06 Oct Map Your Way to Sales Success – How to Develop a Sales Process Map
One tool effective sales teams use to plan and maintain success is a sales process map.
A sales process map provides a playbook so your team knows who does what and when to reduce inefficiencies and improve sales performance. It shows the journey a customer takes to reach a desired end. And, it outlines the work, materials and resources needed for that journey.
All of this shows how sales teams can move through the steps of the process to continually add value for customers.
Building a Sales Process Map
How do effective sales teams build a sales process map? Here are seven steps to take your sales team through the process.
- Identify Your Sales Process
Your first step is to identify your sales process by looking at previous, successful sales and documenting the steps your team and customers followed.
Rely on input from key players in your process.
Involve team members of your sales and marketing teams and use their examples to determine major steps in each of their sales. Use their expertise to build the process and identify opportunities for efficiencies.
Your customers are also a valuable resource. Interview your valued customers to determine their journey and needs. Find out how they generally move through the process to suit their needs? What communications do they require and when?
- Develop a General Process Map
Using your observations from steps one and two you can develop a very general process map. Hubspot’s example of a general inbound sales methodology provides a foundation for more complex or longer sales processes.
- Add Detail
Build more detail ‚ though remember not to go overboard ‚ by identifying the actions or reasoning that move your prospects through the process. Explain how to move to the next stage.
- Include All Requirements
Include logistical and administrative requirements for each stage. This can be extremely important to prevent administrative bottlenecks and to help identify areas of improvement later in the process.
To help with this further, build key metrics into each stage of the process. Your map doesn’t need to outline how to find key metrics, only that key metrics exist at each stage. Then, you can use these metrics to identify the bottlenecks or areas of improvement. How many prospects transition through certain stages? How long does each stage take?
And, if you need some solutions to administrative bottlenecks, read our blog What Really Slows Down Enterprise Sales and How to Improve It.
- Optimize the Process
Keep in mind that every sales process, and even every sale, is different. Good sales processes change from company to company, industry to industry and year to year. Consistent evaluation and adjustment of a sales process map keeps it working effectively for both you the seller and your costumer.
- Use the Map
Once you’ve developed your map, use it. A sales process map not only provides guidance, it provides a foundation for all your sales activities. It can help you:
- Use your sales process to integrate or strengthen your sales enablement process
- Identify and develop content needed to move your buyers through each stage
- Better allocate scarce or highly technical resources to improve access for everyone in the process
- Recognize areas of opportunity for training or improvement
A sales process map not only provides guidance, it provides a foundation for all your sales activities.
The Last Word
Your sales process map will require input from your entire team and will adjust and improve over time. No map is the same and no map can perfectly describe every step of a sale. But you can use these questions to guide you in building your foundation as a starting point.
A sales process map:
- Provides a playbook so your team knows who does what and when to reduce inefficiencies and improve sales performance
- Shows the journey a customer takes to reach a desired end
- Outlines the work, materials and resources needed for that journey