What is Sales Process Management

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How important is adequate understanding and appropriate use of sales process management for your company? It should be not only important but also essential for managing the whole cycle of sales as well as ensuring smooth coordination between all the processes in the sales cycle for producing better results.

What is sales process management? It is regulation of a process which focuses on the development and practical operation of different sales strategies and the management of sales proceedings of the company.

Organizing a sales process

Recently conducted research has shown that 44% of executives consider their companies ineffective at managing their sales process. So how to organize sale process management for receiving better results? The key to successful sales management is a well organized sales process which begins with identifying a new prospect and moving him/her through the sales cycle stages. This enables you to predict and rely on a steady growth of revenue and incomes. In other words, the sales cycle is a process of step-by-step closing a deal. It gives you a pattern of the actions to be taken at each point of sale. Based on where the prospects are in the sales cycle, you categorize them and make sure that you put the right message in front of the right prospect at the right time.

Irrespective of the kind of business you run, there are 6 common stages of the sales cycle to be applied:

  1. Settings goals. At this stage, one should set goals and consider incomes, revenue as well as future vision of a business. Without clear definition of goals very little can be achieved.
  2. Contacting the prospect. It means that either a salesperson first email, call or contact with a prospect or a potential prospect responds to a campaign and inquiries about information.
  3. Qualifying and determining needs. A sales representative figures out if a prospect is serious and capable of purchasing, as well as determines the needs of this prospect and explains how product/ service can meet their demands and terms.
  4. Presenting the offer. A salesperson agrees about presentation, be it a product demo or a written proposal, discusses further details with the prospect and then submits a proposal.
  5. Closing the sale. It is the stage where the prospect signs an agreement and makes the first payment.
  6. Asking for referrals. After following up with a customer and seeing whether he/she is satisfied, a sales representative asks him/her for referrals (recommendation to another prospect).

Owing to the fact that every client is different and has various needs, your approach to each client will always vary – from language you use, the frequency of communication to the methods of contact. For example, a cold call prospect will not belong to the same category as the one who shows interest in a product and requests a proposal. With the help of a sales process and by paying attention to various stages of the sales cycle, a sale manager can control and push certain stages. He/she can also predict how each sales representative and a sale department as a whole is going to end up at the end of the month. Managing the sales process is a key to the success of any company.

Well organized sales process management will help:

  • to predict the number of leads you are going to have and the average win rate, therefore, to foresee the number of sales in the nearest future;
  • to determine the number of prospects you have at every stage and how long they stay in each stage;
  • to detect the average size of each deal. That is, how much revenue each sales representative generates;
  • to track the average time it takes a deal to proceed from lead to closure.

Sales process management software

The process of organizing sales management can be really tough. You may lose control of the prospects, misunderstand why one ends up buying while the others no. Besides, your sales team, instead of selling, can often spend valuable time creating manual reports. In addition, they may not understand how many real prospects they have and what they are worth. All this can not only have a negative influence on your business, but also can affect your marketing and sales performance. In order to avoid this, you need to arm your sales representatives with reliable tools. This doesn’t mean a traditional CRM (customer relationship management) solution but the software that actually empowers salespeople to manage their opportunities, boost sales and also make a sales process more efficient.

The main advantages of sales performance management software are the next ones:

  • It manages and tracks the performance of your sales process more effectively. As the matter of fact, the performance and analytical data provided by such software, help you assess individual, as well as team and the whole sales process performance.
  • It gives the possibility to predict a number of leads, win rate and fastness of a deal process. Thanks to this, you will be able to make an accurate evaluation as to whether sales target will be achieved or not. It will give you a real-time awareness of probable sales closings and facilitate resource loading forecasts.
  • It shows what is happening inside a sales process: the number of potential customers, qualified prospects, customers that are waiting for additional information or demonstration and prospects who need following up.
  • It helps to monitor and control sales together with sharing all important data with sales management and the rest of the team, therefore, to coordinate all the process and to keep everyone on the same page.
  • It enables you to edit, filter and manage your sales prospect lists on the automatically created lead management dashboard.
  • It provides you with in-depth analytics and statistics so that you will be able to take full control of your sales process and design strategies for further improvement.
  • It supplies you with such features as automatically sent follow-up emails, sales reporting and creation of reliable records. Thanks to this, you optimize your sales process.
  • It assesses your prospects based on their actions and helps you share and create customer quotes so that you will manage your sales cycle with the least effort.

Apart from the need of sales process management for sales people and sales managers, it is also valuable for other departments outside the sales cycle. For instance, a company’s smooth operation and expansion depend on creating a reliable, scalable sales process. A well organized sales process, together with reliable software that accurately and easily reflects each stage of a cycle, allows executives to review the whole process and to make a key decision for improving and developing further sales. Moreover, the data obtained from your sales process management tools can be invaluable to R&D (research and development) department. Using information from the software one will have answers to the next questions: What new features do we need to develop? What bugs exist in the current product? What else can we improve in our sales cycle?

You can greatly benefit from our excellent Voiptime Cloud Lead Management System software. It provides you with different ways to create prospects and move them successfully through the sales cycle. You can create prospects, import them, sort them by last interaction date, and group relevant clients together. Our Lead Management System (LMS) is a perfect tool for matching and cleansing customers. You can create your own flexible filters and sort prospects within selected project. Since flexibility is key, you are free to adjust filters and rename them at any time. Apart from this, it provides assistance in supervision and reviews analysis. With our Dashboard functional you can see which prospects need attention (they are new or without status), which events are scheduled (callbacks or meetings) and see contacts by lifecycle stage (which prospect is open or potential, which one is a customer or unqualified). If you would like to find out more about lead management and the services we are offering, then evaluate the following advantages of Voiptime Cloud Client Card: call records (for reviewing your previous interaction with a prospect), email tracking (for tracking and reading your emails from the LMS), callbacks (for receiving notification about calls on schedule by email and in the system) etc. In addition, if you want to call to a large number of clients and minimize sales reps' idle time, then you will definitely need to use a dialer.  This software will automate dialing and enable sales reps to significantly increase their live connections.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that sales process management is not a static thing. It operates to create improvement. Therefore the primary aim of a sales process is to give salespeople and the business a means of updating and learning. Sale process management is a critical activity for all sales forces. As a result, the better management of the sales cycle, the better results of sales performance will be. If you introduce these best practices into your sales force, you will be able to succeed in your forecasts, strike your quotas, and see your sales representatives surpass your expectations.

Tanya Gonchar

Expert in call center process automation, Head of Marketing at Voiptime Cloud. Interested in customer service, B2B sales, marketing, business analysis.

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