To start building the framework, here are a few key components to become familiar with:
- Management and Training: Sales managers play an important role in motivating and coaching the sales team. Effective managers help salespeople manage time and make use of the resources available to them. Most importantly, managers should make ongoing training a priority for their team. A recent survey done by Gryphon Sales Intelligence found that “84 percent of all sales training is lost after 90 days.” By continuing to invest in training and asking for feedback from the sales team, sales managers can reinforce positive strategies and work to improve tactics that may not be working.
- The Sales Process: Your sales process should include every single, repeatable step that your sales team takes from when it moves a prospect from his or her early stages of awareness until it converts that contact into a customer. Your sales process should be clear, goal-oriented, measurable, and most importantly, customer-centric.
- Resource Development: The resources and tools developed for the salespeople will stem from both the sales and marketing teams. Sales management should provide their team with best practice documents, reporting dashboards, and internal tools that help them sell more effectively. Marketing should prep the sales teams with content that can be used to help modern buyers progress through the Buyer’s Journey. By ensuring that the sales team is aware of what resources and tools are available to them, they will be better equipped to make the sale.
When you enable your sales team, you lay the foundation for a simple yet effective sales process. And although you and your sales team can easily start to lay this framework together, expanding and optimizing it will be a long-term goal. As with many repeatable processes, it takes time to finesse and finalize it.
Visibly Put Your Sales Process into Action
Your sales process will never be complete. Rather, much like other strategic sections of your business, it should be a living, breathing plan that changes based on best practices or external market changes—this is where sales operations comes into play.
Sales operations has to do with the roles and processes in place that help sales teams perform more efficiently. Sales ops can provide insight into many areas of business to catalyze boosted sales performance. A few of these areas include performance metrics, sales training needs, and opportunities to optimize the sales process. The key is to understand exactly which processes best set your business’s sales team up for making a sale and to reflect these specific, repeatable practices within your sales process.
Once these processes are more or less finalized, your company must be sure that these stages of your sales process are visible to not only your sales team but (at a minimum) your marketing and executive teams as well. This can be accomplished through implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Many people, when they think of CRM systems, think of Salesforce. The truth is that although Salesforce does offer an advanced set of capabilities to manage leads, very few companies actually need such a detailed system.
Many CRMs, such as HubSpot and Zoho, are designed for companies with far less complex requirements. These CRMs allow you to keep track of all active (and inactive) leads and where they are within your sales process. Although tracking their communications and behaviors is certainly a nice ability to have, it’s not always necessary.
Be sure that you take inventory of options on the market and determine which one would best fit your company’s needs.
Develop a Sales and Marketing SLA
Compared to the time required to develop and perfect your company’s sales process, setting up a service-level agreement (SLA) can take you no time at all.
Now, although you won’t directly see the sales rolling in once you set this up, you will be able to visibly set both your marketing and sales departments up for success.