It can be tempting to think of sales process development as a one-time thing. You build your process and you’re good, right?
Over time, you’ll need to review and revise your sales process. If you don’t, you’ll eventually need to start back at the beginning.
We recommend reviewing the process quarterly. Here are five things to look for.
5 Opportunities for Sales Process Development
Is the team skipping steps in the process? For example, if they’re commonly jumping from step 2 to step 4, you may need to look at step 3 and see why they’re not using it. They might typically do the activities of steps 2 and 3 together, in which case it may make sense to merge them. Or if they're forgetting to do step 3 altogether, you'll need to determine why not and whether you need to enforce it or remove it.
Are you planning any sales training? If so, consider how to integrate it into your sales process. A good sales training partner will take the time to learn your process, but they may also introduce a new methodology or recommend changes to your process. If you don’t change the process, you’ll be sending your team a mixed message. Make process development a part of your sales training process.
Are there disconnects between sales and other departments, or disconnects between various groups within sales? If so, your process might be the problem. If you can figure out the root cause of the disconnects, work to revise the process to resolve them. A consistent approach for sales process development can help you avoid repeating the same problems.
Where are you losing opportunities? Losses are inevitable, but if you notice a significant trend in any stage of the process, it’s worth a deep dive. The fix might be a process issue, a training issue, or both.
Has your CRM system changed? If you’ve made any changes to your CRM system, or you are planning to, look at how those changes might impact the sales process. Will people need to capture more information earlier in the process? Will they need to process paperwork or approvals differently? This all needs to be reflected in the sales process.
I hope these ideas are helpful as you are developing your sales process! For more best practices and a simple 9-step process, check out our resource on sales process development.