A sales process is a set of steps that a salesperson follows to turn a new lead into a customer.
In sales circles, many believe that some sales reps just “have it” and others don’t. But the data suggests otherwise. A formal sales process is proven to increase sales and help with managing sales overall.
Sales processes need to be created around the buyer’s purchasing journey and be measurable, logical, repeatable, and most importantly, effective.
Despite the data that shows the effectiveness of formal sales processes, Objective Management Group found that 92 percent of the companies they assess have “ineffective, incomplete, non-existent sales processes, or sales processes that their people don’t follow.”
Sales reps (and even sales managers) tend to think that if quotas are being hit, it doesn’t matter how the sales are happening, but this thinking presents problems for both salespeople and customers.
Without a consistent sales process, it’s nearly impossible to identify what moves sales along and what holds buyers back. Similarly, sales reps have a hard time taking the right course of action with each buyer because they don’t understand which stage that buyer is in. Having a clearly-defined sales process ensures that sales reps know when to follow up, how to qualify leads and that customers have a streamlined experience.
As we said before, sales processes are as varied as the businesses that use them. Here are a few common sales processes employed in businesses.
The typical sales process looks something like this:
The 5 step sales process is:
MEDDIC was developed by Richard Dunkel and Jack Napoli of Parametric Technology Company. They grew company revenue to $300 million per year in the 90s using MEDDIC.
The MEDDIC Academy website defines MEDDIC as,
The most important part of the sales process is the discovery step (step 3 in many sales processes). If you don’t know where your buyer is in their journey, how can you confidently tailor your approach?
Discovery is where the salesperson uncovers customer needs and problems. It is the opportunity in the sales process where a salesperson identifies what problem their offering solves, and qualifies the customer. A few questions the discovery phase should answer include:
This step alone increases sales because it reveals if a prospect is your customer or not. If they are, they are ready to continue moving through the sales process. But if not, the salesperson can confidently move on to other prospects without wasting time.
A common complaint of sales people is that they often spend their day gathering data and doing other menial tasks that take away from actually selling. And according to a 2017 study by Hubspot, 66 percent of a salesperson's day is spent doing administrative tasks.
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