How to Build a Sales Process for Your Sales Team
Behind every successful company and closed business deal is a well-defined sales process. Having an effective sales process not only improves your overall management but also helps drive an increase in revenue. According to a report, there is a significant 18% difference in revenue growth between companies that have adopted a sales management process and those that have not.
So how can you create a practical and effective sales process? There are seven essential steps or stages to building a winning sales process. This begins with identifying and engaging prospects, researching the company, preparing a strong pitch, addressing their challenges and concerns, closing the sales deal, following up and asking for feedback, and offering customer service and support.
Defining a Sales Process and Why It’s Important for Every Sales Team
A sales process pertains to the overall journey of finding a prospect and converting them to an actual customer. It’s the foundation for which every closed sale or deal is made and it acts as a guide for the sales team to meet their sales objectives and bring in revenue for the company.
With that said, it’s important for all salespersons in your team to understand every step in the sales process. They should be able to actively bring the customer along with the different touchpoints of the sales funnel and make sure that they don’t miss a single stage to ensure a sure deal. This will help increase your team’s selling efficiency, customer conversion rate, and reduce client turnover rates.
A sales process also helps in standardizing the quality of service that your team is providing to customers. This helps build customer satisfaction and increases their loyalty to your company. In addition, implementing a sales process greatly helps any new recruits and members of your sales team. During onboarding, a clear sales strategy and roadmap will help you educate and prepare your salespeople for the actual process of selling and lead generation.
A Guide to Building a Winning Sales Process
To help create your team’s sales process, you should first identify your customer and market profile as well as lay down your business goals and objectives.
Preparing your market research includes competitor analysis and determining your ideal target audience. It’s crucial to have an understanding of your customer’s demographics, needs, and desires so you can build your sales process and pitch around it. A well-prepared sales plan is also needed since this serves as an overview of your goals and the strategies you are prepared to take to achieve them.
When you have your customer profile and sales plan ready, you can proceed to build a sales process. Sales management can be different and unique for every company depending on their identified market needs but there are seven steps that are commonly included in a standard sales process.
1. Identify and Engage Prospects
At the early stage of every sales process is sales prospecting. This refers to the crucial step of finding leads and converting them to potential prospects or customers. Prospecting is usually done by attending conferences and networking events or doing online research.
Salespeople can find online prospects in sites such as job boards like LinkedIn and Glassboard, and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You can also attract prospects and create a following by starting a channel on YouTube or joining conversations in online forums and Q&A sites like Reddit and Quora.
During prospecting, it’s important to look for individuals and companies who can be a good fit for your service or product. Some salespeople find this process tedious but it’s worth the effort in the long run.
2. Research and Understand More About What the Prospect Needs
Once you’ve selected your sales prospects, the next step in engaging and convincing them to action is to learn more about their background. This includes asking the right questions about their business, operations, and objectives to help you determine whether they will actually need your service.
You should be able to identify their pain points and challenges so you can offer your product as a solution for their business. The chances of securing a deal are high once they see and understand how they can benefit from your offerings.
3. Prepare A Solid Pitch Presentation
When they’ve finally expressed their interest and invited you for a formal pitch, you have to make sure to be thoroughly prepared with your sales presentation. Remind your sales team to always put their best foot forward and provide an effective pitch for the main decision makers of the company or your prospects.
During the pitch, be sure to highlight your features and benefits and connect it to their challenges to establish the need for your offering. Always circle back to their struggles and present how you can solve their issues with your service. Your pitch should also be engaging and educational and you can do a demonstration so they will better understand how to make your product work.
4. Be Ready to Address and Handle Their Concerns
Every pitch presentation has a part where the prospects will start asking questions about your proposal. An effective salesperson should know how to handle any queries and possible rejections.
As part of the preparation for the pitch, your sales team should be trained to prepare for the worst possible scenarios and have answers ready for potential questions. They should be able to anticipate objections and have statements to address their concerns. During the Q&A portion, they should listen well to the clients as this will also reflect on the type of customer service and experience that you are providing.
5. Close the Sales Deal
Depending on how well the entire presentation goes, you should be ready with your closing statement that will persuade them to seal the deal. During this process, your team should assist the client as you finalize the sale and come to a contractual agreement regarding the terms of the purchase.
This step usually includes negotiating the price, delivering a quote, and tailoring the service or solution for the final contract. To make everything official, all contracts must have signatures from the important decision-makers within the prospect’s company and make sure to transfer the sale to the respective account manager.
6. Follow Up and Ask for Feedback
The sales process doesn’t simply end with closing a deal. You should remain in contact with the client and ensure that they’re getting the best experience with your product. Ask about customer satisfaction since this is one way to know where you can improve your overall service and sales process. You can also keep them in the loop for any new services that they may like or you can even ask for referrals from them.
7. Provide Customer Service and After-Sales Support
Customer service and after-sales support also play a part in client satisfaction and retention. It’s the key to maintaining a good customer relationship and it earns their loyalty for the business in the long run. It also increases overall value for your service and brand which can generate more potential customers and revenue for your company.
What’s Next After Establishing a Sales Process
Having a sales process can help your sales team to thrive in their transactions and proposals. However, it’s also essential to constantly do an evaluation of your processes and look for ways on how your team can improve to provide better performance. Here are some tips to help improve your sales processes:
- Review your ongoing sales process and get member feedback. The sales process should not only tailor to your customers’ needs but also to your employees. You should observe your team as they go through each step of the sales process and see how long they usually take to close a deal.
- Identify key performance indicators and success metrics. Defining KPIs and success metrics will help your team as they take their prospects to the next step in the sales process. This will also serve as a measurement of how long it averagely takes to successfully secure a deal.
- Study your customers and their buyer’s journey. Every customer is unique and a salesperson should always be updated with their buyer’s journey to have a better understanding of the factors that affect their purchase decisions. This also gives you more insights for the prospecting aspect of the sales process.
- Create a database for easy monitoring of your clients. You can utilize technology to help you monitor and assess your customers’ needs and feedback. This is where investing in a good customer relationship management (CRM) tool comes in. With a CRM solution, you can simplify interactions with your customers and enhance the service that you are providing.
Prepare Your Sales Team for Success With Commence CRM
The entire sales process doesn’t have to be overly complicated and can be easily managed with the help of a CRM software like Commence. With Commence CRM, you can streamline your processes and make every sales opportunity and transaction go smoothly from lead generation to closing the deal.
Commence is a reliable CRM partner of any small and medium-sized company for all their sales, accounts, marketing, and customer service needs. We offer a comprehensive CRM solution designed with features and functionality that will drive your enterprise to success. Call us today to learn more.