You wouldn’t drive to a new city without a map, right?
Sure, you could probably follow road signs and a general sense of direction to make your way there eventually, but it would be stressful and inefficient.
Similarly, you want to have a map of your sales process as a guide to make the trip from potential lead to sales deal as smooth as possible. Shockingly, 59% of companies lack a well-defined sales process.
Timo Rein, Co-founder of Pipedrive, spoke with us recently about why mapping out the sales process is so important. Pipedrive is a sales software that specializes in sales process mapping for small businesses.
There are many reasons for plotting the course of your sales process, but here are the top three:
1. Find What Works
Sticking with the new city analogy, if you know that you will be returning there frequently, you want to find the best route to save time on later trips.
Is there a long stoplight that is the bane of your existence? If you take the same route every time, you’ll realize it’s not a fluke and find a way around it. Is there a gas station that always has low prices? You’ll want to mark that as a place to visit again.
Parallelly, a good sales process is like that best route. Over time, it will give you an overview of where things work best and where you and your team can improve.
Is there a point in your sales process where your best leads fizzle into dead ends every time? Having a map helps you pinpoint where things go sour and makes it easier to find a solution. Is there a particular step in the sales process that turns up more successful leads than any other? Label that step as a launchpad.
Without the map, you don’t have hard data to confirm whether or not a particular procedure is working for your sales team.
2.) Keep Everyone on The Same Page
Sales ventures aren’t solo journeys. That best route you’ve found helps those who are working towards the same goals.
Having a repeatable sales process mapped out ensures that your whole team stays on the same page. Salespeople can point out exactly where they are in the process, so nobody gets lost along the way. This also brings a sense of control that leads to greater confidence in their sales endeavors.A sales process map gives reps confidence and a greater sense of control.
It’s good to point out that establishing a sales process doesn’t mean micromanaging. There’s a balance between having a set process and allowing your sales reps to have the creative freedom to use their strengths and skills at each step.
3.) Stay on Task
It can be tempting to solely focus on big wins, but the key is to be disciplined in the process.
A big deal on the horizon that could meet all of your monthly goals can try to lure you away from focusing on other good prospects. But what if it falls through?
By sticking to the process, you can keep from following siren songs, so if things don’t pan out, you’ve still got plenty of other opportunities you’ve maintained during the waiting game.
Additionally, if a deal is taking too long to reach a conclusion, having the process can help you clear the blockage in the pipeline. The sales process will keep things running smoothly as long as you manage to stick to it.
Traveling can be stressful, and often you just want to focus on the destination. Having a map to guide you can reduce the stress by helping you along the way.
In the same way, mapping out your sales process will help you find best practices, keep your team on the same page, and keep things moving along down the sales pipeline.
This post is based on an interview with Timo Rein of Pipedrive. You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode by clicking here.