While most companies have realized that to move the sales needle requires a solid sales process, few organizations have re-visited their sales process to assess what shifts need to be made in order to adapt to the changing needs of the buyer. One important note – there is a big difference between your sales process and your CRM. While your sales process may be built into your CRM, simply having a CRM does not mean you have a defined sales process. Here are five questions to ask yourself:
What to Ask About Your Sales Process
1. DO YOU HAVE A BUYER DRIVEN SALES PROCESS?
With nearly 60% of all buyers leveraging the internet at some point during their search, sales reps need to be prepared to handle a savvier consumer. This often means assessing how a savvier consumer affects your discovery process. A one size fits all mentality will surely widen the gap of non-conversion to tours in your sales operation. Interviewing buyers to understand what element of research they did and how they did their research prior to selecting your community is one way to get a jump start on customizing your sales process to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers.
2. HAVE YOU CUSTOMIZED YOUR SALES PROCESS BASED ON DIFFERENT BUYING SITUATIONS?
With a buyer driven sales process, you should be able to create a step-by- step sales process that supports that buying process. The sales process is a road map to moving prospects forward. Design the key stages in the sales process paying particular attention to the key activities that usually take place in each stage. Keep different types of buyers in mind as you create your roadmap. For example, ask yourself how a lead driven through your website may require a slightly different approach than a lead that just walked in that has no knowledge of who you are, what you offer or how to make a decision.
3. IS YOUR SALES PROCESS SPECIFIC ENOUGH TO SEE THE STRATEGIC AS WELL AS THE TACTICAL ELEMENTS?
For each stage in your sales process, identify key tactical steps the sales person can utilize. Keeping in mind that insightful sales techniques gain trust, build rapport and position your sales reps as trusted advisors. Tactical steps may include wow moments, personal souvenirs or tokens, or strategic use of content at certain parts of the buyer’s journey.
4. ARE YOU PROVIDING SALES ENABLEMENT FOR EACH STEP IN THE PROCESS?
Your sales process should also serve as the foundation for your sales enablement program. It can help you make better decisions on content, as well as technology needs, and can help you identify training needs. One of the key characteristics of a high-performing sales operation besides the fact that they have a well-defined sales process is that they are diligent about tracking, reporting, and managing the process. To accomplish this, remember that your sales process won’t be effective without an effective CRM implementation and training on that CRM. One on one meetings are an opportunity to consistently reinforce the sales process with sales reps.
5. HAVE YOUR COMMITTED TO CONTINUOUSLY REVIEWING AND ADJUSTING YOUR SALES PROCESS?
Strategic planning for your organization likely occurs more than once during the lifetime of your company. Sales process, strategic planning, and review should be the same. Once you have a process and are measuring it, you can focus on solving specific problem areas in the sales process. These problems sometimes are related to people and process, and sometimes are related to changing buyer behavior. Failing to adjust your sales process as the needs of your market, target audience and sales operation changes can mean the difference between smooth sailing and rough waters for your occupancy.