What are sales processes in Salesforce?
In every organization, there's an internal system for managing operations and activities. This includes accounting procedures, human resource management, information technology systems, etc. But what about sales? Most organizations don't have dedicated software or tools for handling sales transactions. Instead, they use spreadsheets and emails to track leads, proposals, orders, invoices, payments, follow-up calls, etc., making it difficult to keep up with all these tasks.
Sales Force offers cloud based CRM (customer relationship management) solutions that integrate closely with other applications like marketing automation platforms, project management apps, eCommerce sites, social media channels, etc. These enable companies to manage their entire sales cycle from lead generation to closing the deal effectively. A robust solution also allows users to create custom workflows and automate repetitive tasks so as to free more time for sales reps to engage prospects.
There are two ways to set up sales processes in Salesforce - manual & automated. In this article, we'll discuss both approaches and what benefits each one brings to your company.
How do you implement sales process?
Manual implementation requires setting milestones, assigning specific roles, creating templates, defining actions, automating email flows, etc. While this method may be suitable if only few people need to participate in these steps, but it lacks scalability since everyone needs to manually update records. Plus, many new hires might not know exactly what should be done next when starting out.
To overcome such limitations, Salesforce recommends using "workflow" features which allow anyone within the organization to add certain steps into a flow chart format without writing any code. It keeps things simple by letting employees complete complex tasks automatically while saving considerable amount of time. You can assign owners/managers who will take care of different stages in the workflow. For instance, someone could start off with prospecting on LinkedIn. Then he would move onto sending email campaigns, calling prospects, and finally arranging meetings.
The benefit here is that employees no longer need to spend time figuring out where to go next—they just click Next! Once a user completes his task successfully, a green checkmark appears above his name. The manager then gets notified via Email, Calendar Agenda, or Slack message whenever a rep finishes a step.
Automated implementations offer greater flexibility than manual methods. There aren't any hard deadlines to adhere to because everything happens at its own pace. Your employees get to organize themselves according to their preferences. They decide when to call clients, send emails, and schedule meeting times.
This type of setup eliminates unnecessary delays due to bottlenecks caused by overworked personnel. As mentioned earlier, some functions require special attention depending upon the role played by a particular employee. So, keeping those factors in mind beforehand helps streamline the whole procedure. One of the best examples of this kind of approach can be seen in the below image depicting how a typical Sales Process looks like in Sales Cloud.
Can you have multiple sales processes in Salesforce?
Yes, you can. If you want to introduce multiple sales processes, you must first understand the basics of Salesforce Workflows. Each workflow consists of individual components called "activities." Activities represent discrete units of work performed during a specified period of time. When adding activities to a workflow, you choose between repeating the same activity again and again OR splitting it up across several activities and performing them consecutively.
Once you run a workflow, you can specify whether it runs once per day, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. This way, you can divide your workload among various teams.
For example, let’s say that you're running a campaign to generate 10 qualified leads per month. Since Salespeople usually perform similar tasks daily, why not put them under separate teams and give them control of their own goals and KPIs? That way, they won't feel overwhelmed by having too much responsibility at once and instead focus on accomplishing objectives efficiently.
Also, consider dividing sales opportunities equally across departments. Let's assume that Marketing generates 20% of leads but takes 60 days to make a decision after receiving proposal documents. If you opt to place those leads under the Marketing Team, you'll end up spending extra time trying to convince them otherwise. However, putting them under Sales Teams will save valuable resources and avoid wastage of time.
When implementing multiple sales processes in Salesforce, bear in mind that you shouldn't duplicate existing content unnecessarily. Create new activities for new cases or simply split large ones into smaller chunks. Otherwise, you risk getting penalized by Google Search Engine rankings.
As far as possible, try to reuse activities wherever possible. Remember, less duplication means lesser load on IT department. Also, look out for gaps in content coverage. Identify areas where additional training or instructions are required. Split bigger activities accordingly.
Nowadays, most businesses prefer to use Salesforce Lightning Applications rather than traditional webpages to display forms and data reports. Lightning Components contain prebuilt interactive features that simplify building mobile responsive interfaces.
By combining lightning components with native functionality of Salesforce platform, you can develop beautiful modern mobile experiences without worrying about back-end integration issues. You can even embed third party services directly into Lightning Pages through Visual Component Library (VCL).
Visualization of how your Salesprocesses will appear on the internet is helpful when planning future developments. Here's an example of Salesforce Lightning App showing the basic layout of a Sales Process page.
What is a process map in business?
Process mapping refers to diagrams used to visualize the sequence of events involved in completing a task. It visualizes the exact path taken by customers throughout the journey until reaching final conversion.
Let's say you've created three different paths to reach your goal. Now, you need to analyze which route yields better results. To find out, you'll need to compare the success rates and average ticket sizes along with total revenue generated by each one. Ultimately, you'll come up with a conclusion regarding which one performs better overall.
Businesses often use Gantt charts to show progress towards achieving key performance indicators (KPIs), targets, milestones, and launch dates. Another popular option is PERT Charts. Both of these formats help managers monitor status updates and gain insights into current projects.
However, unlike Gantt Chart which displays linear timelines, PERT Chart shows relationships between tasks and dependencies. Hence, it enables leaders to identify potential problems before they occur. Using both techniques together ensures transparency and accountability.
Although, it's important to note that process mapping isn't always necessary for every organization. Some firms use it as a reference tool only. Others rely solely on trial and error method to figure out the right course of action.
Lastly, remember to include crucial metrics that matter the most. Depending upon the nature of your industry, you can define KPIs related to number of closed deals, pipeline value, cost per sale, etc. Such measures will motivate you to achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity.
Types of process maps in Business:
1. Simple Map: This diagram contains elements like Start, Finish, Task List, Time Spent, Resource Allocation, Status, Feedback, Change Request, Risk Mitigation Plan, etc.
2. Matrix Map: Shows four quadrants representing four phases of a process. On top left corner, you see the beginning phase represented by red color. Below that, blue represents middle phase followed by yellow on the bottom row. Finally, green indicates the last stage, i.e. End Result.
3. Fishbone Diagram: Helps managers pinpoint root causes behind failures. It starts from external influences (i.e. demand conditions) and ends with internal constraints.
4. Ishikawa Diagram: This template focuses on identifying critical cause(s) leading to undesired outcomes. The core idea is to draw rectangles in 3x3 matrix style. Colorful circles in each rectangle indicate corresponding effect level ranging from minor impact to major failure. By doing so, you'll reveal underlying problem causing negative outcome.
5. Pareto Chart: Usually known as 'the 80%-20 rule', it depicts distribution of event occurrences in terms of percentage. Basically, it provides insight into main drivers responsible for poor performance. Its primary purpose is to highlight key areas requiring improvement.
6. Venn Diagram: Used to illustrate overlapping sets of values. Example usage of this template comes handy when comparing two variables against each other.
7. Value Stream Mapping: Helps uncover hidden obstacles affecting production speed and quality standards. It highlights bottlenecks preventing staff members from executing their duties smoothly.
8. Cause-and-Effect Diagram: Illustrates interrelationship between two entities. Users typically employ this template to discover causal links between two or more events.
9. Stochastic Flowchart: Is mainly designed to determine probability of occurrence of certain scenario. Based on input parameters, it draws curves and arrows indicating probabilistic behavior of given situation.
10. Histogram: Lets you visualize frequency of variable occurrences. Besides displaying actual figures, you can also use this template to calculate mean, median, mode, range, variance, skewness, kurtosis, etc.
11. Waterfall Diagram: Depicts sequential order of tasks executed in chronological manner. Although this technique does not necessarily provide detailed explanations about why something went wrong, it's still useful for troubleshooting errors.
The most valuable asset for any company is its people, including their expertise and knowledge. The more you know about what's happening in your industry, the better decisions you will make when making business moves. One way to increase this value is by creating an effective sales process. A well-designed sales process increases efficiency while also improving quality control and customer satisfaction.
Sales Processes can be defined as "a set of activities used by an organization to achieve specific goals". In other words, they are simply plans or procedures designed to guide the selling activity. They may include guidelines on what questions should be asked during meetings with customers, or what documents need to be completed before meeting with potential clients. Sales processes generally follow these basic components:
1. Planning - Before starting anything new, it's important to plan ahead so that everything runs smoothly later. This includes setting deadlines, identifying who needs to take part in each step, and planning out how long each task will last (e.g., time spent talking to a client vs. actually getting down to work).
2. Communication - It's vital to let everyone involved in the project know what's going on. For example, if there's a problem, tell all parties right away so that no one gets confused and stressed over something that might not have been necessary. There must always be two channels of communication open between employees -- one private line for managers and leaders, and another public channel like emails or forums where anyone can see what's being said.
3. Objectives - Once the goal(s) of the project are determined, it's easy to create objectives for every phase of execution. These objectives describe exactly what tasks need to be accomplished within a certain period of time. They provide clear direction and keep everyone focused on moving forward towards success.
4. Milestones - After completing each objective, milestones mark points at which employees check progress toward achieving overall goals. Ideally, milestones should be checked regularly and revisited as needed to stay on track and meet targets.
5. Reporting & Follow Up - Reports are crucial tools to measure performance against objectives. If problems arise along the way, reports help identify areas needing improvement and offer solutions to fix issues. Follow up allows management to monitor progress and encourage results.
In addition to helping manage projects effectively, sales processes allow companies to standardize operations and communicate information across departments. By using pre-defined protocols, such as those outlined below, sales teams can become much more efficient. Here we'll discuss five different types of sales processes commonly found in organizations today.
What are the benefits of sales process?
By implementing a standardized system, sales reps gain greater confidence in themselves and their abilities. Not only does this boost morale among sellers but also helps reduce errors. And because salespeople are able to focus exclusively on closing deals instead of administrative duties, they're usually happier throughout the day.
Another advantage of having a consistent sales method is building relationships with future buyers. When salespeople use a pre-determined script, they know exactly what to say and do without wasting time figuring things out on the fly. Also, since buying patterns tend to repeat from year to year, a proven sales methodology makes it easier to predict buyer behavior. As a result, it becomes possible to tailor products and services specifically to individual consumers' preferences. With a predictable approach, marketing efforts are less likely to miss the mark.
Lastly, having a systematic sales process reduces risk for both sides. Sellers get access to accurate data regarding product pricing and features, allowing them to confidently negotiate favorable terms. Buyer representatives receive relevant information about vendors' products and services, giving them confidence when presenting options to executives. Overall, sales productivity goes up due to improved workflow and customer service standards.
What are the processes in sales?
There isn't just one type of sales process, though some are more common than others. Below we outline four main categories.
This stage involves researching prospects and developing leads into actual orders. Usually, it begins with cold calls and letters. Depending on the nature of the sale, additional methods could involve social media outreach, networking events, internet research, or even direct mail campaigns. Prospectors often visit prospective buyers personally as well. Ultimately, once someone expresses interest in working with you, followup comes next. At this point, the prospector prepares proposals, sales presentations, or pitch decks depending on the product or service offered.
After receiving a positive response, qualifying questions begin the evaluation process. During qualification, companies ask probing questions to determine whether a deal is worth pursuing further. Typical qualifying questions revolve around price range, budget, timeline, etc. Since many qualified contacts won't end up becoming active contracts, this stage serves mainly to filter out bad candidates.
Once enough interested prospects have passed through the first three phases, negotiation kicks off. Negotiation typically takes place face-to-face, via phone call, email, or text message. Most negotiations consist of multiple rounds and discussions, sometimes lasting hours per session. While there are several strategies for negotiating, successful negotiators tend to stick to one simple rule: never give too much ground unless absolutely forced to do otherwise. Often, compromise is key to reaching agreements with buyers. However, maintaining strong boundaries is essential to avoid losing sight of your own interests.
At this stage, you've reached agreement with your target. Now, all that remains is signing paperwork and officially sealing the deal. Closing normally occurs after several weeks of talks and negotiations, though it depends greatly on the situation. Sometimes it happens immediately following purchase or installation, while other times it takes months or years. Regardless of length, however, closing means bringing together the two entities involved in order to finalize transactions and integrate systems.
What are the stages of sales process?
While each company tends to design its sales process differently, most fall somewhere along the spectrum below. Some approaches are more formalized, whereas others rely heavily on trial-and-error experimentation. Either way, here's a general overview of typical stages.
Stage 1: Lead Generation
Lead generation refers to generating leads, namely finding suitable businesses that would benefit from your product or service. Cold calling, advertising, referrals, trade shows, word-of-mouth, and similar techniques are typically employed to find potential customers. Each technique varies slightly, but generally speaking lead generators go through the same stages. First, they start small until they reach larger opportunities, then move onto bigger targets, and finally try to break into competitors' territory. Of course, these aren't hard rules, nor are they strictly followed by everyone.
Stage 2: Qualification
After generating leads, the second stage starts. According to the aforementioned 4 Ps framework, qualification determines whether a given contact meets expectations. If the answer is yes, then it continues to the next round. Otherwise, it ends here and qualifies prospects are eliminated. On average, qualification lasts anywhere from 3 days to 6 weeks.
During qualification, the sales rep gathers information about a potential client's size, financial state, and current initiatives. Then he uses this info to decide whether the relationship warrants further attention. He also checks references from previous clients to evaluate past experiences. Lastly, the salesperson tests his skills to assess a client's personality and ability to handle complex situations.
Some companies opt to skip this stage entirely, especially smaller firms that don't require extensive analysis or resources. But regardless of strategy, qualification is arguably the hardest portion of the entire sales cycle.
Stage 3: Presentation
Presentation consists of preparing written materials and pitches. Typically, presentation material revolves around providing detailed descriptions of various aspects of the product or service. Such details serve to showcase strengths and highlight weaknesses. To prepare, sales personnel develop proposals, floorplans, demos, specifications, brochures, websites, videos, etc. All of these items aim to convince decision makers why choosing your vendor was the best choice.
Stage 4: Proposal Preparation
Proposals serve as official requests to buy goods or services. Although they vary widely based on type, content, and scope, they share many similarities. Like presentations, proposals usually feature a brief introduction explaining background and purpose, followed by sections addressing requirements, advantages, disadvantages, risks, costs, security considerations, warranties, and legal issues. Finally, they conclude with signature lines and signatures indicating acceptance of contract obligations.
As mentioned earlier, proposal preparation doesn't necessarily occur simultaneously with other parts of the sales process. Instead, it frequently follows qualification and precedes negotiations. Many factors affect timing, including urgency, availability, complexity, size, and budgetary concerns.
Stage 5: Negotiation
Although negotiation technically encompasses every aspect of the sales cycle, it's considered separate from other stages. In fact, negotiation rarely takes place directly with a single party, rather it's done in parallel with other members of either side's respective internal committees. Because of this separation, it's impossible for customers or vendors to view deals as finished until negotiation concludes successfully.
Aside from evaluating technical elements, negotiation primarily focuses on ensuring fair treatment of both parties. Salespeople seek guarantees related to reliability, quality, delivery dates, warranty coverage, payment schedules, etc. Meanwhile, buyers demand that prices reflect market rates and that suppliers comply with local regulations. Negotiation sessions differ according to location, duration, participants, topic, and more. Generally, however, negotiation is typically conducted verbally, via fax, email, or online chat rooms.
Stage 6: Contract Signing
Salespeople have lots of information at their fingertips, but they often don't know what to do next when it comes to closing a deal or even getting new leads for future opportunities. Sales Processes let you set up an organized way for your reps to follow so they're ready to make quick decisions on which customers deserve more attention.
Here's everything you should know about using sales processes in Salesforce.
Why do we use sales process in Salesforce?
There are four main reasons why companies choose to implement Sales Processes in Salesforce. They range from improving efficiency, increasing productivity, reducing the time spent by employees working on repetitive tasks, and making sure everyone follows the same procedure whenever they interact with prospects or existing clients.
By having a standard method for handling any given activity, Sales Process helps teams save time and increase revenue. It also prevents errors and improves customer satisfaction. In fact, one study found that 80 percent of businesses who implemented Sales Process saw increased revenues due to its implementation.
With this in mind, here are some other benefits of implementing Sales Processes in Salesforce:
1) Improve quality control. By setting standards, Sales Processes help organizations get better products as well as avoid wasting resources on producing faulty ones. For instance, if there is no standardized template used during client meetings, then employees may not be able to give accurate estimates regarding project costs. And without proper instructions, engineers might end up creating something different than what was asked for, causing delays in production.
2) Increase employee motivation. With clear guidelines laid out, employees will feel empowered to work harder. This increases engagement levels among workers, leading to higher performance.
3) Reduce the amount of training needed. If every rep knows exactly what to say or does before walking into a meeting, then there won't be much room for mistakes. Also, since managers aren't spending their valuable time teaching people about procedures, they'll have more free time to focus on strategic planning.
4) Build stronger relationships with current/prospective customers. When reps adhere to strict rules, customers tend to expect professionalism at all times. They'll become loyal fans of your brand because of it.
And now let's take a look at why you'd want to create a sales process in Salesforce.
Why do we need sales process in Salesforce?
As mentioned earlier, Sales Processes allow business owners to achieve several goals without putting too many limitations on their reps' freedom. The best part is that these tools only require minimal training. Once users understand how things operate, they're good to go!
To put it simply, Sales Processes in Salesforce provide guidance on both sides of the table—for sellers (customers), and for buyers (salespeople). Here are just a few examples of how those two groups benefit from following certain steps:
For Customers: A Sales Process allows prospective clients to find relevant content faster, allowing them to narrow down potential options quicker than ever. As a result, the entire experience becomes smoother and easier for all parties involved.
For Repos: Having a specific workflow makes it easy for developers to track progress and manage projects. Plus, it saves tons of time while keeping everyone accountable.
For Managers: By giving managers access to reports indicating where each step falls within the overall process, they can see exactly how long it takes for a particular task. Additionally, Sales Processes keep records of past activities and offer insights into trends. This enables leaders to identify patterns and determine the most efficient ways to handle similar situations in the future.
Now that we've taken a brief look at why Sales Processes are beneficial, let's talk about how to actually structure them.
What is the purpose of a sales process?
The goal of a Sales Process is to eliminate confusion and uncertainty around various actions that occur throughout the selling cycle. These processes guide users through predictable steps that lead to successful outcomes. Without a doubt, Sales Processes are crucial to achieving success in sales.
While there are numerous types of Sales Process models, the general concept behind them remains pretty simple. One common theme relates to ensuring consistency across all stages of the sale. Another thing worth mentioning is the importance of providing context-specific advice based on individual needs.
Here's an overview of the key components of Sales Processes. Keep reading to discover how you can integrate these elements into your own model.
How to design a sales process in Salesforce
You can divide Sales Process Models into three categories depending on whether they involve marketing, development, or management. Regardless of which category applies to yours, the basic idea is to lay out detailed instructions for your reps to follow.
In addition, you can incorporate additional features such as checklists and templates to further streamline the process. To start, you'll want to decide on the type of Business Model you wish to adopt. Then, pick the right tool for the job. Let's dive deeper into this decision below.
Step 1: Define the scope
Before moving forward, ask yourself the following questions: What kind of product/service would you like to sell? How many variations do you plan on offering? Which pricing strategies do you prefer? Based on your answers, define the primary objective(s) of your Sales Process.
If possible, try to include multiple objectives. That way, you can measure your results against each of them separately. You can also test different approaches until you come up with the perfect solution.
Also, consider adding milestones and KPIs along the way. Make them short-term to encourage accountability, and tie them together with rewards and awards. Doing so will motivate your reps to stay focused and committed to completing the mission successfully.
Step 2: Choose a suitable platform
When choosing a platform, it's important to remember that picking the wrong one could cause major problems later on. Don't worry though, Salesforce offers plenty of solutions that meet almost anyone's requirements.
Depending on your industry, target audience, budget, etc., you can opt for either Community Edition or Professional Edition. Community Edition is ideal for small to medium enterprises looking to grow gradually. Meanwhile, professional editions are designed specifically for larger corporations wishing to expand rapidly.
Another factor worth considering is customization capabilities. Since Sales Processes are meant to serve a wide variety of purposes, you can easily switch between them. However, it's vital to note that doing so requires hiring a certified consultant. Otherwise, you risk being locked into one version indefinitely.
Lastly, you mustn't forget that platforms evolve over time. Therefore, it's essential to select a system that works perfectly today, yet still provides enough flexibility to accommodate changing demands tomorrow.
Step 3: Design your Sales Process
Once you've decided on a platform, it's time to move onto designing your Sales Process itself. Before beginning, think about how you'd like your final product to appear. Is it going to consist of charts, graphs, diagrams, tables, etc.? Or maybe you're aiming for a cleaner presentation that includes nothing other than text and images.
Next, break your overall Sales Process into smaller sections. Each section of your document should highlight the details associated with that phase. Use headings and subheadings to separate paragraphs.
Finally, add comments and notes at appropriate points to remind yourself of anything overlooked. Remember to always leave space for signatures and contact info.
Step 4: Add visuals
Visualizations play a huge role in ensuring clarity and simplicity. So far, you've been writing your documents, but now it's time to turn your words into pictures.
Use illustrations, icons, photos, videos, and GIFs wherever necessary. Adding visual cues gives your readers a clearer understanding of what to expect. At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive—but once they dig into the material, they'll realize that it really enhances comprehension.
Remember that the tone of your Sales Process matters quite a bit. While some parts may be written in formal language, others may contain jokes or slang. Be careful not to confuse your audience or undermine your credibility.
Checklists can prove useful when trying to complete complex jobs. Similarly, they can boost productivity and morale by helping individuals spot loopholes early on. So, use one to prevent critical oversights.
Templates are excellent alternatives when you're struggling to figure out what to write next. Instead of wasting countless hours searching online for a sample letter, outline ideas beforehand and refer back to them whenever needed.
Guides or instruction sheets can simplify complicated topics. But instead of presenting redundant facts, guides should focus on explaining concepts clearly. Afterward, your reps can fill in the blanks themselves.
8. Forms & Instructions
Forms and instructions are great for reminding your followers of what to do next. You can use them to record data manually or automate repetitive tasks using Automation Studio.
FAQs can answer virtually any question pertaining to your product or service. Whenever someone asks you a query related to it, pull up the corresponding entry and share it via email.
Whenever you encounter issues while reviewing documentation, leave a comment. Ask questions or suggest improvements directly to the writer.