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    Sales Process: A Structured Approach to Closing Sales Faster!

    Companies that implement a structured sales process increase revenue, performance and forecasting accuracy. Here, we explain why you need a sales process.



    Last updated:   22 November, 2022 - 12 Comments

    There’s one thing that is true about a job in sales (whether B2C or B2B sales)– it’s never boring.

    In fact, a lot of people choose to work in sales because they think it will give them more freedom and less structure.

    And they are not wrong!

    Working in sales gives you a certain degree of independence in how you go about your daily duties. As a sales rep, you need to be flexible and willing to improvise to get that desirable “It’s a deal!” from prospects.

    Yet, another “fun” part in sales lies in the fact that buyers can be rather picky, overly cautious, impulsive and even suspicious. That is why salespeople need to be creative and often adjust their sales techniques to a potential customer’s needs and sometimes – whims.

    So, how can something as unstable as this work under a structured plan, you say?

    This is a question that this article aims to address. In addition, it's going to prove that, despite all, you need a formal sales process because it will make your work more effective, improve performance, and even help you close sales quicker.

    What is a sales process?

    A sales process is a set of repeatable steps that a sales person takes to take a prospective buyer from the early stage of awareness to a closed sale.

    And on average, top sellers spend about 6 hours every single week finding and researching their prospects.

    Typically, a sales process consists of 5-7 steps:

    ProspectingPreparationApproachPresentationHandling objectionsClosingFollow-up.

    Simply put, it is a potential customer’s journey from realizing they have a need for a product to making an actual purchase.

    And since the sales process is a journey for a prospect, it is a roadmap for a sales person.

    Not to be confused with a sales funnel.

    A sales funnel is a visualization of all the active sales activities and interactions between a prospect and a business. Think of it as a hypothesis that illustrates a customer’s journey toward a purchase.

    While most sales teams are aware that they go through a similar process, not many of them decide to outline and standardize the process, leaving it all up to individual sales reps to decide what steps to take and when.

    The logic is quite clear:

    As long as salespeople keep on closing sales and bringing revenue, how they do it – is their own business.

    But, unless you are a natural-born sales rep, you can significantly benefit from a standardized sales process and improve measuring, forecasting and general management of sales.

    Let the numbers do the talking  

    As the old saying goes: “Sales is a numbers game”.

    So, let’s look at the numbers, and see why following a defined sales process in business is more than just a good idea.

    According to research by Sales Management Association, 90% of all companies that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked as the highest performing.

    But, that’s not all.

    Studies by TAS Group, Harvard Business Review have also found that companies that implement a sales process outperform companies that do not.

    For example:

    The TAS Group, found that 70% of the companies that follow a structured process in sales are high performers; over 70% of business forecasts were accurate for the companies with a defined sales process.

    A study by Harvard Business Review (HBR) showed that businesses with a standardized sales process see up to a 28% increase in revenue as compared to those that do not.

    In another research, HBR reveals that 50% of high-performing sales organizations admit having “closely monitored, strictly enforced or automated” sales processes. Meanwhile, 48% of under-performing organizations have non-existent or informal sales processes.

    What these numbers show is that three main sales parameters – revenue, performance and forecasting accuracy – tend to go significantly up when a company adopts a standardized sales process.

    Yet, according to the Objective Management Group, a whopping 68% of all salespeople do not follow a sales process at all.

    So, it’s fair to say that more companies could do better at sales process management.

    The digital evolution of the sales process

    According to Gartner, 75% of B2B sales organizations will add artificial intelligence (AI) guided selling solutions to their traditional sales playbooks by 2025.

    Due to an enormous amount of data and rapid development of sales-enhancing technology, sales leaders around the world are starting to invest in AI and machine learning (ML) technology.

    स्रोत : www.superoffice.com

    The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Sales Process

    Learn how to create a sales process for your team to use when converting any prospect from a lead to a customer.

    The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Sales Process

    Learn how to create a sales process for your team to use when converting any prospect from a lead to a customer.

    Written by: Cambria Davies

    Updated: 08/10/22 Published: 08/10/22

    Imagine you were asked to speak at an event. How would you prepare?

    Would you wing it and say whatever comes to mind? Or would you create a clearly defined outline that adds structure to your talk?

    Unless you’re a master of improv, you’ll likely create an outline if you want your audience to gain value from your presentation.

    Similar to a good speech, your B2B sales efforts also need a bit of structure or process.

    Effective sales processes boost conversions, turn more potential customers into closed deals, and ensure all of your reps provide customers with positive and consistent experiences — no matter who they're talking to.

    However, many sales managers struggle with building scalable sales processes that bring in repeat business consistently.

    Free Download: Sales Plan Template

    That’s why we've created this guide to help you find the best tactics for building a sales process tailored to your business.

    Sales Process Steps

    How to Improve Your Sales Process

    How to Map the Sales Process

    Sales Process vs. Sales Methodology

    Sales Process Examples

    Common Sales Process Mistakes

    What is a sales process?

    A sales process refers to a series of repeatable steps a sales team takes to move a prospect from an early-stage lead to a closed customer. A strong sales process helps reps consistently close deals by giving them a framework to follow.

    Why build a sales process?

    You can think of a sales process as a map that guides your sales team on their journey to turn potential leads into customers. Without the map, your marketing team's lead generation efforts would quickly go to waste.

    Having a standardized sales process could also help less experienced reps quickly get up to speed with best practices and learn what to do at different sales stages.

    You make more money when you build a proper sales process. When you provide your sales team with a common framework, they have a more efficient roadmap to closing deals. For a closer look at the "what," "how," and "why" of sales processes, check out this video:

    Now that you know what a sales process is and why you should create one, let's consider the stages or steps that a typical sales process follows.

    Sales Process Steps


    Connect and qualify leads.

    Research the company.

    Give an effective pitch.

    Handle objections. Close the deal.

    Nurture and continue to sell.

    1. Prospect.

    Prospecting is the process of sourcing new, early-stage leads to begin working through the sales process. It's a vital part of the sales process and part of most reps' daily or weekly workflow.

    Prospecting might involve online research on sites like LinkedIn or Quora. It also might take place at conferences or industry events. Additionally, you can prospect by asking current clients or colleagues to refer individuals who might be interested in your product or service.

    Hot Tip: A great way to prospect is to engage with content on the sites we mentioned above. If you find that a post resonates with you, or you disagree, voice your opinion respectfully. You'll build familiarity with the prospect and they'll be more likely to engage with you later on.

    2. Connect and qualify leads.

    The connect step of the sales process involves reps initiating contact with those early-stage leads to gather information. The second part of this step is qualifying new leads — deciding whether or not they're a good-fit lead for your business and whether or not they'll likely move forward in the buyer's journey.

    A rep can typically identify qualified leads over a "connect" or "discovery" call (sometimes over email if not via phone) by asking qualifying questions like:

    "What is your role within your company?"

    "What do you do day-to-day?"

    "What problem are you trying to solve?"

    "Why is this a priority for your business?"

    "What other solutions are you evaluating?"

    Featured Resource

    Free Sales Plan Template

    Fill out this form to get started planning your sales process.

    Hot Tip: Qualifying leads doesn't have to be complicated. A simple qualification process like BANT can give you a good idea of whether a prospect will be a good fit for the products or services you sell.

    3. Research the company.

    Next comes the research step, when reps learn more about each prospect and company.

    Research helps your reps put themselves in the customer's shoes to offer a more tailored and personalized experience, thus improving the likelihood of closing a deal.

    The crucial part of this stage is understanding each prospect's challenges and needs and establishing your product or service as the solution.

    स्रोत : blog.hubspot.com

    How to map your sales process steps

    Learn how to make sales processes a structured, step-by-step formula that shows your sales team exactly what activities they need to do to close a deal.

    A clear, repeatable sales process enables your reps to understand exactly what they need to do to in order to succeed. It also helps sales managers plan out well-defined sales cycles that can generate more revenue with less effort.

    Why? Because with a standardize your reps have a map that tells them exactly which activities they need to be doing, and when they need to do them.

    When your reps follow the steps of the sales process you laid out, everyone is doing the same activities to get results’ no one deviates from the process, which is both clear and repeatable.

    A sales process can also help you track your team’s process. When you know the steps everyone on your team is taking to close deals, you’ll know how everyone is spending their time and be able to identify where a rep is struggling—or the process itself is falling short.

    In this article, we'll explain what a sales process is, talk through some of the steps in sales processes, and describe how to create a sales process based on the metrics that are most important to your organization.

    What is a sales process?

    A sales process is a structured, step-by-step formula that tells your team exactly what activities they need to do to close a deal. Its steps should cover the stages of your pipeline and result in a smoother workflow.

    A typical sales process generally includes:

    Finding prospects Qualifying them Making contact

    Giving a presentation

    Closing the deal

    Retaining the customer

    A quick search will reveal several variations on the above process. Some sales processes have three steps, some have eight. Despite the many variations, every sales process will take your deal through these sales process steps:

    Finding prospects Qualifying them Engaging them Closing

    Here’s the thing, though: no matter what you read online, there is no one perfect sales process that will work for every sales organization, sales managers should tailor the process to their sales team’s goals.

    When you’re building a sales process for your team, you’ll need to take the following items into consideration:

    Your organization’s most important KPIs

    Clearly defined stages in your pipeline

    Structured lead qualification criteria matched to your pipeline stages

    The activities your salespeople should take at each stage of your pipeline

    The challenge lies in knowing which steps to include and which to discard when you’re designing your sales process. Is it worth breaking down each step into its component parts, (breaking down Making Contact into Cold Emails and Cold Calling, for example), or is it more important for your team to have a quick, streamlined process with only five steps?

    The answers to this question have a lot to do with your sales team, your sales cycle and your organizational goals.

    Sales process steps

    The best way to know which steps to include and which to discard is to examine them in detail. Below is a sales process map showing the most common, universal sales process steps.

    Check out this clearly outlined sales process flowchart below as an example of one you might present to your sales team during strategy meetings or training.

    This sales process flowchart is just a template, but it can help you map out your own process.

    Lead generation

    Depending on the structure of your organization, leads may be generated in different ways. In many cases, warm leads are generated by an inbound marketing team and handed off to your sales team.

    Leads could also be generated:

    Through downloadable content, such as a lead entering their email to receive a download

    Through a conversation with a chatbot on a webpage

    When someone expresses interest in your product or service


    This step (combined with lead generation) can also be called prospecting since you’re actively seeking out sales prospects.

    During the research step, your sales team will examine the leads they’ve been given. This step often includes a lot of time spent online, trying to understand who is the best initial contact for a rep, what problem they’re trying to solve and what their contact information is.

    Your reps may spend a significant amount of time on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, finding common ground with prospects, or looking into recent achievements—anything to find a conversational opening for the next step. They may also speak to contacts at an organization, looking for the best person to talk to.

    There are CRM tools that can help you to track down leads and their information at companies. For example, Pipedrive’s Smart Contact Data feature retrieves information about your Pipedrive contacts that is available on the web with just one click.

    Making Contact

    This is the sales process step people tend to associate with salespeople: that first phone call from a rep, asking for a moment of your time. In fact, initial contact can happen in a variety of ways, including —phone, email, text and social media are all options.

    Cold Calls: Cold calls, though routinely proclaimed dead by blog posts across the internet, are still alive and well and part of many teams' sales processes. The Rain Group found that 69% of buyers accepted cold calls from sales reps in the last year.

    स्रोत : www.pipedrive.com

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