This article considers how a formal sales process can make your work more effective, improve performance, and even help you close sales quicker.
What is a sales process?
The sales process helps us identify and qualify those opportunities that fit squarely into our sweet spot. Then it guides us through the sets of activities we need to execute to win the business.
- improve win rates,
- help shorten the buying/sales cycle, and
- maximize deal value & profitability.
If it does not do those things, you’ve got the wrong sales process in place.
A sales process is a set of repeatable steps that a salesperson takes to take a prospective buyer from the early stage of awareness to a closed sale.
Typically, it consists of 5-7 steps: Prospecting, Preparation, Approach, Presentation, objection handling, Closing, and Follow-up.
Simply put, it is a potential customer’s journey from realizing they have a need for a product to making an actual purchase.
Since it represents a journey for a prospect, it is a roadmap for a salesperson.
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. However, there are considerable benefits in standardising the process.
Sales Process Best Practice
According to a research by the Sales Management Association, 90% of all companies that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked as the highest performing. Companies that implement them outperform companies that do not.
- The TAS Group, with reference to the Dealmaker Index Study, states that 70% of the companies that follow a structured process in sales are high performers; over 70% of business forecasts were accurate.
- 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 sale process.
Yet, according to the Objective Management Group, a whopping 68% of all salespeople do not follow it at all!
So, it is fair to say that more companies could do better!
How CRM can help with Sales Process
Sales Processes are a key element in the CRM implementations that our team at ProAptivity undertake. The implementation of a CRM system often forces organisation to look at their existing processes and redefine and delight these in line with best practice.
Is there an ideal process?
Sales processes are unique to the company or organization. It should represent the collective best practices we extract from analysing our wins, and also what we have learned from analysing our losses. They should also align with our organizations culture and values.
Make sure you invest the time in understanding and defining your own process. It is the cornerstone to your success and differentiation. Overlay that and sharpen your execution of your sales process with a great sales methodology. But make sure the methodology is integrated into your sales process.
A CRM system benefits an organisation as it embeds a sales process that is best suited to both the products, culture, and prospects we are engaged with. A CRM system also allows management to monitor lost and abandoned opportunities enabling educated business decisions to be taken.
ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful sales process management.
Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation.
If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM or Pipedrive CRM for more information. Contact us today on 028 9099 6388 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you assess if your business is CRM ready.