Sales Process Design
A Sales Process Design is an effort to create a comprehensive resource to assist both veteran and new sales employees maximize their sales capabilities, while helping a company efficiently and effectively grow.
A Sales Process, when used in conjunction with the Sales Playbook, guides a sales organization toward success and optimizes the time spent selling.
Sales Process Design is also intended to accelerate the onboarding of new employees and their contributions to our company and customers.
Company growth depends on the sales engine running . The goal is to ramp sellers’ knowledge of a company’s procedures and become familiar with its cadence and policies as quickly as possible.
The faster salespeople master a sales process design, the faster they can exceed objectives and earn commissions.
A sales process design begins with understanding the fundamentals of a business before any introduction of solutions, services or products, including:
- Company Mission
- The business they are in
- Their people and how they reflect the company’s unique culture and
- The company’s values, particularly how they relate to customer service.
Establish the Sales Process
The methodology for compiling a modern sales process begins with four specific components that require cross-functional introspection, analysis and consensus.
1. Ideal Customer Profile analysis
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a description of the purchasing company that’s a perfect fit for your solution — not the individual buyer or end user.
Your ICP should focus on relevant characteristics of your target accounts, such as:
- Annual revenue
- Size of their customer base
- Employee headcount (companywide and within key departments)
- Technology they use
- Level of organizational or technological maturity
Nail the profile of the ideal customer, the customers’ pain points and preferences and the critical business issues customers are trying to solve.
2. Buying process
Identify conditions or events that trigger buyer consideration, evaluation, and purchase. What are the behaviors of a qualified opportunity?
3. Company offer and value proposition
Describe and clarify what your company offers and the ways in which your products and services address the customer’s pain points and business issues.
What problems do customers face that we solve better than anyone else?
What value do we create through the entire life cycle of their buying process, implementation, renewal and expansion?
4. Competitive analysis
Detail how competitors position themselves in the market, their selling process, typical moves by each competitor, and recommendations on how to counter these moves.
An open, analytical approach directed from the top tends to unify the leadership team as much as it informs sales process. The answers that arise from this examination reveal much about the culture of your company. In this quest for customer insight, the values of the organization become apparent.
These derive from the evident leadership principles that ultimately set the tone for operational behavior. As is always the case, values, like culture, flows from the top down.
Once a consensus emerges on these critical elements, it is time to overlay these onto a portable, repeatable sales process.
Recognize that in today’s markets, however, neither companies nor their sales organizations successfully dictate the sales process.
The complex B2B sales process has become a buyer process that requires awareness and sensitivity to the new question: “How do our buyers want to buy?” All we really know is that we must replace the traditional sales waterfall stages of prospect/qualify/present/demo/propose/close with the relevant action steps, events, milestones, supporting assets and timing to which the preferred buyers will most likely respond.
Discovery of Needs / Requirements Phase
At this stage of the selling process, the prospect 1) has been BANT qualified by sales, meaning they have Budget/sufficient credit, they have the Authority to make a purchase decision, they have a pain/Need/impending event, a Timeline exists, and 2) the prospect and Sales Executive is fully engaged in the discovery of the prospect’s needs and requirements for purchasing and bus.
Sales representatives may put prospects in the Discover of Needs/Requirements phase by setting the Temperature field in the CRM to “Hot”. This hot temperature and this phase is for only those clients that are consistently and fully engaged in the buying process.
Many Sales Executives ask if both an SQL phase and a Discovery phase is needed in a sales process. Often, you are able to BANT qualify a prospect and begin the Discovery phase only to have the prospect go “radio silent” for a period of weeks.
Whenever a prospect stops returning phone calls, emails, and stops communicating for a period of about 2 weeks, they may be moved back to the SQL phase by changing the Temperature in Infinity from “Hot” back to “Warm”.
The Sales Executive begins discovery to determine the prospect’s detailed needs and requirements.
The goal is to create an exhaustive list (mental or written) of what the customer needs to be successful, and validate with the prospect that we have captured 100% of the requirements.
Doing so will insure that a competitor doesn’t win the deal (just because the time wasn’t made to fully understand the customer’s needs and miss a key decision-making factor).
Design, Propose, Negotiate Phase
The Sales Executive is now ready to design a product from inventory or a tailored service/solution that meets or exceeds the prospect’s requirements.
When quoting and during negotiating phase some of the relevant information should include:
· Original Quote date (new)
· Signing Date
· Delivery Date
Once deal is signed, this information should be included:
· Original Customer Promise Date (new)
· Expected Delivery Date (update with the help of Sales Coordinators)
· Delivery Date (update)
· Signing Date (update)
Until unit is delivered to customer
· Date received in inventory (monitor)
· Expected Delivery Date (update with help of Sales Coordinators)
· Delivery Date (update)
Sold / Customer Phase
After the Customer has signed the Purchase Agreement, given a deposit or a binding Purchase Order (PO), the deal is now consider to be in the Sold/Customer phase of the Sales Process.