When Process Takes Center Stage

Joe Weinlick
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Is your sales process as efficient as it could be? It is very easy to allow the process to take up the majority of your time and energy, leaving not enough time for selling. If you find yourself spending too much time carrying out set tasks and not enough time making sales, then you may need to consider revamping your sales process.

Every company needs to establish a sales process, so that all members of the sales team knows what is expected of them. However, while some parts of the process are necessary and beneficial, others simply take up valuable time without adding much value. Overhauling your business' sales process can help to increase efficiency and therefore boost profits.

In order to overhaul the sales process, start by making a list of all the processes involved. These can include forecasts, sales training, sales team meetings, update of customer records, credit approvals, collections and client communications. Which process takes up the most time in your business? Call a meeting to brainstorm ideas about how to improve the efficiency of the sales process. By pooling the experiences of the sales people in your business, you can develop some good ideas for improving efficiency.

The sales process has changed significantly over the past decade, with online services taking on many of the roles that once were performed by salespeople. For example, rather than contacting a sales representative to get advice about an important purchase, modern consumers take to the Internet to find the information they need. Customers these days use forums, social media and review sites to gather information about products and services, which means they enter the sales process with much more information than customers have in the past. Research by CEB and Google from 2013 shows that business-to-business customers progress 57 percent of the way through the sales process before they come into contact with a sales representative.

As a result, businesses need to update their sales processes to reflect the changing role of the sales representative in the Internet age. Rather than spending time educating the customer about the product, the role of the salesperson is to close the sale, as well as to handle financing options. Salespeople also must have highly effective processes for communicating with customers, as modern consumers expect to be able to ask questions via many different channels, including email, phone and social media, and get a rapid response.

If parts of your sales process are taking up a lot of time without delivering much value, then it is time for a change. Reforming some parts of the sales process can improve efficiency, boost sales and ultimately result in an increase in profits for the business.


Photo courtesy of scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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