Want to achieve consistent sales, faster? You need a sales process. Defining a systematic or repeatable process involving a series of steps enables everyone on your sales team to close more deals, faster. The series of steps within the process are unique to your organization and industry, and they must be customer-centric. By outlining a process built on best practices, and training your sales team on how to execute the process, they’ll be able to acquire new customers, retain current customers, and increase sales transaction values, faster and more efficiently.
Sales enablement through a defined process is necessary for every step of the buying cycle and works to optimize all interactions with potential buyers. You can’t expect your sales team to be able to deliver consistent and sustainable sales if they are all out doing their own thing or wasting time experimenting with tactics that miss the mark.
Why is a Sale Process so Important?
Documenting, articulating, and measuring the sales team on a sales process is essential for ensuring consistent results. But it’s more than just consistency.
The benefits of going through the exercise of documenting your sales process are many:
- More cost-effective lead generation
- Increases in lead conversion rates
- Shortens sales cycles
- Increases the average dollar sale
- Improves profit margins
- Boosts sales team productivity
- Drives selling costs down
- Faster and easier to onboard new sales team members
This can’t be understated – Since most salespeople learn from their peers, having a standardized sales process will help new hires or less experienced sales reps quickly get up to speed. Sharing best practices and what to activities to perform at each step in the sales process speeds up the onboarding process for new hires and ensures a consistent experience for prospects.
How to Document Your Sales Process
Typically, there are at least three sales processes that need to be identified, but your organization may have more depending on your industry or distribution model.
- New Client/Customer Acquisition
- Existing Client/Customer Upsell or Cross-Sell
- Existing Client/Customer Reorder
You’ll need to define the steps for each one of these sales processes.
Use the Customer Journey as a Guide
Defining an effective sales process is the best practice of identifying and documenting the most direct path from prospect identification to close of sale. In fact, effective sales processes mirror the buyer or customer journey from awareness to interest to desire to action. Don’t forget to nurture the customer relationship after the initial sale. Reorders and upselling additional products and services are extremely important to improve the lifetime value or profitability of each customer. Just a note – a good sales process identifies what action the sales (and marketing) team should take and when, to move the prospect closer to a sale.
As a best practice, documenting your sales process should be done collaboratively with the whole sales team. This is vitally important for inside and virtual sales teams as well, so don’t forget to include them. Ask everyone – what’s working? What best practices can we share with each other? Ask your inside sales team what they do to handle customer concerns, reorders, and any upselling. Ask where people see the most objections. What do the customers want to know at each stage of the customer journey? What gets people to move to the next stage?
To get started, here’s a list of information to collect and to document your process.
Want more insight into creating a documented sales process for your team? I use a variety of tools with my clients to help them define the process, document it, deploy it, and put a measurement system in place. I’ve been very successful at enabling companies to generate more consistent sales. So, give me a call at 630.649.4943 for a free, no obligation 45-minute consultation.
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