Everything You Need To Know About Building & Scaling Your Sales Process

Now is the time to get up-to-date with your sales process steps or risk being left behind. Why now?

Technology has made the workplace more collaborative and less hierarchical, while buyers are increasingly savvy about evaluating prices.

Nowadays, salespeople have access to the latest tech that will help them in their job. This is an advantage because it’s made them more competitive than ever before and has also given buyers a voice when purchasing products.

So, while commission-based sales structures can be profitable for businesses to implement, they need to also consider the needs of their employees.

What would happen if you decided to not follow the trends?

The best salespeople are busy figuring out how to improve their process, but you’re not.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

What Is an Efficient Sales Process?

The sales process is a template for achieving the company’s goals. It lays out repeatable steps that are taken to turn an early stage lead into a new customer, which includes several separate selling activities.

Why is Sales Process Needed?

According to Harvard Business Review, a sales process is important because it helps you plan out your client meetings and create an easily understood roadmap for yourself. This will make sure that every step of the way in your meeting goes smoothly without any missed steps or errors.

The Sales Process vs The Sales Methodology: What?s The Difference?

There has been a lot of confusion about these two terms. While they sound similar, they are actually different in the sales world.

When hiring salespeople, it is important to make sure that they are trained in the methodology of your company. Click To Tweet

They should know how to approach each step of the process with knowledge and skill.

You may adopt a single tech sales process for your entire sales force or use different processes in each step of the selling cycle.

The 8 General Sales Process Stages

There are eight stages in the sales cycle steps that every business should know.

  • Preparation is key to success in sales stages. You should spend time understanding your product, the people you are selling it to and what they need from a company like yours.
  • When I started my business, one of the most important lessons that I learned was to do outreach and find companies who matched what we wanted as customers. That has been key for us in growing our company.
  • When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough motivation. However, people are not motivated by base pay alone.
  • Approach ? Now that you know your customer, it is time to start a conversation with them.
  • The unique value of my product is that it will help you save time and money.
  • The most effective way to get people on board with your idea is by addressing their concerns and overcoming any objections they may have.
  • Closing a deal is the last step in making it happen. Send your proposal, get signatures and seal up any loose ends.
  • When it comes to customer service, one should always strive for the best follow-up. This includes not only keeping in touch with customers but also nurturing them and offering upsells.

Some industries may have different stages of growth, and some companies might break it down into five or nine steps.

To simplify the process, you can break it down into eight steps.

1. Preparation & Research

Good preparation is the foundation of a successful sales process. Salespeople need to know about their product, target customers, industry and value that sets them apart from other brands.

Make sure you know what your competitors are doing. How can you differentiate yourself?

Understand your customers’ problems and the benefits of what you offer. This will help motivate salespeople.

To become a better salesperson, learn from your colleagues and the top performers in the company. If you don?t have any knowledge base to refer back to or talk with those who are successful at it already, take time out of their day by asking them for pointers on how they close deals.

2. Prospecting

I found that it was not enough to just find customers. I had to focus on engaging the right ones.

There are many sources of potential customers including your CRM database, social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, industry events or trade shows that you can attend. You can also find people who may be interested in what you’re selling by doing a Google search.

Your sales and marketing teams should come to an agreement on what a “perfect customer” looks like. This will help you focus your limited resources on the leads that are most likely to convert.

At this stage, you need to see if the person is a good fit for your company.

The hardest part of sales is finding the right candidate. The job can be very difficult, so you need to put in a lot of effort when hiring someone.

3. Research

Now that you have identified a potential customer, it is time to do some discovery. Determine if they need what your company offers and determine whether or not your company can offer them the best solution.

This stage of the sales cycle allows for customized solutions to be created that increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

4. Approach

This is the point where you get their attention. This is about identifying what will resonate with them and getting in front of someone who responds to that kind of offer.

This stage is not just about getting attention. You need to know what motivates them and the types of products they are interested in so you can put it before them.

5. Pitch/Presentation

This is the step in the sales cycle where you describe what makes your product or service different from others.

You can make your product more appealing by linking the features and benefits of your products to what they need or want.

It is important to prepare and have a good product, but you also need to focus on the customer. This means that sometimes it?s ok for them not to buy from you or if they want something different than what you are selling.

It is important to use what you learned during the research and approach stages, as well as listening closely when they are speaking.

6. Objection Handling

Rejection and objections are common in sales. Any person who can’t take rejection or objection will soon be out of the game.

Handling objections and pushback is an essential skill for salespeople. Click To Tweet

This step in the process will help them make a sale.

A good way to get better at handling objections is by practicing empathy and constantly thinking about the situation from your customer’s point of view.

The article talks about how to negotiate better and close more deals. It gives tips on what the salesman should do in order to make sure they are not taken advantage of.

7. Closing

The final stage of the sales process is where you close the sale and complete your work. All this hard work will be reflected in how much revenue comes into your company.

The final step is usually sending a proposal or quote that includes the solution you are offering.

It’s important to negotiate the contract or get signatures from multiple key decision-makers in your prospect?s organization. It can be difficult getting through a company’s approvals process, so you should make sure that if something goes wrong with closing it will not result in disappointment and wasted time.

8. Follow-up

Selling to customers is not the end of your sales cycle. Your satisfied customers are great candidates for future business, and they will be more willing to listen if you’re offering something else.

By keeping good customer relationships, you can sell more to them and keep your customers coming back for more.

I have found that a great way to increase customer loyalty is by keeping them updated on the latest services and asking for feedback.

If you’ve put in the work, it’s time to ask for referrals. You deserve them.

There are seven key steps to the sales process that you must include. They will be essential for your success.

Key Elements of a Successful Sales Process

An effective sales process is:

  • It is clear that businesses need to focus on what the customer wants. This means listening and giving them more information as well as a wide range of options.
  • It is important that every stakeholder in the sales process understands what to do and when. This will help ensure your sales strategy has a smooth, easy-to-follow flow.
  • A good salesperson should be able to execute the same process every time without confusion.
  • Your sales process should have a predictable flow with clear expected outcomes.
  • A sales process is goal-oriented. This means that you are constantly trying to improve your ability to meet objectives, which can be anything from driving revenue growth or achieving efficiencies.
  • A sales process should be measurable so that you can improve your success rate.
  • A sales process must be able to adapt quickly in order to meet the needs of a changing business climate, new technology integration or changes within your company.

I also found that it is important to be more in tune with the customer?s buying journey instead of just focusing on my needs.

Optimize Your Sales Process Stages: Best Practices, Tips & Tricks

In time, many sales processes become inefficient and too bloated. Research has shown that the average person spends only 34% of their day actually selling to potential customers.

Improving your sales process means finding ways to make the selling easier for people by automating tasks or making them simpler.

Improve your sales process by focusing on productivity and not just the rate of sale. Click To Tweet

To do this, you take a step back and assess the effectiveness of each stage in your sales process. Once one thing is identified as ineffective or inefficient, focus on making changes to that part alone.

There are a few quick changes that can be made to your sales process, and they mainly involve the way you do things.

  • Data entry into your CRM
  • Email outreach to prospects
  • Creating and sending proposals
  • I spent too much time chasing prospects to sign contracts.
  • The process of handing off work between teams is an integral part of the workflow in any company. It’s not just a simple “I’ll do this, you take over.” There are so many aspects to it that need to be considered before hand.

Creating Your Sales Process Map

Organizing the sales process is not easy, but you can use a map to do it. Here are some steps on how to create one: -Create your list of key tasks that need completion -Narrow down each task into its smallest parts -Find out what needs doing for every part and assign them accordingly

  • Get a notebook and pen, or open up your spreadsheet.
  • In one column, list the stages and customer touchpoints in your sales process. For example, you might have a lead generation stage followed by qualification.
  • In another column, take note of relevant metrics. For example, you can note: The duration of each step The number of transactions The conversion rate to the next step
  • The duration of each step
  • The number of transactions
  • The next step conversion rate
  • In the third column, I want to include all of the selling activities that go into each step (cold calling, follow-up emails).
  • Repeat until the process is complete.

It is important to continue updating your sales process in order to keep up with the current trends.

Metrics: Weighing in on Sales Process Success

The best way to figure out what works for your company is by conducting an audit every now and then. You can do this through analyzing performance metrics, AB testing, etc.

For example, if you are having trouble with your sales process and want to test a new activity or change it in some way, remember that metrics will tell the story.

Tweak Your Sales Cycle Stages

In the past, I may have been able to get a good return on investment from my sales cycle stages. However, things change and what worked for me in the past might not work today.

So you see, the sales game is fluid and so should be your approach. If a few minor tweaks here or there can do wonders on your numbers then by all means make them! And of course track how these changes are impacting things like volumeprofit margins etc.

Hack Your Sales Process Now

As markets change and consumer behavior shifts, the need to adapt becomes imperative. Click To Tweet

Outmoded approaches will not work in this fast-paced environment; sales professionals must embrace customer-centric thinking and new technologies.

When it comes to sales, there are certain steps that you must follow in order for the process to be successful.

Without a template to follow, or knowledge of the different stages that are part of each sales cycle, your team will not perform as well. The only way for success is re-imagining your process with accurate tools and strategies.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.