In the B2B industry, the change of pace is often very rapid. Therefore, some tactic that was effective a year ago is likely not as effective now. Your B2B prospects are overwhelmed with a number of proposals daily and are actively exploring multiple products at once. They are consuming vast volumes of blogs, videos, case studies, and other forms of content almost regularly.
We know that most B2B buyers (64%) conduct systematic research on vendor websites before ever contacting a sales rep. Additionally, research shows that it takes more than five touchpoints to secure an initial meeting with a prospect.
Seems challenging, right?
That’s where your streamlined sales process comes into play.
In this article, read about building a streamlined sales process that sales teams can use to bring more qualified leads over the finish line.
What is a Sales Process?
A standard sales process is more of a guide than a rigid, fixed schedule. However, they often consist of repetitive activities a salesperson might perform with a prospect to advance them down the sales funnel.
Most sales processes entail Prospecting, Initial Contact, Identifying Needs, Presenting offers, Establishing KPIs, and Closing a Deal. And once you’ve closed the deal, you start all over again.
It looks relatively straightforward, correct? However, a B2B sales cycle might last from three to nine months and occasionally much longer. The ability of sales representatives to close a contract in a reasonably short amount of time is hindered by several difficulties, the largest of which is a poorly defined and loosely managed sales process.
Why do you need a Streamlined Sales Process?
Higher conversions: Your sales process design will determine your conversion rates. You can enhance its effectiveness when you completely grasp the process. You may also add sales-friendly solutions to your existing technology stack to ease the sales process.
Bigger deals: Sales professionals who breathe and live their sales process can chase and bag larger deals, boosting the company’s revenue. A well-structured sales process equips salespeople with the skills necessary to manage high-value contracts, enabling them to pursue larger clients.
Less time: The sales cycle for B2B is lengthy. In addition, salespeople routinely waste a significant amount of time trying to bag deals that will never be finalized. An effective sales process will allow salespeople to quickly identify a dead-end deal and save time by not chasing it.
Steps To Optimizing Your Sales Process
Step 1: Define the Customer Journey
Understanding how your prospects operate is vital for selling to prospective buyers. Determine with your sales staff how to convert leads into high-paying clients. Who are the decision-makers in a purchase? How can you develop customer trust and credibility? What amount of personalization do they expect?
All of these questions must be addressed to map the customer journey, and after the map is complete, it’s time to establish the ideal customer profile or buyer persona.
Step 2: Develop Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs)
ICPs are essential for focusing your attention on the ideal prospect. This keeps you from pursuing cold leads and allows you to generate more “high-intent leads” for your company. Building strategic, long-lasting connections with ideal customers is always preferable than seeking rapid, short-term success.
If you are unsure where to begin, always refer to the data. The types of data offered by modern sales intelligence tools include technological, demographic, intent data, and more. These are excellent starting points for developing buyer personas, as they mirror actual customers.
Step 3: Identify and Eliminate Pipeline Bottlenecks
Are your leads turning stagnant at the same stage every time? Do you have a lot of leads entering the funnel but very few qualifying? This indicates that you’ve got yourself a pipeline bottleneck.
An intelligent lead nurturing campaign is frequently the solution to pipeline bottlenecks like these. Capturing new leads is meaningless if they do not go through the funnel. The goal is to nurture leads over time, so they come to you when they are ready to buy.
Step 4: Align your Sales and Marketing Functions
Although sales and marketing teams have similar objectives (i.e., to generate revenue and growth), they frequently fail to collaborate successfully. Marketers create leads that sales representatives disregard, while sales representatives do not like to spend excessive time prospecting for prospects.
Instead of competing, sales and marketing should work together to determine quarterly objectives, define leads, and establish overall KPIs. When sales and marketing collaborate, you will be astounded by how much can be accomplished.
Step 5: Measure KPIs and Make Rapid Changes
A process without an ultimate target is, well, somewhat pointless. People need to know what they’re striving towards. Sales representatives must be aware of the KPIs they are pursuing, and management must offer frequent feedback and progress updates.
Prioritize indicators that genuinely boost sales success, as opposed to vanity metrics. These include the percentage of the team meeting its quota, the average earnings on target, and the sales cycle length.
Sales processes are just that — a process. They require a lot of trial and error to determine what works best for your company. Measuring progress and KPIs is the most critical phase since it reveals what needs to be adjusted. You may believe you already have the ideal sales process in place. And maybe you do. But in a continually evolving market, it never hurts to look under the hood and see what may be improved.
There are several moving parts in a sales process, and it can sometimes become quite complicated to manage successfully. Enter sales intelligence tools. Sales Intelligence tools like Draup can help you cut down 50% of prospecting time and boost your revenue by 3X.
With intelligent real-time sales insights and data, go-to-market teams can –
- Track key signals with alerts and build more explicit pictures of their target prospects.
- Hyper-target prospects by breaking down searches based on location, funding status, company size, leadership changes, etc.
- Access filtered data by shortlisting their buyer’s deal size influence, budget control, personality characteristics, sales engagement guidelines, and more.
- Generate B2B leads with an ML-based recommendation engine
Draup is your ideal Go-To-Market Intelligence tool that can help you scale your sales using validated data and AI-powered insights that give you an edge to compete.