Sales Process…is yours defined?

It’s been said that “if you don’t have a defined sales process you are not running a business but a lottery.”

It has also been said that if you control your sales process, you control your future. Every corporation, large or small, has a sales process. The question is has it been clearly defined and do all of your stakeholders execute it to maximum sales effect?

For most companies, there is an ideal sales process and sales cycle – sometimes referred to as a Sales Funnel. Once it is known it should be documented and built into your CRM or sales lead management program, and your sales team should be well trained in it. Traditionally, the process and cycle takes a prospect through stages to ultimately be won as a customer.  One of our customers uses the following stages:

  1. Identifying Needs
  2. Qualifying
  3. Developing
  4. Proposing
  5. Close

Each stage requires specific work be completed.  Every sales person is trained in this customized sales process to make sure they adhere to it, and it is drilled it into them. This enables the company to learn from every engagement things such as the reasons for “wins” versus “losses”.  They are continually examining how to improve their sales process.  Doing so enables them to identify what works and what doesn’t so they can do more of the former and less of the latter.

This also requires the establishment of metrics in order to determine what success looks like. For example:

  • What percentage of your leads or contacts become “qualified” as bonafide prospects? (Can use your product)
  • What percentage of “prospects” are receptive to or request a proposal?
  • What percentage of your proposals result in sales vs. losses?
  • What reasons are you given for your Wins and Losses?

The goal is to work to continually improve the percentages.  Answers to these questions can help you and your sales team determine how and where to make better calls, submit more effective proposals and win more business.  Identifying reasonable and achievable percentages can drive improved performance. For example, we have learned that if we get a prospect to the proposal stage, we have an 80% likelihood of winning their business.

A Sales Process is not something that should be taken for granted. If you don’t have one that is clearly defined it’s time to create one. If you have one perhaps it is time to give it a fresh and thorough look and invite your sales team to  participate. It is all about increasing sales and that is something Ultimate Lead is all about too!

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