What is the Salesforce sales process?
Sales reps are often asked to make cold calls, send emails, or set up meetings with potential customers without any real structure. But if they have access to a more structured system like Salesforce CRM software, this task becomes much easier. A well-designed sales process will help guide their actions so that every effort goes toward closing business.
In this article, we'll explain what exactly constitutes a sales process and show you how to go about creating one yourself. Keep reading for details on where to find it within Salesforce.
How do I create a sales process in Salesforce?
There are two ways you can create a sales process in Salesforce. You could either use an existing template from the app's library of readymade ones or design one from scratch based upon your company’s needs. We recommend using templates since they come preloaded with standard fields that most companies require. However, once again, there is no rule saying that only certain types of businesses should employ custom designs. If you choose to use a blank canvas, take advantage of the many customizable components available through tools such as Visual Design Builder (VDB).
Regardless of which path you decide to follow, there are some basic steps to keep in mind when designing your own sales process. Here they are listed below:
1. Define Your Objectives. Before launching into your creation project, spend time defining your goals. What are you trying to accomplish by developing a new sales process? Are you hoping to increase overall revenue? Or maybe you want to streamline operations to free up resources for other tasks? Whatever your objective may be, define clear milestones along the way and outline the criteria against which you will measure success. This helps avoid getting sidetracked while working on your production timeline.
2. Create Templates. Once you've established the objectives of your project, start building out a blueprint. In order to get started, you need to first determine what information each step requires. To do this, think about all of the different things that must happen before, during, and after a sale. For example, does the process involve setting appointments, sending proposals, making phone calls, reviewing offers, etc.? Also consider whether each action in your pipeline requires human interaction or not. The latter case would include emailing documents instead of having someone sign off on them.
3. Add Fields. Now that you know what data you're going to collect at each stage of the sales cycle, add relevant fields to the tables used throughout the document. Then populate those tables with appropriate values. Finally, verify that your table layout matches the flowchart diagram included in the template. This ensures everything runs smoothly later on.
4. Fill Them All With Data. After completing these three initial steps, insert actual examples of completed transactions into each section. When doing so, remember that you don't necessarily need to fill every field. It's better to leave gaps than omit important pieces of information. That said, try to limit the number of empty spaces because users tend to become frustrated when navigating around incomplete forms.
5. Check Everything Twice. Use the built-in editing features of VDB or another similar tool to review your work. Be sure to check for typos and missing labels to ensure legibility. At least twice, look over your form to see that the logic flows properly from page to page. And lastly, test the whole thing out to make sure it works as intended.
6. Export & Share. After checking for errors, save your final product and share its URL with anyone who needs to view it. They can then open the file directly in their copy of Salesforce. Alternatively, export it as a PDF, XLSX, CSV, XML, HTML, JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, BMP,.PDF, or.PNG format.
Now let's explore what constitutes a "Sales Process" in detail.
What is a Salesprocess?
If you've been conducting sales activities manually for years now, you probably already understand the importance of keeping track of your interactions. But did you ever wonder what separates a good prospect from a bad one? How can you turn prospects who aren't interested into paying clients willing to pay big bucks for your services?
You might ask why bother writing down anything about your leads. Why waste valuable time recording notes about conversations with people who won't end up buying from you anyway? Well, just imagine if you had a record of every conversation you'd had with every single person you met today. Would you still be able to recall all of your contacts' names? Probably not! That's why professional note takers known as stenographers exist.
The same concept applies here. Keeping records of your interactions makes future communication smoother because you'll always have something tangible to refer back to. Plus, if you're dealing with multiple accounts, it allows you to compare metrics across various pipelines.
But wait, you say -- isn't this redundant? Won't you have both sets of notes? Yes, but not everyone remembers very easily. As long as you write down key points during your discussions and cross reference them whenever possible, you shouldn't experience too much difficulty remembering pertinent facts.
So what's the point? By documenting every aspect of your efforts, you'll gain greater insight into the performance of individual departments. Over time, you can begin identifying trends and seeing patterns emerge between groups of leads. From there, you can adjust marketing strategies accordingly.
As mentioned earlier, you can also use a Salesforce Template to speed up the entire process. Just head to Setup > AppExchange to search for a suitable template. Some popular options include Sales Pipeline Pro, Pardot Lead Generation, and Teamwork Time Tracking.
When choosing a template, you should pick one that includes the following elements:
Lead Capture Form - Allows visitors to enter contact info.
Follow Up Form - Gives you space to log comments and responses regarding lead requests.
Prospect Relationship Management Tool - Helps you manage the relationship status of a lead.
Thank You Page - Lets you thank a visitor for filling out the form.
Once you receive a lead request, you can use the Lead Information tab to store additional details. This area lets you type personal messages related to past correspondence.
Finally, once a lead turns into a qualified customer, use the Customer Details tab to maintain detailed records for managing account service levels.
Where is sales process in Salesforce?
Most enterprise organizations implement a formalized sales process. Although they vary depending on industry, requirements, expectations, and budgets, they typically fall under four categories :
Qualification phase - During this period, representatives qualify leads by asking questions related to their specific interests. These queries usually revolve around the client's current situation, wants/needs, pain points, budget, and timelines.
Engagement phase - While gathering more information, reps gather intel on prospective clients' decision makers. They seek answers about the company's strengths, vision, strategy, products, services, and competitive landscape. Representatives also talk to partners to assess their willingness to collaborate.
Presentation phase - During this step, reps present their solutions and pitch opportunities to the client. Reps offer price quotes and estimates, as well as estimate delivery times and costs. Reputation is also factored into presentations. Prospects get to hear firsthand testimonials and reviews from previous clients.
Close phase - This part involves planning post-sale logistics. Reps discuss plans for next steps, schedule follow-up sessions, and coordinate deliveries.
To recap, your goal is to give every member of your organization a roadmap to achieve victory. Using the above framework, you can provide your employees with a sense of direction.
Keep in mind that whatever method you choose to adopt, be mindful of the following rules:
Create a simple list of stages or phases, rather than an elaborate plan.
Don't worry about including every little detail. Focus on providing enough context to allow others to figure out responsibilities.
Use bullet points to break down larger chunks of text.
Write short sentences. Long paragraphs confuse readers.
Avoid jargon and acronyms. Leave technical terms for internal communications.
Limit diagrams to essential shapes. Don't clutter pages with unnecessary graphics.
Be aware of grammar issues. Errors undermine credibility.
Pay attention to formatting. Poorly formatted documents cause confusion.
Lastly, as we stated previously, you can simplify the process further using a Salesforce Template created specifically for your needs. Head to Setup > Develop > Lightning Components Library to browse dozens of premade Salesforce Products designed especially for increasing productivity.
Also, be sure to read our articles detailing how to create automated workflow triggers and integrate third party systems with Salesforce.
How do you create a sales process?
Using the aforementioned guidelines, it takes less than 10 minutes to craft a complete sales process. So feel free to experiment until you arrive at a solution that suits your unique circumstances. Just bear in mind that a lack of proper documentation hinders your ability to identify problem areas. Without knowing what to expect, reps become confused and overwhelmed.
For best results, you should hire a dedicated writer or consultant familiar with the platform. He or she will be able to assist you in drafting a comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate document outlining all stages of the sales funnel.
Sales is an art, science, and skill all rolled into one. It takes years for someone to become a master at it but even then there's always room for improvement. That's why you need tools like Salesforce to help manage everything from lead qualification to closing a sale. In this article, we'll explore what exactly happens during each step of the typical sales cycle. We'll also see how using these steps as part of a formalized sales process will make sure everyone follows the same strategy every time they're trying to sell something.
Let's start with a basic definition of "sales." According to Wikipedia, "the act or practice of selling goods or services by any means (including personal solicitation)." The most common way people buy things today is through online retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. But before those companies existed, buying stuff was often done face-to-face between two parties who had some kind of agreement on price, terms, payment method, etc. Sellers would go door-knocking, making cold calls, sending out letters, putting up posters, giving flyers, going to trade shows, standing outside stores holding signs...and so forth. This type of sales activity is called direct marketing.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about traditional sales methods is usually either telemarketing or advertising -- forms of indirect marketing. When somebody approaches you directly to try to get you to buy their product or service, it's known as "direct response marketing," because the goal is simply to generate leads for future contact via phone call, letter, postcard, email, text message, social media, or other channels.
There are many different ways to market products and services, including branding campaigns, viral videos, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) ads, banner advertising, eBooks, white papers, press releases, referral programs, trade show exhibits, community outreach efforts, charity drives, employee incentives, and more. All of these tactics fall under the umbrella term "indirect marketing."
In general, the main objective of indirect marketing is to attract potential customers' attention through creative ideas rather than simple offers of information. For example, if you run a local hardware store, you might create a monthly drawing where the lucky winner gets a free air conditioner unit worth $1,000. Or if you own a bookstore, you could offer frequent buyers discounts and special promotions on selected books.
We've talked enough about the difference between direct and indirect marketing. Now let's talk about another important concept: the sales cycle.
What is sales cycle in Salesforce?
According to Investopedia, a sales cycle is the complete path taken from initial interest until final purchase decision. A company may have multiple sales cycles depending on whether its business model involves recurring revenue streams based on subscriptions or one-time transactions. Typically, a sales cycle begins once a prospect expresses interest in a product or service offered by a vendor. Prospects can be identified manually or automatically. Once a prospective buyer submits an inquiry, a salesperson goes through various phases to qualify the customer, set expectations, gain commitment, negotiate pricing, present options, follow up, and finally close the deal. Some businesses use a waterfall chart instead of separate phases to better organize activities.
You can divide the entire sales cycle into four parts: lead generation, qualifying, presentation, and conversion. Lead Generation is basically generating new prospects for your organization and attracting visitors to your website. Qualifying leads requires analyzing data collected from previous interactions to assess which ones should proceed further. Presentation is the actual pitch to the client. Conversion refers to the successful completion of the sale.
Here's an overview of the four phases of the sales cycle:
Lead Generation - This phase includes acquiring qualified traffic and converting it into prospective clients. There are several strategies used for lead generation, such as SEO, PPC, content marketing, offline networking events, webinars, blogging, video marketing, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Google AdWords, display advertisements, and others.
Qualifying - During this stage, the sales person analyzes the data acquired from the lead submission form to understand the needs of the prospect and determine eligibility. If the prospect qualifies, he/she proceeds to the next phase. Otherwise, the prospect is removed from consideration.
Presentation - After identifying the target audience, the sales representative prepares a proposal detailing features and benefits of his/her solution and presents the best option to the client. At this point, negotiations begin to align the interests of both sides while attempting to reach mutual agreements on terms and conditions.
Conversion - Finally, after reaching an agreement on prices, terms, delivery dates, etc., the sales consultant makes sure to deliver the agreed upon results. For example, if the client wants a quote for a specific item, she must receive it within 24 hours. However, in order to earn commissions, consultants must convert prospects into paying clients. Therefore, the focus here is on increasing the likelihood of getting paid.
Now that we know the basics, let's put together our own version of the sales process. First, we'll define five key points along the journey. Then we'll discuss possible scenarios for each step. You can adapt the following list according to your particular industry, size of business, and budget. Feel free to adjust the descriptions below for clarity.
Define Your Goals & Objectives
After establishing goals and objectives, you should establish metrics to track progress toward achieving them. For this exercise, assume that you want to increase your number of closed sales by 20% over last year. How do you plan to measure success? Will you look at overall revenues generated by the end of Q3 2021? Maybe you'd prefer to compare total number of sold units against a fixed quota. Whatever metric you choose, decide on timelines to achieve those milestones and stick to them!
Identify Target Audiences
For each milestone, identify the audiences that need to meet certain criteria. Here's an example:
Phase 1 - Generate Leads
Generate leads from organic sources only
Prospects coming from referrals
Profits less than $5k annually
All interested prospects submitted inquiries within 7 days
Once you've established targets for each phase, you'll need to assign responsibility to members of your sales staff. Depending on the nature of your business and responsibilities of individual roles, consider assigning tasks to appropriate individuals. Next, take advantage of automation to streamline the workflow and reduce manual errors. Also, don't forget to delegate authority appropriately.
Set Expectations & Deliver Results
This section describes the duties of every member involved in the sales process. Determine who's responsible for accomplishing what. For instance, in Phase 3, you may allocate 100% of task ownership to the Account Manager while Project Consultant handles 15%. Take note that you'll probably have to change these percentages later on depending on the complexity of work assigned to each role.
Build Relationships With Clients
It's easy to lose sight of relationships once the money starts rolling in. Don't worry though. People still appreciate kindness and generosity no matter what level of income they're earning. Even the poorest among us enjoy receiving small gifts and treats from friends and family. So don't hesitate to give away promotional items, tchotkes, coffee mugs, pens, mousepads, stickers, and anything else that reminds the recipient of your brand. Just remember not to send too much junk mail!
Review Processes & Improve Performance
At the beginning of each quarter, review existing procedures and practices to detect areas of weakness or opportunity. Analyze performance reports and KPIs to find trends and patterns. Use this knowledge to fine tune operations and boost productivity.
To wrap up, let's revisit our hypothetical scenario. Assume you have three employees: Jack (Account Manager), Mary (Project Consultant), and John (Senior Consultant). Their primary job responsibilities include:
Jack manages 10 active accounts, generates 30 leads per month, converts 2% of inquires to proposals, closes 0% of deals. He earns $50K in annual commission fees. His current KPI is # of sold contracts / # of inquires >0.2.
Mary supports 10 active projects, identifies and prioritizes opportunities based on pipeline analysis, creates proposals for each project, sells 8% of her proposals to winning clients. She receives $30K in quarterly commission payments. Her KPI is % of proposals successfully converted into closed deals.
John serves 12 prospects, negotiates 10% discount off MSRP, recommends third party integrations, closes 50% of deals. He earns $100K in annual sales compensation. His KPI is # of won bids / # of inquiries >0.4.
As you can see, there's plenty of room for improvement. Let's now move onto implementing our new system. To recap, here's how the proposed timeline looks like:
Day 1: Define Goals & Objectives
Days 4-7: Identify Target Audience & Set Expectations
Days 14-21: Build Relationships With Clients
Days 28-35: Review Processes & Improve Performance
Salesforce offers an intuitive, easy-to-use platform for managing all aspects of customer relationship management (CRM) software. It's one of the best platforms available because it provides everything needed for effective sales automation. The company also makes it easier for businesses to create custom solutions by offering hundreds of readymade templates, called "workflows," which contain prebuilt logic and functionality. While this may be helpful for some users who need specific workflow customization or integration with other systems, most people will find their needs met with just using the standard workflows as they're built into the system. Regardless of whether these generic workflows satisfy your unique requirements, there's no reason not to use them if they fulfill your basic needs.
The first step toward building any new business process is analyzing what you already have. This includes looking at the current state of affairs within the organization as well as its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, priorities, goals, challenges, etc. Once you've identified these factors, you'll have something tangible on which to base future improvements. In addition, it helps to know where your customers' expectations lie today so you can set realistic targets for tomorrow. For example, if you don't expect much from your current marketing efforts but see significant results after implementing changes, then maybe those resources should be reallocated elsewhere rather than being diverted solely to promotion. By knowing exactly what you want your product/service line to look like in terms of features, capabilities, offerings, pricing, quality levels, and delivery times, you can develop strategies accordingly -- and more effectively.
Once you understand your existing situation, you can start developing various possible scenarios based upon information such as market trends, competitors' products and services, internal policies, legal regulations, technical standards, industry specifications, and user preferences. Then you can choose which scenario works best for you, make adjustments, test different options, and refine each element until you arrive at a final solution that meets everyone's satisfaction.
For many organizations, however, creating a strategy isn't enough. They require a systematic way to implement changes across multiple departments without having employees become overwhelmed with too many details. A good sales process automates repetitive tasks and streamlines activities, making it easier to manage large projects while eliminating bottlenecks caused by manual errors.
In this article, we explain why sales processes are important, discuss key components of successful ones, give examples of typical sales phases, and describe the eight essential steps of the sales process.
How do you build a sales CRM process?
When you think about ways to automate a sale, chances are you envision computers taking over mundane tasks such as data entry and processing orders. However, true efficiency comes when computer technology supports human decision-making. Otherwise, the machine might simply handle things according to instructions without ever asking questions or engaging the employee. To get around this limitation, salespeople must take part in every phase of the automated process.
To provide maximum flexibility, it's usually advantageous to structure the entire system so it doesn't require a dedicated IT professional. Instead, sales teams can control and modify parts of the application themselves via screens or forms designed specifically for this purpose. That said, certain functions require special expertise and attention, particularly database programming, coding, and scripting, which only developers can perform properly. Therefore, the overall design should balance simplicity with complexity, giving both sides room to grow and evolve together.
An ideal sales process would include several major modules, including lead generation, qualification, proposal development, negotiation, contract signing, order fulfillment, service provisioning, support, billing, and follow up. Each module could consist of multiple submodules dealing with individual tasks. For instance, during a lead conversion event, a prospect could pass through four stages before becoming a client: generating leads, qualifying prospects, drafting proposals, and negotiating contracts. Every stage can trigger actions throughout the rest of the process. As long as there's someone on staff who knows how to fill out a form, log onto a screen, prepare documents, send emails, upload files, etc., the process itself won't break down since people can complete simple transactions independently.
However, success depends entirely on proper training. Without adequate preparation, even the simplest task becomes overwhelming. If you plan to roll out a new system yourself, you'll need help getting acquainted with the basics and learning how to navigate through unfamiliar territory. You probably won't know how to enter personal info, access reports, submit inquiries, select objects, connect third party apps, fix bugs, or troubleshoot problems. And you certainly won't know how to train others to operate efficiently. On top of that, you may lack time due to full plate commitments, leaving little opportunity to practice skills or gain experience.
Fortunately, there are plenty of companies capable of providing expert assistance. Many offer free trials or low monthly rates depending on the scope of project involved. Some even specialize in helping smaller firms navigate complex technological issues that typically stump larger corporations. Don't delay! Get started now.
What is sales process steps?
Most experts agree that the foundation of any high-quality sales process is a thorough planning session focused on identifying objectives, setting milestones, determining KPIs, establishing guidelines, assigning roles, tracking progress, and evaluating performance. Although each process differs slightly among industries, here are some general concepts that apply regardless of type.
Lead Generation - Prospects often respond better to messages sent directly to them rather than going through intermediaries. Make sure your sales reps reach out to potential clients personally with personalized pitches, eNewsletters, and telemarketing calls.
Qualifying Leads & Prospects - After initiating contact, determine the nature of interest shown by prospects. Are they interested in buying your goods or services outright or leasing them instead? Determine if the person qualifies as a prospective buyer by assessing his position relative to the target audience you aim to serve. Establish criteria ranging from budget limitations to skill sets required to evaluate candidates.
Proposal Development - Presentation materials that showcase benefits and justify price tags go a long way toward enticing clients to pursue negotiations. Create customized proposals tailored to specific situations and tailor them to specific audiences. Focus on presenting ideas clearly and concisely without confusing readers with jargon. Use short sentences whenever possible. Avoid vague phrases like "enhance profitability" and replace them with verifiable facts such as "increase revenue." Also avoid buzz words related to the product's niche or field such as "innovative" or "cutting edge." Since jargon creates barriers between parties, stick to straightforward language that everyone understands.
Negotiating Contracts - During this stage, establish ground rules and identify obstacles that prevent closing agreements. Agree ahead of time on acceptable payment methods, deadline extensions, intellectual property rights, exclusions to liability, warranty periods, shipping dates, and termination procedures. Be open to compromise. Try to strike a balance between demands and counteroffers. Listen carefully and show respect for opinions expressed by colleagues and superiors. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification if necessary.
Order Fulfillment - When sending purchase orders, request copies of signed contracts and invoices to track payments. Set deadlines for receiving shipments and deliverables such as manuals, literature, samples, prototypes, packaging boxes, packing slips, installation guides, or printed receipts. Ask for feedback from clients once items arrive. Request replacements if defective. Keep records of complaints received and investigate them promptly.
Support Services - Offer 24-hour telephone and email support along with annual maintenance packages. Provide detailed written descriptions of additional charges associated with extended warranties, upgrades, add-ons, and optional services. Clarify what constitutes an emergency so you aren't caught off guard by unexpected expenses.
Billing - Automate recurring bills and charge extra fees for overtime hours worked beyond normal working hours. Communicate prices accurately and fairly. Invoice clients timely to minimize late payment penalties. Report discrepancies found in reconciled statements and resolve conflicts fast. Pay taxes on behalf of your clients.
Follow Up - Regularly check status updates regarding pending accounts. Maintain accurate electronic records of correspondence history and responses received. Document meetings, discussions, presentations, phone conversations, and other communication sessions. Track activity statuses and update notes accordingly. Take care to maintain confidentiality and privacy.
What are the 8 steps of sales?
There are three main phases in the sales process: lead generation, presentation, and closure. These correspond roughly to the following sequence: generate leads, present offers, and seal the deal. Here, we outline the essentials of each phase. We focus mainly on the role that Sales Cloud plays in each phase.
After gathering relevant information, repurposing content, and organizing information, a salesperson receives a lead inquiry. He checks availability, reviews data, prepares answers, identifies suitable contacts, confirms availability, schedules interviews, conducts research, arranges meetings, and follows up afterward. Sales Cloud lets him automatically share pertinent links with qualified prospects via customizable newsletters. Such notifications keep them informed and up-to-date on latest developments without having to search online manually. Clients receive them right inside Sales Cloud inboxes.