It should be abundantly clear that no medium to large B2B sales team or company can grow and succeed today without a clear-cut sales process. Pipeliner is the only CRM solution to allow a company complete flexibility in adapting its sales process to CRM and to allow a company’s sales process to be rendered in seven different completely visual views.
Today a company may have different sales processes for different products, functions, or product lines, and Pipeliner was the first CRM to provide the ability to set up multiple pipelines.
We have always recommended that a company’s sales process contain three to ten stages. We don’t believe it’s efficient to have more than 10 steps in a sales process because the steps can become redundant—in such a case, it might be better to combine steps.
Sales Step Activities
We have, for some time, contained sales enablement activities within each step—seller activity is related to buyer action. We have now taken this function to a whole new level. Our new Sales Step Activities feature allows companies to embed a real sales playbook—again, like no other CRM solution available today—providing true sales guidance to salespeople.
Like all other Pipeliner features, this new functionality is entirely visual, so the salesperson can instantly understand and utilize it. We have also made implementing this feature very easy for a CRM administrator.
With Sales Step Activities, a company lays out specific steps that must be taken within a particular sales process stage for a deal to move out of that stage and into the next one. But here is where we leave other CRM solutions in the dust: since no two companies are alike, we provide eleven different types of activities that can be added to a sales process step, including:
- Creating a task
- Running a campaign
- Attaching a document
- Creating a note with an image
- Using a document template
- Filling in an opportunity description
- And more
We have even made it possible to utilize automation within sales process steps. You can:
- Enroll to an email sequence—the prospect or customer will now be sent a series of emails you have set up.
- Run Automatizer—automate any routine or repetitive tasks for that sales process step.
- Map Sales Roles—visually display the various roles within your prospect or customer company.
- Create Influencer Map—create a map of relationships influencing the opportunity within the prospect company.
Any of these activities can be made mandatory. In other words, an opportunity can only be moved from that stage once a particular activity has been completed, or a number of activities have been completed.
Sales step activities can be applied to any of the pipelines you have set up within CRM.
When a step activity is created, it can be based on a condition. A condition could be, for example, the size of the company being sold to—you would send a different ebook or document to a company with over 500 employees than one with 50. Another condition could be the deal size; a larger opportunity might have other activities than a smaller one.
Another condition might be the person with whom the salesperson is communicating. They would communicate differently to the actual buyer than the person who is simply reaching out to evaluate their product and who, themselves, don’t have any real interest.
Any Sales Methodology
This new Step Activities Feature makes it possible for a company to incorporate any sales methodology they are using to sell. This includes Sandler Selling System, SPIN Selling, SNAP Selling, Challenger Sale, RAIN Selling or any other set of sales techniques.
Creating Step Activities
The person performing the admin function for Pipeliner will have to think through the possible activities for each sales process step. This should be done with the assistance of the sales manager if the administrator and the sales manager are different people.
As with formulating the sales process, I do not suggest getting the sales activities for each stage perfect right at the beginning. I always make this suggestion in both cases: start somewhere. Begin with a few steps, and then a few weeks later you’ll realize another should be added. A few months later, you’ll see another is needed. Just begin with something and continue from there.
Because there is now precision guidance of activities in each step, analysis of your sales process and sales team can be equally precise. You can see which opportunities are closing and which are not, what kind of activities your salespeople have performed, and why a salesperson wins more than loses deals or the opposite.
Better analysis means improved support, and education and training, for your team.
Process Approval—Coming Soon!
Shortly, we will release another robust new Pipeliner feature, Process Approval, that will work in tandem with Sales Step Activities. This feature will mean that, for example, any proposal over a certain size must be approved by management, and until it is, it cannot be moved forward.