If you’re unplugging your phone, turning down deals and ducking emails because you have more business than your team can handle right now, stop reading this article right here – it’s not for you.
But if you’re looking for ways to bring in more sales to grow your firm, chances are the best place to start is by taking a long, hard look at mapping your sales process.
What Is A Sales Process?
A sales process is the typical order of operations someone goes through in order to buy from you.
Companies that fly by the seat of their pants and treat each deal as “custom” typically have a hard time scaling past the $5M mark. Today, we’ll share some quick thoughts on why standardizing your sales process can have a massive impact on your ability to scale.
In our experience, ensuring the right tasks are handled by the right people breaks down one of the first roadblocks to growth.
Why Is Mapping Your Sales Process Important?
Having a clear picture of the components of your sales process allows you to see which parts your senior staff can delegate to more junior team members or outsourced.
Any team that relies on a consultative close is going to have multiple steps to their sales process.
One of the most important things we’ll touch on in this article is that workforce optimization and delegation is critical if you want to empower your firm’s ability to scale.
There’s no reason for your CEO to be the one chasing down leads who have no idea they need what you offer (trust us, we learned that the hard way).
How Did Our Sales Process Evolve?
To give you an idea of why this is important, I’d love to give you a peek behind the curtain of how we’ve evolved here at Erational. When we were a small team of 3-5 creatives, we were able to serve a fair number of clients, but we spent a lot of time converting them, and we were horrible at maintaining long term contracts, because we were nowhere near as organized as we need to be today.
In order to scale up, we needed to get crystal clear on our processes, and make standardization a part of our culture. We now do our best to avoid deviating from the order of operations that will get our clients the best results.
The sales process was one of the most important to refine.
Growing required us to bring on a team of salespeople who could showcase the value we bring to our clients. The only way to ensure they could get up and running fast was if we had a strong, clean sales process that we could showcase to them. We needed to know who was doing which parts of the process, so they could see where they fit into it.
Having a visual representation of a process is instrumental in quickly grasping or optimizing it. We created this graphic which showcases the flow from one team member to another, so the sales team always knows who has the ball, and makes the handoffs more effective.
For context, here’s ours – it’s seen several iterations and doesn’t need to be nearly this complex when you start mapping your sales process, but you can see where things can go:
How Do You Start Mapping Your Sales Process?
If you haven’t tried mapping your sales process in a while, here’s how we’d recommend you start: look back at the last 5 or so deals your team closed. Write out how many touchpoints (calls, meetings, emails) were required to bring that deal over the finish line, and by who.
Once you’ve done that, you can group these touchpoints into defined steps in the process. That can serve as a v1! But looking at the flow visually will give you a chance to see which sections of the process can be refined to make your team’s lives easier and more effective.
If you’re a service-providing firm, some of the biggest steps are likely:
- Lead generation & outbound outreach (light the kindling)
- Initial discovery calls (stoke the embers)
- Solution blueprinting and closing (add the gasoline)
- Long term client success management (keep the fire burning)
If you’re a B2B technology provider, it might be similar:
- Demand generation & outbound outreach (introduce the problem)
- Feature presentation or demo to showcase the fit (introduce the solution)
- System architecture & closing the deal (show the fit between the two)
- Long term deal maximization (make it an integral part of their business)
We encourage you to try and come up with a back-of-the-napkin draft of what your sales process is. Once you have the steps, you’ll be able to identify the pieces of it that can be improved, either by delegating, or automating!
Once you’ve done that, feel free to reach out to us for help if you want to get it to the next level.
We’ve worked with hundreds of companies helping them dig deeper, and optimize their sales process. It is, in fact, the first step in our Growth Accelerator. So if you’re considering optimizing the way you’re currently generating deals for your business, now might be the time to reach out.
You can set up a Growth Discovery Call with one of our advisors by pushing here. We hope you’ll take us up on it.
Keep an eye out for our next article, where we’ll outline which steps in the sales process should be insourced vs outsourced, in order to maximize your ROI.