How to Design Your Sales Process: 7 Best Practices [Free Webinar]
59% of companies don’t have a well-designed sales process. That’s according to data from TOPO’s Inside Sales Benchmark Report. TOPO Analysts have spent the last several months benchmarking inside sales organizations across 90+ metrics in an effort to understand the processes, people, technologies, metrics, and plays used to drive out-sized revenue growth. One of the most surprising findings from the benchmark data is just how few companies are satisfied with their current sales process. On March 18, TOPO’s Chief Analyst, Craig Rosenberg, will discuss how companies can design and implement a world class sales process. He’ll share sales process data, best practices, and examples of real sales processes used by the world’s fastest growing companies.
Sales Process Challenges
The sales process data we recently completed reveals a number of interesting dynamics that are impacting revenue achievement. Examples of interesting data points include:
- 59% of companies don’t believe they have a well-designed sales process. A variety of factors are contributing to the low satisfaction numbers. First, companies are struggling to track the metrics that tell them whether the sales process is effective or not. Second, very few sales organizations have spent time designing a sales process that accounts for factors such as key buyer behaviors. Third, companies are struggling to translate high level sales processes into specific plays that sales reps actually use on the front lines.
- The average sales process contains 5.7 stages. While that’s not surprising, the range is. At the low end, companies have as few as three sales stages. At the high end, some companies may have as may as 15 sales stages! Many sales leaders rationalize a high number of stages by claiming they have longer sales cycles and higher average deal sizes. While the data supports this, companies with a large number of stages should be careful of over-complicating the sales process to the point where reps are unable to manage sales cycles effectively.
- Demos may not work as well as many sales teams would like. 23% of companies cite the demo as the point in the sales process where the most opportunities fall out of the funnel. Demos are increasing in importance in many markets and industries, but companies are struggling to create and deliver demos that deliver true value to prospective buyers. Most demos do not account for use cases and scenarios that are relevant to the buyer. They also remain far too product-centric with little articulation of specific value that can be provided to the buyer.
Sales Process Design Best Practices
Given these challenges, sales leaders need to have a framework for designing an effective sales process. In this webinar, we’ll share key design principles that you should use when designing your sales process. Some of these design principles include:
- Sales leaders, with the help of marketing, should make sure they understand the buying process prior to designing the sales process. The buying process should inform the sales process so that sales reps are providing buyers with an experience that drives higher conversions. For example, many demos fail because the buyer is still gathering requirements internally and simply isn’t ready to receive a demo.
- Shared definitions are a key element of a well-designed sales process. Many companies have established lead definitions in recent years (although whether the lead definitions are actually enforced is another story), but few companies have articulated definitions for key variables such as sales activities by stage and what’s required to for an opportunity to move to the next stage in the sales process. Adopting definitions for these variables isn’t challenging, but does require time and commitment.
- Most sales processes aren’t translated into specific plays that individual sales reps can use on the front lines. Instead, the sales process remains the exclusive domain of sales leadership, sales operations, marketing, the CFO, and CEO. For a sales process to be effective, reps must adhere to it and there’s no better way to accomplish that than making sure reps know exactly what plays to run in each stage. For example, the qualification stage should be supported by a “qualification play” that tells a rep exactly how to conduct a live qualification call.
That’s just some of what we’ll cover in the Sales Process Design Webinar on March 18. Join us, to hear Chief Analyst Craig Rosenberg share the data, best practices, examples, and design frameworks behind the world’s best sales processes.
Sales Process Design Webinar
Date: March 18, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific
About the author: Scott Albro is the CEO and founder of TOPO. TOPO is a research and advisory firm that helps companies grow faster. We do this by identifying the patterns, plays, and behaviors that drive exceptional revenue growth. It’s this data that helps our clients (some of the world’s fastest growing companies) enable their sales teams to drive more leads, higher conversion rates, larger average deal sizes, shorter sales cycles, and lower churn rates. The result? Our clients grow 2X faster than the competition.