An inefficient sales process that does not add value to your sales team frustrates your employees and makes your work as a sales manager more difficult. On the other hand, a process that reflects all your experiences, offers best practices, supports your sales team in their daily work in the best possible way and is oriented towards the purchasing behaviour of your target customers is practically priceless.
Let’s take a closer look at how such a process can be made efficient, scalable and valuable so that it helps you in your management function to achieve your goals safely and predictably.
Measurability in your sales process
The most important prerequisite for your sales process offering real added value for your work is measurability. The evaluation of certain variables and indicators is the basis for predictable results. At least the following four essential factors have to be mapped:
1.) Number of qualified leads
How many qualified leads become real sales opportunities?
2.) Profit and loss rate at each stage of the process
How many qualified leads does a sales representative, team or organizational unit need to successfully close a sales opportunity?
3.) Average volume of an opportunity
How much turnover do you expect on average from a sales opportunity, broken down into products and services?
How much time does a sales representative, team or organizational unit need to successfully close a sales opportunity? On average, how long does an opportunity stay in each stage of your process?
These four key figures enable you to answer two essential questions. On the one hand, you can immediately see whether the current status and development of your pipeline are strong enough to achieve your goals.
On the other hand, you can measure the efficiency of your employees and your team on the basis of the figures. Without these figures, however, you have to rely on your gut feeling. Risk management and timely impact on negative developments then become a random principle.
Goals are agreed so that they are achieved. Nevertheless, it can happen that expectations are pushed into seemingly unattainable distance. Then it is important to recognize this at an early stage. Here, too, the key figures listed above will help you:
When the number of qualified leads decreases, it becomes difficult to achieve medium and long-term goals.
If the profit rate goes down, you will need even more leads to secure your sales target.
The same applies if the average sales volume decreases or the distribution between products and services changes.
If the lead time of your sales opportunities is extended, your sales costs will not only increase automatically. The probability of achieving goals within the defined time also decreases.
The availability of the defined key figures thus increases the overall reliability of your forecast. You can recognize at an early stage if your targets are endangered and, in addition, you can recognize the exact reasons for this. This enables you to take countermeasures in good time.
The basis of your sales management
A resilient sales process that works in practice and offers your sales team real added value in its daily work is also lived. This gives you the possibility of real control. You can compare individual employees with regard to the entire team based on clear metrics. At the same time, this creates responsibility in the team. And if a risk arises, you immediately recognize the exact cause.
No effective control without suitable tools
That’s the theory. In practice, that means a lot of work. The necessary parameters have to be defined and above all they have to be evaluable. And exactly at this point comes the freestyle. Make sure that the required information can be made available without great effort and evaluated in a comprehensible way. Find a tool that supports you in this process.
A modern CRM system, for example, should be able to map your sales process and aggregate the necessary figures for you. Don’t rely on all these wonderful Excel sheets, which are the basis for reporting in every company I know. Rather use traceable data sources that you can trust one hundred percent.
Genuine sales management solutions help you effectively manage your sales team, get an overview of your sales pipeline, forecast predictable results, and take timely action in an emergency.