The sales process creates revenue for your business based on execution. Your sales team’s ability to ensure timely follow-up and manage the pipeline of prospective buyers has a lot of variability towards your results. Have a well-running machine and you can see an optimal flow of revenue. If you struggle to manage leads and execute a continuous process, then there is lost revenue as well as brand damage.
Your CRM system is the central and pivotal place for managing the sales process effectively. There is ideally a symbiosis between sales management and sales team members:
- Management. You get to see what is happening and guide your team towards priorities of activities.
- Sales team. You have the tools for productivity and collaboration which allows you to be more effective, personal and professional.
Managing the sales process should stem from a well-designed system and ongoing management. Here are some items which are important for success and growth:
- Process Design. Your team needs to know what the playbook is and how you are going to execute it. There needs to be a framework for how the sales process will work, especially in conjunction with your inbound marketing process.
- Lead distribution. Having clear rules about how leads are funneled and how they are managed via lists will help to balance the work to service new leads.
- Lead conversion. What qualifies a lead to become a new deal or opportunity? This has to be concrete so that everyone has the same criteria. Make it clear based on what constitutes a new deal as opposed to someone who can merely be nurtured.
- Lead nurturing. For those leads that are unqualified today, have a marketing automation system which nurtures them over time and continues to ready them. This drives future sales and referrals rather than sacrifices the attention you have worked hard to gain.
- Follow-up. The follow-up process has to have relevant touch points. Calling someone and asking if they are ready is unimaginative and intrusive. Think about how you feel in such cases. Follow-up should be about bringing value to help your leads think as well as build relationship with you and your brand.
- Real-time management. Your data should be real-time and provide you with key metrics that help you make decisions for where to apply your sales efforts. If you have a large pool of repeat customers to follow up with, your metrics should surface this. Identify what would help you understand where to monitor results and apply your team’s efforts.
The human touch is important. Systems make it easier. If you can focus your strategies and think through the various pieces that will create a predictable result then ideally your pipeline is continually flowing with new and existing business.
What areas of your sales process need work today?