Do we have the right sales process? How can we close more deals faster?
Gone are the days when companies sold one product into one market for one customer. Many companies nowadays sell multiple products or solutions to various markets. Which means they are selling to multiple buyers.
This raises the question—should a company have one sales process or multiple? Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer. There is a lot of information to consider before you can make a thoughtful decision. Most importantly, you need to have a thorough understanding of each market, account, and buyer you are selling to.
Today’s post will walk through what you need to consider before making this decision and the pros and cons of having either one or multiple sales processes within your sales organization.
What You Need to Consider:
To make the best possible decision regarding your sales process. You need to understand each of the following:
- What Markets are you selling into?
- What Accounts are you selling to?
- Who are your Buyers, and how do they buy?
- How are you covering each Market, Account, and Buyer?
The bullets above have one underlying theme. Who are you selling to, and how do they buy? If you are selling into multiple markets, you need to understand how each market works and how they buy. For example, banks and universities both purchase cloud storage and security products. However, banks and universities have entirely different buying cycles.
SBI’s Sales Process Test Tool has a variety of questions to validate your sales process and ensure that it is delivering the expected outcomes.
If you only sell into one market or vertical, you need to evaluate if all accounts and buyers within that market or vertical have a similar buying process. If you are focused on the education market, do universities have a similar buying cycle as high schools? What about public vs. private school systems? What buyer persona are you selling to within each market or account?
After you answer each of the questions above. Ask yourself one last question—How are you covering each market, account, and buyer? The last thing you want for your sales organization is to have a sales rep following different sales processes based on whom they are calling.
The Value of Having One Sales Process
The biggest advantage of having one sales process across the entire sales organization is that it simplifies things. You have one sales process mapped to one buyer journey. The sales operations function only needs to track one sales process in your CRM. Additionally, marketing only needs to create enablement aligned to one sales process.
The most significant disadvantage of having one sales process is that your sales process may not be ideal for each market, account, and customer you plan on selling to. Here are a few examples:
- Fortune 1,000 companies typically have a longer buying process than SMB companies.
- The decision-maker at an enterprise account will likely be different from the decision-maker at an SMB account.
- Enterprise accounts may require a reseller or distributor to be involved for some purchases. Maybe even an RFP.
- If you are selling multiple products, what do you do when they have completely different buying processes?
The same sales process won’t always work for selling different products or solutions into different markets. The bullets above outline a few scenarios where you may run into issues.
Having Multiple Sales Processes Can Work
One of the most significant advantages of having multiple sales processes is that each sales process is customized for a specific market, account, or buyer. Having a sales process mapped to the particular buyer journey of each market, account, or buyer increases sales velocity and productivity. Consider the same examples used above.
- Your enterprise sales team that covers the fortune 1,000 will have a sales process tailored to selling to enterprise accounts.
- Your enterprise team will follow their process while the team is selling to SMB clients. Likely an inside sales team will follow their process. Each method will address the differences (such as buyer personas, pre-sales support, or an RFP process).
- Based on how your sales team is structured, a different sales process for the various products or solutions your organization sells will address the different buying processes for each product.
The counter to this is that having multiple sales processes make things more difficult on supporting functions. Various sales processes mean multiple buyer journeys, different methods in CRM, and reps having to follow a different process based on the market or account. You run the risk of making things too complicated for your sales reps.
No One Size Fits All
At the end of the day, there is no one size fits all. Every sales leader needs to identify the best sales process, or processes, for their organization. While doing so, it is essential to consider the topics listed above. Whether you have one sales process or multiple, each sales process should be aligned to the markets, accounts, buyers you are selling to. Lastly, it needs to be aligned to how you cover each of those markets, accounts, and buyers.
What to Do Next
SBI’s free Sales Process Test Tool helps address the following questions and concerns:
- Validate your sales process is delivering the expected outcomes
- Get back to the basics and focus on the right things
- Match best practices to your company’s current situation
Once your sales process, or processes, has been defined, read 3 Ways to deliver Great Results from Your Sales Process. This article outlines how to incorporate competitive intelligence into your sales process. You can also discover other ways to further enable your sales team by downloading SBI’s 2020 How to Make Your Number Workbook, exploring our Sales Strategy insights, or by connecting with an expert.