The Ultimate Guide to the Sales Process

A sales process is a sequence of actions or stages to convert prospects from leads into paying customers.

This guide will help you create a sales process

Every organization needs a sales team regardless of industry, size of company, or product. The style of selling within each sales team is different.

It isn't about talent. It's about the support that the company provides to its salespeople. A solid sales process acts as a guideline so your salespeople know exactly what to do next and stay on track.


What is a Sales Process?

A sales process can be described as a series of repeatable steps that a salesperson takes over a sales cycle to convert a prospect into an actual customer. It is a proven process that salespeople use to guide them through closing deals.




A Guide for Building a Sales Team: 5 Steps

The industry and the product can have different sales processes. Some focus on customer acquisition, while others are more focused on retention. The following steps do not change across industries.


1. Set clear goals

Be clear about your goals and the KPIs you need to monitor before you start creating your selling process.

Your salespeople must understand their organizational roles and how they contribute to the overall picture. Set micro-goals that your salespeople can work towards and keep track of regularly. These micro-goals will help you reach your main goal.

Every goal should have a time limit. Therefore, you need to outline the timeline and milestones clearly.

Instead of setting activity goals like "200 emails per day", set results-oriented goals like "25% increase in email reply rate" compared to last month.


2. Set up a conversion funnel

Imagine a funnel that has water flowing through it. Although the funnel's wide brim can contain a few drops of water, each drop will drip through the funnel. The sales funnel begins with many leads, but only qualified leads go down.

Each part of the funnel should be assigned a number to clarify it. The funnel's top must have an "X" number of leads. The funnel's middle section must contain qualified leads, the best "X/2." Finally, the funnel's bottom section should have deals closing, "X/4."

Every stage of the sales process should have numbers attached to it. For example, a salesperson should send 100 emails per day. The expected open rate for each email is 25, while the average reply rate would be 1. To receive five leads per day, the salesperson must send 500 emails.


3. Define an action at each stage

Different criteria must be met at each stage of the sales process. This criterion can be defined by how many interactions a prospect has had with a salesperson and the results of those interactions.

A lead can be converted into an opportunity by responding positively to an email or phone call. If they meet the qualifications outlined in your qualification process, the prospect will be qualified during the discovery call. As they engage in negotiations with the salesperson, they slide between stages.

When a prospect agrees to the deal and purchases the product, they are converted into customers.



4. Your sales process results can be measured

Every year, it is a good idea to review your sales process to identify variations in prospects' buying processes, flaws in current sales processes, and ways you can improve them.

You can never stop improving your sales process. There will always be new ideas, methods, and challenges accompanying them. Later sections of this page will discuss how to measure and adjust your sales process.


5. With your sales team, create a sales process

Your business is your oyster, and you know how sales should work. Your salespeople will be the ones that follow the system, regardless of whether you're creating it from scratch or expanding on it. It is always a good idea for your team to speak with you and get their feedback.

When creating a new sales process, it is essential to have conversations with each salesperson and learn how they are selling.

Talk to your prospects about how they are advancing their sales process.

It's not just about the team. It is important to establish ground rules and determine what works best.


Sales processes automation

The sales process can be repetitive and monotonous for a large part. Salespeople perform the same activities on all leads regardless of size. Every stage of the sales process can be automated.

Prospecting leads, sending out cold emails, and tracking email metrics are part of a salesperson's daily routine. However, this is only a tiny portion of the funnel activities.

Once a prospect has been converted into a lead, the activities resume as usual. Emails regarding meeting confirmations, follow-ups, or explaining the trial account process do not need much modification.

These tasks can be automated by using Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which has all the information you need. These are just a few ways the CRM can help map your sales process.




Automate the assignment of leads.

It would be best to gather all leads, whether you're a growing company or a business constantly receiving leads. But that's only half of the job. Next, assign the leads to the correct salesperson.

This aside, did you also know that between 30-50% of sales are made by salespeople who first contact prospects? But unfortunately, only 7% respond in 5 minutes, while over half the salespeople surveyed take nearly five days to reach out to prospects.

You can see that time is everything in sales. Your salespeople must contact prospects as soon as possible. They can't wait for their sales manager to assign them leads. Automating lead assignments is a great way to automate this process.


Pre-set conditions in your CRM tool to ensure that leads are assigned to salespeople in a fair and round-robin fashion. For example, Arizona prospects who sign up for a product are given to the salespeople responsible for that product and region.


Automate daily outreach

The fact is that salespeople spend 21% of their time emailing prospective customers. This is time that could be used to interact with customers. You don't have to type the same email twice. Instead, create a template that can be customized for each contact.


Automate pipeline activity

Your salespeople might forget to update the status of a deal as they move prospects through the sales funnel.

This can complicate things if you sell different products or target other markets. Your unique sales process will result in unique sales processes.

Automate your sales process and move deals through the pipeline based on parameters like prospects' engagements or activities of salespeople. You can also set up deals to automatically move from one pipeline to the next in cases where there are multiple sales pipelines.


Find out what your team is doing.

It can be tedious to create a performance report by hand. You could instead set up a dashboard to display key metrics visually on a weekly and monthly basis.

Track metrics like emails sent, phone calls made, pipeline movements, and deals won. You can also keep track of customers who have opted for a higher pricing plan or those who have already purchased. The best part? You can also have them delivered directly to your inbox.


Prioritize leads, and make it easy to manage them

Your sales funnel's top could be overflowing from excessive leads. These leads, by definition, are people who have interacted directly with the product or website. 

However, not all leads are created equal. For example, a lead who replies to an email should be ranked higher than one who clicks on it. Lead scoring is a method of ranking leads based on priority.

The funnel can be arranged by priority by assigning scores to leads. This could make it tedious and difficult to give these leads to salespeople according to territory and score. Establish clear distribution guidelines and reach the most qualified leads first.


Automate your everyday workflow.

Sales cycles are repetitive and require many tasks that must be completed regularly. Regular tasks such as follow-up emails, invoice generation, and report generation are all performed.

This could make it difficult for sales executives to do this manually in a never-ending loop. Instead, it will be easier for them to automate each step of their sales cycle.


Last Thoughts

Are you searching for an automated CRM system to manage your customer relationships? You most likely are. The areas of automation will depend on your business type and customer interactions. CRM automation covers sales, marketing, and service activities. You can do these with either integrated tools or a robust database. 

When thinking about CRM automation, Industrialax is a great place to start.

We are available to answer any questions about automating your business processes. We will do everything in our power to help you.

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