Redesigning Your Sales Department: 5 Essential Steps to Creating a Sales Process Your Team will Thank You for
For many sales teams today, aligning the sales journey with the buyer journey will mean a need to not only design a new inclusive sales process that more closely considers the needs of the customer, but also a need to redesign the existing sales department itself.
There’s never a simple, off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solution here, which can be frustrating. However, it does become easier to see how to redesign and redefine the sales process by aligning the changes with both the sales journey and the buyer journey.
These 5 essential steps highlight how changes can be integrated with buyer needs:
Step 1: Initiate Contact
The first stage of the sales journey is to initiate contact at a time when prospects are exploring their own problems, and this is also a time to be conducting intuitive analysis to begin redesigning your sales department. Intuitive analysis is a form of sales intelligence that leverages the power of experience, both from your own team, and from stakeholders. It involves taking a systematic approach to decision making, and drawing upon previous experience in early customer behaviour to shape the redesign.
KPI: Commitment. At this early stage in the buyer journey, if customers indicate signs of transitioning towards the next step, it’s a solid indicator that the sales process is working.
Step 2 - Identify Needs
In the next stage, while customers are thinking more closely about their needs with the help of the sales team, it’s time to conduct a more thorough and detailed analysis into these needs. This stage of the redesign process involves collecting and analysing sales data, along with insights from both your sales team and from customers themselves, to build a solid data-driven strategy that challenges existing processes and highlights a more impactful solution. It brings customer opinion together with solid facts and figures.
KPI: Consensus. Collecting data from multiple sources may result in discrepancies in opinion. For this step to be successful, all relevant parties must agree on objectives.
Step 3 - Present Offer
When customers are evaluating partners, sales teams are presenting offers. But the offer process, the role the sales rep takes on, and the skills they utilise at this stage may need to be redesigned to more closely engage with the buyer. Stage three is about creating a blueprint for this process that clearly defines the most effective steps to be taken and the crucial sales behaviours that are likely to have the greatest impact on success. Sales leaders should consider introducing new training opportunities to hone talents.
KPI: Alignment. Any blueprint that is generated at this stage should align with everyone involved in the process, including sales representatives, sales leaders, and directors.
Step 4 - Resolve Objections
As customers arrive at the stage of the buyer journey where they’re looking to commit, and sales teams are working to resolve objections and generate a seamless pathway to conversion, it’s time to put the new redesigned process into action. While a newly launched process may not be 100% perfect, it does offer a unique opportunity to test out the redesign, gather feedback, and ensure that all sales reps have received the relevant training, coaching, and support needed to implement the new strategy.
KPI: Feedback. Once the new system has been launched, success and performance can be tracked and measured through both sales team and customer feedback.
Step 5 - Grow
Gathering feedback from sales reps and buyers is ultimately a fruitless task if sales leaders fail to act upon this highly valuable insight. Analysing feedback and measuring the impact of the strategy through surveys and CRM data enables teams to adapt and utilise the feedback to optimise the process. As discussed previously, there is no one-size fits-all solution, and there is no definitive right or wrong. The final essential step to redesigning your sales department is to embrace the benefits of trial and error.
KPI: Satisfaction. Ultimately, a successful redesign of the sales department should generate solid data via the CRM that can be presented to satisfied stakeholders.
Why the 5-Step Approach Works
The reason this five-step approach to redesigning your sales department and creating a sales process your team will thank you for truly works is because it has its roots in the SMART philosophy; it’s specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-based.
- Specific: These five steps are not intended to have a broad, overall impact on your sales strategy; they are intended to specifically align sales with the buyer journey.
- Measurable: Each step is supported by a specific key performance indicator that enables the strategy to be monitored, tracked, and adapted to optimise impact
- Action-Oriented: All steps come together to generate a clear action: a strategic redesign to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing sales process.
- Realistic: Your team won’t thank you if your demands are unreasonable. These five steps are achievable, and are a natural extension of the traditional process, meaning you can get the most out of your sales team.
- Time-Based: Most importantly, the steps align with the sales journey and the buyer journey; each stage is time-based, maintaining pace with customers.
Of course, aligning the department redesign with the needs, expectations, and experiences of both the business and the buyer does introduce more touch points than are typically incorporated into the standard sales process. However, a remote sales approach facilitates this new way of working. With no need to travel to customer sites, sales teams can check in and be more deeply involved in the buyer journey while simultaneously lowering expenses, generating a bigger impact using fewer resources.