Yesterday, Jim wrote about how a documented sales process can help you grow your revenue. Today I’m going to help with the next step – 8 steps to document your sales process.
1. List your channels. For example, if you sell directly to end-users and through a group of resellers, you have two channels, each with its own unique process.
2. Define the buying process. Many companies list the steps that they go through as they sell to a customer — initial qualification, first meeting, second meeting, proposal, contract.
However, a better way is to think about the stages a buyer goes through as they decide whether to engage with your company. When you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, it’s easier to figure out what information you’ll need to deliver to help them move forward and make decisions more effectively and quickly.
Pretend you’re the buyer.
Put each of these steps into the first column of your sales process spreadsheet.
3. Fill in the supporting details. Here’s the really valuable detail. Keep pretending your buyer and look at the process you’ve created. Start at the first step and answer these questions:
Add this information to your spreadsheet, then repeat for each step in the process. You now have a comprehensive process that shows how a buyer will prefer to buy and what that buyer will need.
4. Validate your assumptions. Your process spreadsheet is a terrific place to start. You can further strengthen it by gathering feedback from current customers, prospects, and/or your sales team. Refine as you go.
5. Identify what you can do at each step to help the prospect move forward based on THEIR needs, not just yours.
Now you have a list of your sales tools & literature and when it should be delivered most effectively.
6. Decide how you’ll measure progress. This analysis helps you create your reporting requirements.
Your CRM system can then be configured to help you generate these reports.
7. Finally, estimate your conversion rates.
When you’ve estimated each step individually, multiply all the conversion rates together. The result is your cumulative conversion rate – the % of people who start the process and then become a customer.
8. Use your process to track your progress, identify bottlenecks, and project revenue from your campaigns. As our previous post explained, this process is incredibly valuable in all areas of your business. Here are a few ways you can use it:
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