Are you asking yourself why having a B2B sales process is valuable for your organization?
Many people tell me about the virtues of a sales process.
Mostly, they appreciate having something that guides their selling activities, step by step. But it’s not merely valuable to have something that reminds you what to do, or codifies what you already know, so that you don’t forget it.
There is another advantage to having a sales process. It saves you time.
Let me explain.
Salespeople want to be as busy as possible. The busier you are, the more likelihood that you are going to close more business.
But, busy has its drawbacks.
For example, something happens and you must squeeze more into an already busy day. And, when you get behind, you start rushing and cutting corners.
This frantic activity goes into a tailwind if you have to stop to think about what format to use for the proposal. Or, what agenda to follow during a first time sales call. This can extend to knowing what questions to ask or what type of presentation collateral to bring.
A process allows you to grab all this information on the fly, without reinventing the wheel every time.
Let's break the value of a sales process into specific categories to analyze where having one helps sales teams.
The Value of a Sales Process
Understanding and agreeing to best practice steps of a sales process ensures that everyone on your team in “speaking the same language.” Sure, there will always be high-performing reps on even the most disorganized sales teams. However, there will be even more that are struggling.
Since it’s true that any team is really the sum of all its parts, make sure you are supporting each rep with a sales process. This way, if people are falling behind, you will be able to identify where the problem occurred, and then coach them to success.
In addition, it creates uniformity. Maybe your leads get passed from one sales rep to another. In order to keep the opportunity moving through the pipeline, each rep will have to follow a similar strategy.
A sales team without alignment is no team at all. Having a sales process creates alignment, with enables collaboration and teamwork while also fostering a healthy sales culture.
Without a universal sales process, there is no way to benchmark the success of your team. In fact, we recommend using your sales process to inform gaps and success areas.
Let’s break this down. If each one of your reps is accurately documenting information that is directly aligned to the stages of your company’s sales process, the data can be used for accurate analysis.
On the other hand, if only some people are documenting information or your team has no sales process to align documentation to, your company’s data will be irrelevant.
When it comes to accurately measuring success, the big picture is very important. It tells illustrates the story of where your company stands now, and how things will be in the future.
3. Time Management
As salespeople, you want to be busy. Busy often equates with lots of sales activity which results in more closed business. However, being busy has setbacks, too.
We talked about this earlier in the post, but time management is one of the most valuable aspects of a sales process.
Typically, when your team members get too busy, they get flustered. Being flustered usually leads to a downward spiral based on bad decisions like overlooking details, rushing through proposals, or ignoring agendas. A proper sales process guides your team, even at their most flustered state. Why? Because if you truly have a sales process that works, it should feel natural.
Similarly, having a robust sales process eliminates the game of ask and reply. For example, if there is no set sales process in place sales reps will reach out to their managers to ask questions and get answers. Typically, managers are extremely busy answering the same questions from various different team members.
Having a documented sales process enables team members to gather information and answers on their own time. This saves management and sales team members time.
4. Sales Management
After reading the points above, it’s evident that having a systematic sales process enables better sales management
Because each rep is following the same process, overall success will be tied to something that you can actually control.
- Are opportunities taking too long to close?
- See what you can add or take out of the process to save time.
- Is your team forgetting to log information in CRM?
- Clearly define what parts of the sales process must be logged and why.
- Are the majority of leads coming in not sales-qualified?
- Work with your company’s marketing function to shift content to attract the right leads.
To be able to know where you are so that you can engage quickly into the process is a real time saver.
Similarly, because it saves management time, it enables leaders to focus on growth and strategy. Using the measurements, alignment, and extra time, they will be able to analyze performance and fill in gaps where possible.
Here at Criteria for Success, we practice what we preach.
How? By documenting our sales process in our company's Sales PlayBook. We include links to templates, forms, paperwork, and more that is needed to complete the sales process successful. Additionally, the process extends into delivery of our services, where our punchlist templates for each phase of our engagements are ready to go.
Do you have any other thoughts on the value of a sales process? Let us know in the comments!
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