The key to sales success is an effective sales process and a well-oiled sales team that is working towards the same goal. But securing an aligned sales team requires work, strong communication, and the realignment of the buyer’s journey at the center of your sales reps’ sales goals. Forget closing a deal, achieving a successful sales process is about prioritizing your buyer’s experience from day one!
Here are our 5 steps to align your sales team along your sales process:
- Define your process
- Ensure consistent messaging and customer experience
- Emphasize qualification
- Schedule touchpoints and updates
- Prioritize seamless buyer’s journey
Define your process.
Before you work to fine-tune your sales process and align your sales team along the process, you should first better define or rather redefine your sales cycle. Take a long hard look at your current sales process and buyer journey and analyze the effectiveness. Is your process fit for purpose? Particularly in an increasingly digital age and with the blurring of the lines between the marketing and sales processes. Ask yourself...
- Are you catering to the hyper-informed customer, is there enough scope for qualification and research in your sales process?
- Are you utilizing digital sales approaches: Are you nurturing leads with digital resources, is there a strong intersection between your marketing and sales activities?
- Are your sales reps working towards the same goals with aligned and dynamic sales messaging?
- Is your buyer’s journey seamless or does your process seem rocky with shaky handovers and time wasted in repeated stages and conversations?
Once you have considered the effectiveness of your sales process reach out to the sales reps in your team. What is their take on the process? As frontline sellers their input is essential for identifying sections of a sales process that work well and which need re-working, what sales messaging should be prioritized and how should handovers work between reps.
It is also important to consider any touchpoints your sales process has with other functions. For instance the beginning of the process and the handover of MQLs, or the end of the sales process with the handover of a signed customer to customer success. Sales does not begin and end with the work of sales reps and so it is important to gain the input of other functions to see if there is room for improvement when it comes to bettering the buyer’s experience and maintaining a positive experience after they have signed on the dotted line.
Ensure consistent messaging and customer experience.
The next challenge of a well-aligned sales process is ensuring consistent messaging along the sales process with appropriate content and information available at the right point in each customer’s journey.
From initial marketing content to demo videos, sales outreach, qualification, and objection handling, it is essential that your sales team is aligned on messaging. Inconsistent messaging, outlandish product promises at different points of the sales process can make a buyer’s experience inconsistent and handovers awkward and complicated. There is nothing worse than informing a prospect that something a sales colleague promised is not in fact possible or feasible.
So how do you inform consistent messaging and customer experience?
One efficient way to ensure consistent messaging is to implement software like a sales acceleration assistant that provides in-call guidance on key questions and topics, battle cards to common customer objections, as well deal templates that ensure each rep is working from a shared starting point and following the same messaging and process.
Find out more about sales acceleration assistants.
In order to ensure an effective sales process and seamless transition for the buyer, sales teams should prioritize the qualification stage of their sales process. Here’s why:
- Qualification calls ensure sales reps get all the essential information to sell appropriately, accurately, and effectively to their prospect.
- By gaining a base level and consistent level of insights from leads, qualification calls let sales reps make an informed decision on the next step they should take in a sales process (do they pursue this lead, does this lead need more marketing information, are they ready to see a personalized sales presentation, demo, or free trial?).
- Sales reps can use sales acceleration technology to record, transcribe, and summerize qualification calls and share the key information with sales colleagues to ensure seamless handovers and consistent knowledge of a prospect throughout the sales process. No more duplicate sales questions or extra sales calls that waste both the seller’s time and the customers.
Learn how to have the perfect qualification call with our complete guide.
Touchpoints and Updates.
No sales process can be truly aligned without regular touchpoints and meetings between sales teams.
Each week reps should give updates on their sales activities and identify which of their prospects is at each specific stage of a sales process and when they expect them to move onto the next stage. They should also give insights into what selling techniques, recourses, or messaging worked well for each stage and each customer, perhaps in a monthly meeting on sales best practices, to ensure the sales team is working together to exchange tips and information to boost sales results.
Added to this sales reps who work closely with each other but on different sections of a sales cycle, for example, SDRs and AEs should have regular one to one calls as well as regularly share call updates and summaries to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to open deals.
Find out more on how to boost communication in remote sales teams.
Prioritize seamless buyer’s journey.
The goal of any sales process should not just explicitly be to close a vast number of deals but rather to ensure a seamless buyer’s experience that fosters a positive customer journey. As such it is essential that each stage of the sales process and each sales rep and their function is valued to the same level.
The sale process is a relay race and not an individual sprint. Seamless handovers are key and each rep has a role to play in winning the race i.e. closing the deal. Sales leaders must encourage their sales reps to focus on this big picture and prioritize team victories vs individual wins in order to achieve a seamless buyer’s journey and a truly aligned sales process.
Get the inside scoop on the Future of Enterprise Sales and how to adapt your sales team to get the competitive edge tomorrow with our free downloadable guide.