Sales leaders are used to following key metrics to track past successes and future opportunities for improvement. We attempt to determine why deals were won or lost, then use that knowledge to optimize our go-to-market strategies. However, companies rarely step back and see how they as a company worked together or could have worked together better to get a deal over the line.
There are more buyers in the buying process than ever before, and that number is only continuing to grow, adding more complexity to the external element of the sales process. However, few sales leaders recognize the growing difficulty of the internal process to get a deal over the line. Top performing salespeople navigate all of the moving pieces, which sets them apart from their peers; but other salespeople may get lost in the shuffle.
As companies layer on more processes to move deals from stage to stage, a sales team’s ability to convert a deal through each of those stages becomes more difficult, hindering their ability to be agile and close deals. Making sales secure approvals from legal, engineering and finance; forcing them to find use the newest marketing collateral and keep records updated in their CRM; then adding in more “solutions” to help them keep their information up to date but none of the systems talk to each other.
We build these process and systems to facilitate internal transparency and to drive efficiency; but in some cases, it does the opposite. With added steps to the process and new technology, the systems can become disjointed, and the problems can become harder to identify – making sales far too complex. According to the CEB 2015 Sales Complexity Assessment, 70.2 percent of sellers surveyed feel their job is highly complex.
Companies need to address the problems caused by internal workflow for deals, and work to map out cleaner, simpler workflows. By doing this, sales leaders can eliminate the parts of the process that are unneeded, or more clearly define how a process should be followed. After establishing a well-documented internal process, companies can begin to add software into the mix that works with the process that is being built.
With the abundance of software on the market, companies are becoming immune to the message that is being broadcast by most vendors. By beginning with process, you can find the best tools that fit what you are looking to achieve to unify their sales efforts across the entire organization.
No matter the size of your company or your target buyer, your internal sales process should never be more difficult for your sales team than their external sales process. Sellers must remove as much friction as possible, either through process or technology that is clearly mapped and defined. By doing this your team will be able to spend more time on proactive customer facing sales activities, and closing more deals.