How to Build An Improved Sales Process
Learn how to build an improved sales process to better understand your customers and streamline your sales teams’ efficiency.
A sales process defines the steps to be followed by the various members of your sales team. Creating a standardized sales process eliminates confusion and makes it easier to onboard new members with clear-cut roles and responsibilities. Additionally, putting your sales process on paper eliminates guesswork, which can significantly improve the efficiency of your sales team.
The Importance of Having An Effective Sales Process
Having an effective sales process boosts conversions and improves customer experience considerably. Take the example of lead qualification. According to the Harvard Business Review, there’s a 10x drop in lead qualification when you wait for more than 5 minutes to respond to a lead. A ten-minute wait time leads to a 400% decrease compared to 5 minutes. That’s a significant difference, but you’re bound to err on the side of losses when members of your sales team aren’t clear about their next step. Unfortunately, this scenario is true for several organizations, as a majority of salespersons have reported not following a sales process at all. If it’s the same story at your company, don’t fret. This post will help you build a scalable sales process that will considerably improve your team’s efficiency. But first, you need to review your existing sales process.
Even if you don’t have a formal sales process yet, you’ll find that everybody in the organization sort of knows what needs to be done and who does what. That’s the beginning of your standardized sales process – mapping the existing process and understanding the various steps to formalize them.
Below, you can see the critical steps in a sales process:
- Lead qualification
- Pitching the product or service
- Handling objections
- Closing the sale
- Nurturing the relation after the sale
Now, it’s time to analyze your most profitable deals in the recent past. What made them click. What was done differently at each of the crucial steps to move to the next step smoothly? This step will also give you some interesting insights into consumer behavior, such as:
- The reasons for selecting your product or service
- The type of leads that are most likely to convert
- Ideal customer profile
- Product and price optimization
- The size and volume of the deal pipeline
Integrating the insights gleaned at this step to each of the steps identified in the sales process will help you create a standardized procedure that is efficient as well as scalable. Once this is done and you have a broad framework, here are some tips to augment your sales process.
It would help if you had a strategy to create an efficient sales process because, without a sales strategy, your sales team will have no definite aim to achieve. Analyze your past sales and future goals to create a watertight marketing and sales strategy that will form the spine of your sales process. This will include everything from lead generation to pipeline design to streamline the sales process.
2. Use Real-Time Communication to Generate Leads
Your sales process will fall flat without any leads to convert. Therefore, lead generation deserves great attention on your part. One of the easiest and more productive methods of lead generation is using real-time communication tools like live chat and messaging services. For instance, you can use live chat to collect visitor information and help visitors around the site proactively to create a better user experience. Add in a chatbot, and you have yourself a 24/7 lead generation machine that works even when your team is sleeping.
Advanced live chat communication tools also make it easier to connect with prospects and convert them into paying customers by building trust. With CRM integration and facilities like screen sharing, video calling, and co-browsing, it becomes possible to give live demos, guide prospects through lengthy forms and solve issues in real-time, revolutionizing the entire sales process from lead generation to customer service.
3. Introduce KPIs
You cannot improve what you can’t measure. That’s why it’s essential to have specific metrics or key performance indicators in place to understand whether your sales process is effective in meeting your sales goals or not. Some of the common KPIs used by sales teams include:
- Sales-to-date this month
- Sales-to-date this year
- Overall time in the sales cycle
- Closing rate
- Average sales value
- Lifetime customer value
- Customer acquisition cost
- Churn rate
4. Forecast Your Sales
Forecasting is one of the most critical parts of the overall sales process, as it enables you to set your goals and have something tangible to achieve. For instance, if you know your sales team has to close 100 clients this month, you can forecast the number of hours required to complete the task and allocate a budget accordingly. One simple trick you can employ is thinking of your sales funnel as a reverse pyramid. Once you feed the figures at every stage, you can do the Math quickly to find out the percentage of prospects moving to each subsequent stage. So, if you want to close 100 clients by the end of the month, do the reverse calculation to figure out the number of prospects you’ll have to reach out to.
5. Introduce Gamification
Having a formal sales process is great, but you don’t have to do everything others do. There’s always scope for innovation, and it can help your organization achieve more. Gamifying the sales process is one such idea that can significantly improve the efficiency of your sales team. Think about it – who doesn’t enjoy a good game? Besides, gamification also promotes healthy competition, which is good for your company’s bottom line. To get started, you can either invest in a gamification platform or organize tier-based incentives, challenges, and rewards for your sales agents as part of the overall sales process to keep them motivated and engaged in their work.
Building a standardized sales system can significantly improve your overall marketing results and revenue. However, it’s also essential to periodically review the performance of your system and subject it to annual maintenance to purge any outdated methods, materials, or unusable contacts that can clog up the sales pipeline and lead to incorrect forecasts and planning.