If you’re a sales leader, you should already know that a good sales process is the backbone of any successful sales organization. By establishing a common language and set of expectations, a sales process keeps sales reps from veering off course, as well as provides leadership with the ability to easily track deal progression.
However, sometimes companies forget that, while consistently adhering to your process steps is critical, your sales process is a living, breathing playbook that must be updated and optimized over time. It’s important to keep in mind that your sales process is supposed to work for your organization - not the other way around.
As such, finding ways to accelerate and improve certain process steps should be a priority for your sales team. Here are three sales process strategies that are proven to have a positive impact.
1. Automate Data Capture
If you built your sales process with a data strategy in mind (if you didn’t, then check out this blog), chances are that there are certain data points you expect reps to capture at various points throughout the sales cycle. These can range from calls made to collateral sent or pricing given. You then rely on these data points to make decisions about your sales strategy.
While this information is obviously necessary and highly valuable, having to capture all of it can be time consuming for reps. And with reps spending just ⅓ of their time actually selling, the less data entry they have to do, the better. Choosing a CRM or sales platform with the ability to automatically capture data around activities like calling and emailing not only enables reps to focus on selling, it also speeds up the sales process by allowing them to move more quickly between steps.
2. Leverage Key Integrations
Usually, your sales process doesn’t stay within your CRM or sales platform. There are various tools that reps are required to use along the way. However, switching back and forth between various systems causes friction in your process, as well as can result in important sales data to be lost or mis-entered.
That’s why integrating your CRM with other key sales tools like email or contract software can help grease the wheels of your sales process. For example, Base’s integration with PandaDoc enables users to pre-populate quotes, proposals and contracts with the contact information already stored within Base’s sales platform. That way, reps don’t have to waste time re-entering or copy and pasting existing data. What’s more, this also helps avoid typos and misinformation.
3. Consistently Measure
Remember that a sales process is a living, breathing playbook that should be constantly optimized. But trying to recalibrate across different processes and measure the impact of changes you’ve made over time can be a struggle. This is why many sales teams either find themselves slaves to an ineffective process, or haphazardly change steps in attempt to find the “perfect” combination.
The most successful teams consistently and strategically take a step back and measure the impact of their sales processes using the Sales Formula. You may be familiar with the concept of “controlled variables” in science. The purpose of a control is to remain constant while other variables are adjusted so that you can be sure that these adjustments are actually responsible for causing any changes in performance, and can’t be explained away by other factors.
Think of the Sales Formula as your controlled variable when adjusting your sales process. It serves as an anchor or a consistent way to measure sales progress among changes to your process. That’s why each time you add, remove or alter a step in your sales process, it should be mapped to the formula and carefully monitored, as shown in the example below.
As you capture the information necessary to complete each step of your sales process and develop a consistent data set, measuring these key data points or factors across the sales formula will uncover actionable insights as to which process steps and components are either working for your business or causing bottlenecks. For a more detailed explanation of how this works, download this free eBook.
Take Your Sales Process from 0-60
Don’t fall into the trap of “setting and forgetting” your sales process. Make accelerating and optimizing your process a constant priority, and watch your team’s efficiency and performance skyrocket. To learn more about other ways that next-generation sales leaders are taking their teams to the next level, check out The 2017 Guide for Next Generation Sales Leaders.