How can good processes improve your sales cycle?

Imagine if your sales team up and left your company tomorrow. Would you know the status of each project? Do you have your quarterly sales revenue at hand? If the answer is no, then it’s high time to start thinking about how to implement good processes so you can improve your sales cycle.

In the interest of saving you time we’ve come up with the best ways we think you can implement simple steps which will improve your sales cycle and help convert leads -

Start from the beginning

Most companies have some sort of sales process in place. The problem is often it’s either an informal way of doing things or a convoluted sales system that has been hashed together and broken apart again far too many times.

Sometimes it’s better just to start from scratch. The first step is to map out your sales process from A-Z. Include every single step, from generating leads to processing final payment. Once you’ve written down your sales processes you will have a clearer understanding of how your leads advance from one step to the other. You can now add each ongoing project and apply it to your system. Now you know the status of each sales revenue stream and when they’re expected to close.

Measure success

Now that you have a clearer understanding of each potential lead you can move onto creating finite objectives for them. First define your key performance indicators (KPIs), this will allow you to qualify your leads and will help you to prioritise them while measuring how many leads move through the sales pipeline.

For example, if your KPIs is to get people to attend your event, then track that KPI against your warm or hot leads so you can qualify a lead as converted when they hit the attend button. The more that you can measure success (and more importantly where your processes don’t work) the more you can improve your sales cycle.

Get smart

We are all starved of time and energy so why add unnecessary tasks to your day when a sales tool can be running in the background doing it for you? Use technology to centralise your sales cycle so that everyone in your team is quite literally on the same page as you.

What’s more, some of the snazzier sales tools out there can actually do what our frazzled minds are currently incapable of. For example, it’s not always the best move to concentrate on the most profitable accounts, sales tools can help you to clearly see which accounts are more likely to respond positively and even rank each potential lead relative to another — helping you to make more informed decisions while using less brain space. Winner.

Follow-up

This should be stuck above every single sales desk. Following up should never be underestimated when it comes to improving your sales cycle and should be enshrined in your sales processes. Instead it is often the thing that is least actioned and one of the main reasons a warm lead drops off a cliff.

Most people don’t like harassing others, and so it’s natural to want to shy away from it. But putting certain processes in place will help grow a culture of responsibility. Your sales team is more likely to put in the steps necessary to close the deal or bring a potential lead onto the next step of the sales funnel if you have added accountability processes. Having regular meetings, a centralised sales tool and clear KPIs will encourage your team to send that follow up email or give a hesitant customer that all important call, improving your sales cycle along the way.

Like what you read and want to find out more? We published a book called “5 easy steps to improve your sales” or have a look at our sales acceleration tool that can help you put those good processes in place

Entrepreneur, Author, sales and marketing leader. On a quest to help myself and others be better than they imagine is possible.