At some point even the most seasoned sales managers realize the need to write down how to sell properly. Perhaps they just can’t get their new sales people to come up to speed fast enough or (more commonly) they’re tired of putting together monthly forecasts that have very little credibility behind them. Having a documented sales process that works for your company is fundamental to growing your business. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated. In fact, the shorter and simpler it is means the better chance you’ll have of people actually using it.
I found a nice (and free) online tool called ProvenPath from Landslide Technologies. This tool allows you to easily create and document a custom sales process for your company. It is based on a sales process that includes;
- Phases – these are very high-level divisions of the sales process. You might (for example) prefer to use Qualification, Needs Analysis, Product Demonstration, Proposal Submission, Negotiation and Closing as your 5 sales phases. Each phase also includes the typical phase duration (in days) so you can track how things are progressing versus an average sales cycle.
- Goals – these are the general goals you hope to achieve in each phase. If you haven’t achieved these goals then you can’t progress to the next phase. You might only have 3 or 4 goals for each selling phase. Make them as generic as possible so they apply to all selling situations. Each goal will have a percentage confidence factor to better measure your overall likelihood of closing the deal.
- Activities – these are the typical activities done to achieve a specific goal. They are not specifically measured but useful to remind a sales person of the steps they need to take.
- Tools – these are the resources available when executing activities and may include product brochures, email templates, white papers, etc.
You can create a simple sales process that you follow for all your business or you can create multiple processes for different business segments. Either way, this is a nice and simple tool that can be used by sales managers to track progress and better forecast revenues from their pipeline opportunities.
Download this nice white paper on Building a Sales Process.
– Steve (www.SPMsolutions.NET)