It’s challenging to work in sales. Constantly having to develop new and innovative ways to sell your product or service can be exhausting, and it’s easy to get burned out. That’s why it’s important to have a sales process that you can rely on.
The instability of sales can be mitigated by having a set process to follow. By having a sales process, you can take the guesswork out of selling and use tried-and-true methods that have been proven to be effective. Plus, a sales process allows you to track your progress and optimise your team’s operating rhythm.
Simply put, a sales process is a repeatable series of steps that a salesperson takes to bring a prospect from initial contact through to close. With a standard sales process in place, you can ensure that everyone in your sales team is working towards the same goal. It also makes it easier to measure success and identify areas for improvement.
Impacts Of Not Having A Standard Sales Process
Not having a sales process in place can have some serious consequences. Let’s dig into some of the ways how this can negatively impact your business:
Longer sales cycles
Inefficiency caused by not having a sales process can cause your sales cycles to drag on. If your sales team is fumbling around trying to figure out what to do next, it will take longer to close a deal.
Having a set process ensures everyone knows what exactly needs to be done, which can significantly shorten your sales cycles.
Increased lost deals
If you can’t close deals due to inefficiency, you’re also likely losing out on deals because of the same reason. It’s easy for sales to fall through the cracks when your team doesn’t have a process to follow for tracking deals and following up with prospects.
A sales process gives your sales reps a framework to work from, making it easier to identify and close deals.
Poor data and insights
If you’re not tracking your sales process, it will be challenging to get accurate data and insights into what’s working and what’s not. Without this data, it’s hard to make informed decisions about how to improve your sales process. Having a sales process gives you a way to track data and get insights that can help you improve your sales strategy.
An inconsistent pipeline is one of the biggest problems caused by not having a sales process. When your sales team is all over the place, it’s hard to anticipate when deals will close. This can make forecasting difficult and lead to cash flow problems. With a sales process, your team can keep your pipeline consistent and predictable.
If your sales team isn’t working with a standard process, they’re likely missing out on opportunities to upsell and cross-sell prospects. Without a system in place, it’s easy for salespeople to get tunnel vision and focus only on closing the deal in front of them. Having a sales process lets you ensure that your sales team takes advantage of every opportunity.
How To Create A Standard Sales Process
Now that we’ve gone over how the lack of a sales process can impact your business let’s talk about how to transform your sales process for the better.
1. Define your ideal customer
Define who your ideal customer is by thinking about factors such as demographics, industry, and location. Doing this will help you determine what steps need to be included in your sales process and how you can best serve your customers.
2. Identify your buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Understanding this concept will help you map out the steps that your prospects take when they’re considering a purchase.
3. Create a sales process map
A sales process map will show the steps that your sales team takes from the beginning of the buyer’s journey to the end. It should include all of the tasks that need to be completed to make a sale.
4. Test and refine your sales process
After you’ve created your sales process map, it’s time to test and refine it. This will help you ensure that your sales process is effective and efficient.
5. Implement your sales process
The final step is to implement your sales process. This will involve training your sales team on the new process and ensuring that they are following it correctly.
Benefits of a standardised process
A standardised sales process can offer several benefits for your business, including:
1. Improved employee onboarding and training
When everyone in the company follows the same process, it’s easier to onboard new employees and train them on how to sell. They’ll know exactly what they need to do and how they need to do it. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
2. Clearly documented stages
When you have a standard sales process, each step is clearly documented. This makes it easy for everyone involved to know where they are and what needs to be done next. You can also track progress and identify where sales are stalled.
3. Easier to qualify prospects throughout the sales cycle
A standardised process helps sales reps readily qualify prospects and determine whether they are a good fit for the company. This is because the process spells out what criteria must be met for a prospect to move to the next stage of the sale. Because of this, you save time by only pursuing qualified leads.
4. Improved data and insights
It’s easier to track progress and identify trends when everyone uses the same sales process. With an improved collection of data and insights at each stage of the process, you can identify bottlenecks and make changes wherever necessary.
5. Alignment to technology such as your CRM and opportunities for automation
Your CRM is likely to have features that can automate certain aspects of the sales process. A standardised process allows teams to identify where opportunities for automation exist and make use of them. By automating certain tasks, you can improve the efficiency of your sales process and free up your sales reps to focus on more important assignments.
A standard sales process is important for any business that wants to improve its sales results. By creating a standard process, you can improve employee onboarding and training, document the stages of the process, qualify prospects more easily, and collect data and insights. You can also align your technology with the process, making your sales team more efficient and effective.
Ready to implement a standardised sales process in your company? Schedule a free coaching session with us and take your business to the next level.