Sales Process Steps
Why NOT to Define your Sales Process steps solely off of what is in your CRM Opportunity Stages
There are different ways sales reps think about a Sales Process. Unfortunately, what has mostly been communicated to sales reps in terms of Sales Process steps is what exists in Salesforce or CRM in terms of Opportunity Stages.
Let me SUPER clear. A Sales Process is NOT Opportunity Stages. Smart companies I have worked for have made their Opportunity Stages into a Sales Process, but I have mostly seen a generic understanding of how a deal is sold.
Sales Process Steps should define how a customer should evaluate your product against their needs
The important things to consider are what those Sales Process steps actually mean, what the sales rep is supposed to be doing and, most importantly, WHAT THE CUSTOMER IS DOING.
Being very clear about where the customer is in their buying process is critical to properly guiding them through an evaluation plan. Most customers have no idea how to evaluate your product and, furthermore, how to get it purchased internally.
This is where sales reps can have a HUGE impact on the outcome and cadence of a deal. In the Sales Guide, I clearly help sales reps understand different types of Sales Processes depending on where they are at in their purchasing path. Sometimes, customers are fairly far along in their purchasing path and it is important for sales reps to get out of their way and let them buy.
Sales Process Steps help you control the deal
Sometimes, customers need a lot more guidance in terms of how to evaluate the product or solution from a technical, business and personal needs perspective.
In the Sales Guide, I map out those different Sales Processes, what the purpose and objective is for each stage, who is involved, the agenda and the meeting scripts. Of course, these things will need minor customizations to match your business and product, but I have found the Sales Process steps are virtually the same selling several different products in my experience.
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