Build a Sales Process
What's a Sales Process?
A sales process outlines repeatable steps that your sales team will take to convert a lead into a customer. It’s a framework that provides structure to your reps, teaches them how to sell, and provides enough metrics for you to monitor their success. Using a sales process boosts your revenue and creates a predictable and positive customer experience.
Why Build a Sales Process?
- Increased Productivity
Disorganization kills productivity. Your team might be the New York Yankees of sales, but they still need a clear path detailing the steps and milestones new leads must go through. Otherwise, your most promising prospects could fall through the cracks. Knowing what action to take on leads at each stage of your sales process will increase a rep’s confidence and productivity.
- Faster Onboarding
For new reps, your sales process is a map that summarizes how to get from point A to point B. A clear, detailed, and simple process shows them how to deal with common obstacles during the customer journey. And since everyone on the team follows the same guidelines, you will equip more senior reps to train any new additions to your team.
- Refine as Needed
High-performing sales teams continuously refine their process for optimal productivity. Tracking measurable data—such as conversion rates per stage, sales cycle length, or average deal size—and asking your team for feedback will help you identify bottlenecks or leaks in your process.
- Report, Repeat, & Scale
Your sales process is a clear path to close—with that, you can predict company revenue, set achievable (yet challenging) quotas, and scale your win rate. With a more accurate sense of your wins and losses, you’ll be able to forecast the number of sales your team can close from a given number of leads.
How to Create a Sales Process
A successful sales process comprises the below steps. We provide additional details on each step in this blog post.
- Lead Generation
- Negotiation & Close
Before you start building your sales process, answer the following questions:
Your Business and Your Customer
- What do you sell?
- Subscription, product, service, good, channel sales, partnership
- What is your average sales price?
- How long has your company been in business?
- Who is your customer? Who do you sell to?
- Time zone
- Where do you get your leads?
- Inbound: through your company website, content marketing
- Outbound: purchase lists, existing industry database, consumer database, LinkedIn
- How do you import leads into Close?
- Manual import
- API, Zapier
- Other integration
- How many new leads do you get per week?
- How many salespeople do you have/plan to employ?
- Do you have a sales manager?
- How can leads purchase your product?
- Through website
- Through salesperson
- What qualifies a lead as a good fit?
- What’s your average sales cycle length?
- How do you assign leads to your reps?
- Regional areas, territories, round-robin
- How do you qualify leads?
- Manual qualification (sales rep)
- Automated Qualification (website, form)
- Once a lead is in your CRM, how do you first communicate with them?
- Once you’re in touch with a decision maker and you understand they’re a good fit, what’s the next step to close them?
- What steps do you take if you can’t get in touch with a decision maker on the first try?
- How often do you want to communicate with your leads?
- What types of communication do you want to include? (Call, email, SMS)
- What types of meetings do you need to close a deal?
- Formal qualification, demo, proposal
- What tools do you need to complete your workflow?
- What level of automation do you want or need for your workflow?
- What does a successful rep’s activity look like?
- How many deals does a rep need to close per month?
- How is their activity measured?
- What metrics do you want to report on?
- What are your sales goals for the year?
- ARR goal, sales team expansion, etc.
Using the above questions, map your sales process while keeping the following items in mind:
- Define your Goal(s)
What are you trying to accomplish? As you build each step of your sales process, keep your goal(s) in mind to avoid focusing too much on small, inconsequential details. Goals can range from providing great customer experience to increasing revenue by X%. They will guide your decisions as you build and improve your process.
Deep dive into your company history. What differentiates you from your competitors? Visualize your company’s current sales funnel. What is working, what’s not? What’s the current customer journey? What are successful reps doing? What has produced the best results in the past? Look at your data and build on what’s already working.
- Think of Your Customers
Don’t think of your sales process as one-sided. Align it as best you can with the perspective and preferences of your customers. What’s your typical customer’s buying process? How can you add value to your customers? Why do customers buy from you? Does your company have any feedback from customers on their likes and dislikes?
- Define Each Step
Your sales process should leave no room for interpretation. Write it down and get feedback from your reps to avoid any misunderstanding.
- Establish Metrics
Once you’ve outlined your sales process, set up metrics to help determine the efficacy of each step. Keep your goal(s) in mind as you decide which metric is important. Metrics can also be the ways in which you’ll motivate your reps to achieve your overarching goals.