Effective sales process
POSTED : January 11, 2019
BY : Stephanie Gaughen

When a customer purchases something from you, how easy is it? Do they understand the process or is it confusing? Are you making them jump through hoops to transact? Let’s explore the ways your organization can build an effective sales process with Salesforce.

A recent report by the Harvard Business Review revealed that 50% percent of high-performing sales organizations responded they had sales processes that were closely monitored, strictly enforced, or automated compared to just 28% from underperforming sales organizations.

Too often, organizations have unclear or loosely defined processes. Not only does that create confusion, but it leads to the inability to automate processes, report on trends, bring in new reps, and capitalize on opportunities with new and existing customers.

An effective sales process requires a platform

Building an effective sales process in Salesforce requires careful consideration and strong documentation, as well as involving all stakeholders who may have a customer touchpoint. Involving stakeholders such as marketing or customer service in defining the sales process enables your team to see a big-picture view of how you could better sell and upsell more business.

Your stages may look something like this:

1. Needs Assessment

You have qualified your Lead through the BANT process but the precise solution may need more detail. For technology companies, this might mean evaluating the business needs of your qualified prospects to understand what editions or add-ons the prospect may need in their licensing agreement. For manufacturers or distributors, this might mean engineering specific components and products as part of the overall solution.

2. Product Presentation

In this stage, you get to show off exactly what you’re proposing to sell the prospect. This might include a polished presentation, an architectural drawing, a full solution demo or other steps that let you clearly describe all the great stuff your customer will get when they sign on the dotted line.

3. Quote

You have or are working to provide pricing to the prospect. Often, the sooner you provide pricing, the more likely you are to win the deal. Especially if you’re in a competitive situation.

4. Negotiation

Often, the original quote doesn’t match the prospect’s budget or expectations. There can be quite a bit of back-and-forth with stakeholders and executives who all must sign off on the deal.

5. Closed Won/Closed Lost

Finally, you get to a closed-won or closed-lost deal. Often, a closed-won deal kicks off an operational process. Make sure there’s a smooth handoff so your customer’s order can be fulfilled quickly and accurately.

For lost deals, make sure to prompt the sales rep to input a “closed lost reason” through field validation so that you can provide that feedback to marketing and executive team members.

For an effective sales process consider AppExchange Apps

Salesforce offers over 4,000 prebuilt apps, including hundreds that streamline some element of the sales process. If you’re looking for an app that isn’t built yet, you can create custom applications for Salesforce that are unique to your business. Applications and simple custom triggers can automate or enforce any part of your sales process. For example, for e-commerce or trial-heavy organizations in the technology sector, you can automatically create Opportunities with fields pre-filled for sales once a purchase has been made or a trial has been downloaded. Similarly, for manufacturers, you can automatically create opportunities based on web-based quote request forms for specific products or components.

For an effective sales process consider location

Location isn’t just about real estate anymore. Consider engaging every prospect and customer at their preferred point of contact. Whether that’s through phone, email, or even social media. Utilize built-in best practices to reach your audience at the right time, in the right place. Pardot provides you the intelligence on how to establish touchpoints and automation so your sales reps know the right way to follow up when they do so.

For an effective sales process consider CPQ

Gartner named Salesforce CPQ a leader in the CPQ Magic Quadrant. Accuracy and reliability will allow your organization to achieve new heights in revenue and retention. Many Salesforce customers are quickly adding CPQ to their existing Salesforce instances. In some cases, native quoting functionality in Sales Cloud will suffice. Either way, bringing this process into your core sales system will give you greater functionality and ROI in the system itself. It will also streamline an otherwise clunky and time-consuming process. Adding CPQ is another way of improving adoption, too.

If you’re lost in creating an effective sales process for your business, and you need a partner to steer you in the right direction, contact us. We are here to help you along your journey from initial evaluation, implementation, and beyond!

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