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Five Characteristics of a Robust Sales Process
Blog / Sales Management / Mar 25, 2014 / Posted by Richard Young / 4157 

Five Characteristics of a Robust Sales Process

Your sales process is arguably the most important tool you have at your disposal to empower sales reps to achieve their quota.

In sales, a generalised aim is to convert a lead as quickly as possible. That’s because research shows that the longer a lead hangs around in your pipeline, the likelihood of it converting will reduce.

But how do you ensure your sales process is designed to achieve this?

Keep reading and you’ll discover five key indicators which you can use to assess if your sales process is robust and fit for purpose.

#1: Does your Sales Process add Value?

When talking about value, you need to consider it from the perspective of two interested parties:

  • The prospects and customers who will experience your sales process as they make their buying decision
  • Your sales reps and managers who will use the process on a day-to-day basis to close deals

When deciding if your sales process is adding value to your customers, the key question to consider is whether it’s effective at helping them along their decision-making process. There are a couple ways this objective can be achieved. For example:

  • Ensure that reps offer solutions that make sense to the prospect within the context that your solution will be used
  • Demonstrate there is real value for the prospect if they progress to the next stage of your sales process

In terms of adding value to the business, measurable factors such as pipeline velocity and cost per sale should be considered. But in addition, don’t forget to explore the less tangible benefits. For example, your sales process has huge potential to build your “know, like, trust” factor as well as your credibility. If the sales process is delivered well, it’s possible that instead of being perceived as a necessary supplier, you’ll become a trusted partner.

Robust Sales Process is Key for Healthy Pipeline Management

#2: Is your Sales Process Scalable?

Your sales process is scalable when you’re able to input more leads and the process still works without the need for lots of customisation.

In short, whether you have five, 50 or 5,000 customers, a scalable sales process will remain effective at attracting and converting leads into paying customers. Regardless of volume, the sales process still converts leads at a predictable rate within an accepted pipeline velocity.

The key benefit of a scalable process is that it enables your business manage short-term increases in leads (such as in response to seasonal trends or following a special offer), as well as longer-term, ongoing growth.

#3: Is your Sales Process Efficient?

Most importantly, an efficient sales process is one that your reps clearly understand. They know how to use it, it makes sense to them and it empowers them to do their sales job well (it doesn’t hinder them).

In terms of functionality, an efficient sales process will be streamlined. This means that any unnecessary stages or repetition will be removed. This will enhance pipeline velocity, speed up the sales process and reduce the cost per sale.

Finally, a streamlined process will make it easier for prospects to make their buying decision which in turn will bolster its effectiveness.

#4: Is your Sales Process Measurable?

For your sales process to be useful, it has to be measurable.

Sales reps and sales managers need to be able to understand, at-a-glance, how the opportunities within your pipeline are performing and where issues may lie. With this quantitative information to hand, it becomes possible to identify issues such as pipeline leakage, insufficient leads or poor performance amongst individual reps. And if you have real evidence in the form of figures, it becomes far easier to tackle issues and introduce remedial action where appropriate.

In terms of sales process management, the following four metrics are absolutely critical.

That’s because not only do these sales process metrics enable you to assess the health of your pipeline, they also enable you to forecast your sales with a high degree of accuracy.

  1. Number of Leads – the number of quality leads turning into opportunities
  2. The Average Deal Value – Average revenue generated by each sale
  3. Drop off/Win rate – the number of leads required to close a deal
  4. Pipeline Velocity – time needed for a deal to progress from lead to close

#5: Is your Sales Process Designed to Enable Sales Reps to Succeed?

Finally, your sales process needs to work in practice.

This means that it needs to be designed and communicated in such a way that it equips sales reps for success. Therefore, the best sales processes are created with the input of best practice and the experience of your top performers.

  • It pays to identify the sales tactics that are proven to convert prospects from one stage of the pipeline to the next
  • It’s helpful to identify where the likely blockages in the pipeline occurs so you can introduce tactics to overcome these

How does your sales management system enable you to monitor and analyse your sales process? What factors do you measure your sales process against to ensure it’s fit for purpose?

Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

About Author

Richard helped introduce CRM to the UK back in the '90s. With this wealth of knowledge, Richard helps organizations with their CRM and sales management processes in a practical and efficient manner.

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