By Julia Karnaukh | Courtesy: bpmonline
With over one trillion dollars spent annually on sales forces it is crucial to make sure your sales force is as productive as possible to drive business success. While it might seem that sales is all about building relationships between people – a seller and a buyer – the truth is there are three pillars sales success is based on: people, processes and technology. Indeed, your profitability considerably depends on the sales process. The recent study shows that firms using sales processes to guide sales activity report 30% greater profit than those that do not. Let’s take a closer look at some ways to drive smarter sales processes:
Properly define sales process and what it means for your organization
Our experience shows that most of the companies today have a sales process in place. Nevertheless, there is still a huge gap between having one and acting upon it. Moreover, not that many companies use their own sales process as an internal sales methodology, and even less monitor and measure it on the regular basis.
Re-defining what sales process really means for the organization helps companies to evaluate and ensure success of the operations. In order for the sales process to become a vehicle that drives sales teams to their goals, it has to become an internal sales blueprint that contains a set of well-thought actions from lead qualification to deal closure, which are fully integrated into company’s ecosystem and shape sales behavior.
When implemented correctly, the sales process is accepted by sales reps and managers as the tool that helps improving their productivity and performance. Once defined goes a commitment to act on the efficient, scalable sales process which entails much more than following steps and sequences, and includes a complete transformation to a customer-centric, value-based sales mode.
Automate your sales processes
After the process is duly defined with all stages optimized, it is important to automate processes so the sales reps don’t have to lose any time on implementing or controlling anything saving their energy for more productive activities.
At the same time, it is critical to select an automation tool that will not freeze the processes forever with no opportunity to adjust them when necessary. Success in the highly competitive business environment requires companies to have the agility to constantly test different approaches and processes to see what works best. The automation tool to support the pace of the business growth should enable you to:
- Customize and automate cumbersome, manual processes on the fly.
- Adjust sales process without complex time-consuming configuration by tech specialists.
- Continually test, modify, and improve processes.
- Customize the logics of your business software to the unique organizational requirements.
Bpm’online is a good example of a process-driven CRM that allow to answer rapidly changing business environment allocating competitive advantage.
Regularly assess processes to eliminate bottlenecks and boost result
When the well-define sales process is in place and is automated it is very important to thoroughly track the performance and assess sales process effectiveness. Successful sales organizations constantly test different approaches to see what works best.
The ultimate goal now is to enhance the sales process by exposing bottlenecks and inefficiencies that delay revenues. At the same time, you can replicate the processes of your top-performing salespeople, applying them universally across your company.
A few rules of thumbs to ensure the proper alignment and implementation of the sales process:
- Introduce sales performance metrics and KPIs to check sales process efficiency.
- Permanently examine existing processes to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
- Continually test different approaches, optimize and introduce new processes, applying them universally across your company.
- Team-up with other departments and enhance internal communications, clarifying the roles and processes for sales staff to follow.
From the real-life examples of thousands of our customers we see that introducing a process-centric model of sales pays off as it helps to standardize and spread best practices across entire organization. With a number of new and emerging business models and specific industry requirements, it is vitally important to have the ability to timely monitor processes and optimize them in order to achieve the desired outcomes. By following a comprehensive end-to-end process, sales people make sure they are prepared to execute their sales approach effectively, and drive high revenue for the business. Once you get your processes right, the sales team and the entire company will win.