process must flow easily and have expected outcomes. Being predictable means the sales process is easier to “wash and repeat.”
Goal-oriented: the sales process must set out specific objectives at each stage. This is the only sure way to find problems and improve the overall sales process. Goal-oriented objectives can include: increasing revenue, achieving better efficiency, and more.
Be measurable: all activities of the sales process need to be measurable. Without this element, it’s impossible to spot problems and fix them.
Adaptable: the sales process needs to be adaptable in order to flex with changing business markets, new tech, and changes in the sales operations.
Ways to Improve Your Sales Process
It’s a fact that over time, most sales processes tend to become stale. So, it’s a good idea to review your sales process at regular intervals to ensure it’s on track. This is one of the reasons that a strong sales process includes goal-oriented and measurable elements. Without these, it’s almost impossible to find problems, fix them, or improve the process.
Here are some easy and fast ways to improve your sales process:
- Data entry into the CRM
- Email outreach to prospects
- Creating and sending proposals
- Improving handoffs between departments or teams
These are key areas that can make a huge difference in your sales process. Focusing on these areas may also provide information on how effective and efficient the entire process is. This makes it much easier to spot problems and get them fixed fast.
If you do find some issues with the sales process, the key is to only make one change at a time. The reason for this is that if too many pieces of the sales process are changed at once, it’s almost impossible to measure how effective changes were or if they failed.
Summing It Up
It’s a fact that markets are quickly changing and shifting, making it necessary to carefully watch over the entire sales process. Businesses need to take the right steps now to ensure they have an effective and efficient sales process. But they can’t stop there.
Each sales process must be monitored and include measurable data. These are key to knowing whether or not the sales process is working as it should. They’re also the only elements that can make this determination and ensure a company succeeds.
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