Defining effective sales processes and sales stages to boost your commercial performance

François Delvaux

François Delvaux
Partner of Minds&More

In our blogs this month, we write about how a company can improve its marketing and sales performance by being effective in how it manages its people, commercial processes, and digital platforms. While all of these three elements are equally important, we see today that too many business-to-business (B2B) companies struggle to have well defined commercial processes or not to be able to make these processes fully operational.

These gaps in processes result in wasted commercial resources (marketing, sales, service), missed sales productivity, or actual sales realization that are below their potential.

As a reminder, a process is defined as ‘a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end’.

To help align marketing and sales teams, they need to have the same understanding of the critical commercial processes.

Today in your business, are the following critical commercial processes in place?

1. Territory management process – how are the sales territories or regions allocated to your direct sales and indirect channels? What are the steps for effective sales coverage and frequency of interactions?

2. Account management process – how are the key accounts defined and assigned to your commercial team? What steps to follow to develop an effective account plan? What steps to manage well-assigned accounts to realize more sales?

3. Opportunity management process – how are sales opportunities defined, and what steps are required to qualify and progress a sales opportunity so that it comes to a realized sale?

4. Meeting management process – how are interactions prepared (be it a physical meeting, a conference call, or another formal mode of communications) with your prospects or customer? What steps to follow during the meeting? What steps to follow after the meeting?

As an example, let’s look more closely at the #3 Opportunity management process. Key questions that your business should ask in this process:

– Does our marketing and sales teams have the same clarity concerning the target customer or the ideal customer profile? Are there customer personas defined and lived by our organization?

– Is there a common definition of the customer’s buyer journey process, and do we have the same understanding of the commercial steps to follow?

Better performing B2B companies know what steps to follow that help to:

1. Evolve a suspect or a cold contact from being uninterested to becoming interested in their company’s offerings. What steps to follow to create a new opportunity in their digital platform (i.e. inbound marketing platform, CRM platform)

2. Get confirmation from a suspect or prospect that they have a real need or a gap that they want to address. As part of these qualification steps, the commercial teams often use a sales enablement platform or a digital content marketing platform to validate the needs of a suspect or prospect.

3. Help their salespersons to make offers and ensure that the relevant information is collected in the company’s platforms (Customer Relationship Management CRM, forecasting application, a quote or pricing tool, ..)

4. Ensure that the prospect will prefer their company’s offer and will decide to do business with them

5. Onboard well their new customers so that they start to use the company’s products and services

Schedule a free hour session

Schedule a free hour session with one of our commercial performance experts to know more about this topic and how Minds&More can help you to boost your commercial performance.

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