The most successful salespeople and sales teams out there all use a systematic approach to sales: they follow a defined sales process.
The stages include identifying leads, contacting and qualifying them, making proposals, and closing deals. A well-organized and tracked sales process increases the numbers of qualified leads and closed deals, as it greatly increases efficiency.
Qualify Your Leads
If a salesperson fails to complete the qualification stage of the sales process, they will waste valuable time chasing up on a deal that is never going to close. Using the sales process reminds salespeople to make the effort to qualify their leads – for the best qualification methods check out How to Qualify Leads: BANT and Beyond. By following the sales process you will focus your selling efforts solely on leads that may well make a purchase.
If you track a deal through the sales process, you always know which sales stage it’s at. When you’re managing numerous deals at once, it is easy to forget which leads you have contacted and which have qualified. By managing your sales process in a CRM, you can see the sales stage of each deal at a glance – and so can your team and superiors. If your boss asks you how a certain deal is doing, you can answer immediately with the deal’s stage and next action.
Never Miss an Action
Deals are lost by salespeople every day who forget to follow up on their prospects. Every deal in the CRM sales pipeline should have a task attached to it – if you do not take action to follow up on a sales lead, you won’t close that deal. The sales process reminds you to both plan and complete the necessary actions needed to move a deal up to the next stage, towards selling success.
Learn What Works
Tracking the sales process also teaches valuable lessons of which successful actions to repeat, and what to avoid. Without tracking deals through organized stages, it is practically impossible to work out the reasons why a deal was lost. When a deal is lost at a certain stage, you can record the lost reason in your CRM, so you know what not to do during the next sales cycle. You can look at your lost deals board, which shows you at which stage a deal was lost – in this way, you can pay extra attention not to repeating mistakes at that particular stage.
Using CRM to properly implement a sales process will turn your sales team into a well-oiled machine that never drops the ball on a deal.