Updated: Jun 13
Published on March 20, 2023
To achieve maximum growth, a company needs to have a sales process that is optimized for success and someone who knows how to leverage the added sales power.
While the sales process should always be evolving with your business, I want to share a few examples of particular triggers that justify revisiting it as a whole.
In my previous blog, I discussed "How to Expand Your Sales Coverage to Fuel Growth". This article is focused on what it takes to evolve your sales process to align with the staff changes you've made to your organization. This blog will help you understand how to put your new or expanded coverage plan into action.
Evolving Your Sales Process
An effective sales process should have clearly defined sales stages and objectives, It’s important to outline the key sales activities that need to occur at each stage and highlight that “one critical thing” a seller must achieve before they advance an opportunity to the next stage.
Whether you have a new or experienced team, if you want sustained sales success then it pays to understand how optimizing certain areas of your existing sales process can pay off.
The secret to evolving your sales process properly lies in identifying the root causes when your prospect stalls or when you experience repeating losses against a certain competitor.
The hard part is understanding when you need to step in to make adjustments to the actual sales process versus placing more attention on improving your team’s selling skills.
Identifying the Triggers for Sales Process Changes
While there are many reasons you might look to adjust your sales process, as an experienced Vice President of Sales, I've noticed that there are typically three main triggers that justify investing time to revisit it.
The first is when a company has added members to its sales coverage model. For example, if assigned accounts are spread out across more salespeople, this usually affords the seller more time to navigate the sales process more strategically.
This could involve things like the salesperson engaging more deeply with the customer by partnering to help build their value case for taking action. Or, taking extra time to leverage internal sales resources to play a more active role in collaborating when a deal gets stuck.
The second trigger is when resources are added to another area of the company that can also play a role in supporting sales efforts. For example, when a client expands its design engineering team, that may enable an engineer to participate in client-facing discovery meetings versus reviewing new project opportunities behind the scenes. I have seen clients realize increased margins, shortened sales cycles, and improved customer satisfaction by inserting their subject matter experts early in the sales process.
Lastly, I see great opportunity to optimize the sales process when a company has budgetary allowance to invest in new sales tools.
I’m referring to the plethora of affordable, innovative enablement resources out there that can dramatically assist your salespeople in navigating the sales process.
For instance, you could use ChatGPT, an affordable artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot tool. This powerful resource can be leveraged in a number of ways to support your sales efforts such as market research, sales email crafting, scenario planning, role playing, and a long list of other helpful applications.
Through these examples, I’m hoping you are getting a sense that there are many ways that a sales process can be taken to “the next level”.
But before you race off to enhance your current sales process, I encourage you to verify you have the fundamentals covered by reviewing an earlier blog I wrote, “Does Your Sales Process Generate Predictable Results?”. I am happy to help you determine how to align your sales process to best practices so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions along the way!
Harnessing Your Additional Sales Power
Harnessing your additional sales power is essential to achieve your maximum growth. Whether you are expanding your coverage, increasing sales support resources, or adding tools, you need to make sure the person overseeing your sales department knows how to maximize these opportunities.
With expanded coverage comes an increased range of expertise and added sales strategy collaboration - allowing you to pursue bigger accounts with greater ability to close deals at higher margin.
I've seen firsthand how properly coordinating handoffs and collaboration throughout the sales process, along with the implementation of strong enablement tools, can be game changers in a company’s ability to grow their revenue at a faster pace.
Make sure you understand all of the nuances of the new roles and responsibilities within the sales process before implementing sweeping changes to your organizational structure.
As your team wears fewer hats and focuses on becoming better at their specialized tasks, there will need to be someone at the helm to help them navigate. This is where my Fractional Sales Leadership model slots in well to support interim gaps in a customer’s sales leadership structure.
With the right combination optimization techniques, you’re ready to take your business to the next level. Make sure you consider the following when adjusting your sales process.
If any changes have been done within your sales organization (i.e., territory realignment, sales resource additions, new technology tools, etc.), recognize the reassessment of your sales process mandatory.
Determine root causes that are extending your sales cycle length, and design process enhancements to overcome them.
Explore sales tools to empower your salespeople to navigate the sales process more efficiently and creatively.
Your sales process is probably the most important lever that delivers results. Get outside advice to ensure all optimization opportunities are considered.
I have years of experience evolving sales processes across multiple industries to achieve success quickly and with fewer mistakes and missteps along the way.
I also welcome you to take my Sales Leadership Assessment to gain visibility into how your skills rank in 10 high-impact areas. This self-serve tool was custom developed to help you pinpoint key areas for development.
We are part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.