Building an efficient sales team requires three major elements: the first is the person, the second is the sales process, and the third is the CRM system. How can we build a sales process system that meets the characteristics of the enterprise? The essence of sales process management lies in the management of the process. Only by managing the process can the results be better managed.
The B2B company’s sales process has several typical characteristics: first, it takes a certain time from the potential customer to the final order; second, in the transaction process, you may need to deal with different decision makers or people in many departments Thirdly, the transaction amount may be relatively large, and the complexity of sales will be relatively high. Under the influence of these factors, how to decompose the steps of the sales process and precipitate best practices is very meaningful for improving the company’s overall sales profitability.
An important tool for process decomposition and management is the sales funnel. Many people think that the sales funnel is a very simple tool, that is, the sales process is divided into several stages, and then each stage is equipped with a profit margin. Finally, the manager can analyze the performance plan and performance goals through the sales funnel. In fact, the role of the sales funnel is not limited to this. Next, let me analyze the seven core values of the sales funnel for B2B enterprises.
Value 1: Manage sales performance
The first core value of the sales funnel is management. Company management can use the sales funnel as a visual tool to understand the progress of all sales projects at this stage. On this basis, a lot of analysis can be done: the first is sales goals and plan management. As a manager, you can always grasp the sales performance status of a sales individual or team through the sales funnel, and quickly know whether they are based on their sales funnel performance Able to complete the set goals. If the goal cannot be achieved, different measures such as supervision, counseling and direct intervention should be selected for improvement in order to achieve the goal.
We say that sales is a digital game. In the process of digitally managing sales, the role of the sales funnel is crucial. After the sales data enters the sales funnel, what is its conversion rate at each stage? For example, what is the conversion rate from leads to sales opportunities? What is the conversion rate from sales opportunities to signing orders? By analyzing the sales funnel, we can know how long the sales cycle of the entire team is? What is the average customer unit price? How long does the order stay in each stage? Only through the analysis of the refined sales funnel can we get these comprehensive and critical data.
Value 2: Forecast sales performance
A good sales funnel management system can make sales forecast more accurate. So for companies of different sizes, the value of sales forecasts is different. For listed companies, the accuracy of sales forecasting is very important for business management, and it is more unusual for the stock market. The CEO of a US public company must give Wall Street analysts and investors the expected performance earnings. If the expected performance income is far from meeting expectations, the company’s stock price will fall sharply. The capital market and investors will think that the company’s management execution is relatively poor, or the management is relatively extensive, which will naturally reduce confidence in the company. Therefore, some listed companies are very concerned about the accuracy of sales forecasts.
For manufacturing companies, the accuracy of sales forecasts is of extraordinary significance. Manufacturing companies need to prepare manufacturing materials, purchase spare parts, and coordinate worker schedules. The sales funnel can help manufacturing companies predict more accurately how many products are needed at a certain point in time and place. Then, according to the sales volume, companies can arrange funds and workers reasonably. The on-demand production model has a significant effect on reducing manufacturing inventories. In the early days, Dell, the king of direct sales, was able to achieve “zero inventory” through accurate predictions through the sales funnel, and it surpassed Hewlett-Packard to become an IT hardware giant.
For some labor-intensive, software or outsourcing companies, the sales forecast is also significant. If the accuracy of the sales forecast is not enough, it may lead to that when the company wins the order, the delivery and implementation team does not have enough engineers to serve customers; another situation is when the company recruits many engineers, but there are not enough projects for these. Engineer implementation. The former will have a negative impact on customer satisfaction, while the latter will have a negative impact on the company’s costs.
Value Three: Standard Methodology for Formation of Sales Team
For important projects, the responsible sales believe that the project win rate has reached 80%, and after careful research, the manager estimates that the win rate is less than 20% based on years of experience …
The first-line sales believe that there is no problem with the completion of the quarterly results. By looking at this person’s sales funnel, the boss found that at the end of the month, even if half of the results can be completed, a question mark should be placed …
These situations are not uncommon, and many sales managers are confused: they already have their own sales funnel and sales stage, but in the daily communication and management process, how can the situation be frequent? The reason for these deviations is that the sales team has not formed a common combat language and standards, and the accuracy of the sales forecast is impossible to talk about. The company’s sales staff don’t really understand, why do you need to complete these sales stages, and what are the evaluation criteria for each sales stage? The sales team reached a consensus on this standard, which is the common combat language of a team.
Some domestic solution-based sales companies have formed their own sales combat language. They will call the early supporters supporters or gold spies. Later stages need to be affirmed by power supporters. After completion, they will be covered by other key decision makers. … Like these languages are a company’s common sales combat language, these common languages represent a unified sales methodology, so the combination of this methodology and sales funnel is the key to creating a sales system. We will also explain in detail in the subsequent articles of the sales funnel series, how the sales funnel process stages, sales skills and sales methodology work together to form a very efficient sales management system.
Value four: copy top sales
Many companies have uneven sales capabilities. The majority of sales performance is the 28th rule: 80% of the performance comes from 20% of sales. If there is a system that can increase the level of the remaining 80% of the sales staff by 20% and 30%, it will bring a considerable improvement to the sales performance of the entire company. This is also known as copying top sales. This can be achieved through the management of the sales funnel: when setting up the sales funnel, first of all, the process stages should be sorted out based on the sales funnel, and the specific steps to be completed for each process stage need to be determined, and the sales staff must complete these The sales skills and tools required for the steps, and finally a set of corresponding inspection procedures need to be set to ensure the completion of each process stage. If the company has such a system, each newcomer will practice according to this system according to this system after the newcomer joins the job, then the newcomer will soon be familiar with the company’s sales process, help the newcomer to get started quickly, and improve the newcomer’s win rate.
Value five: provide targeted counseling solutions
For sales managers, it is very important to improve the ability of each sales person through counseling. How to understand the deviation of each sales person’s ability and skills has become the key to targeted training. The missing capabilities of sales staff are different, but most of the company’s training and coaching are carried out in a unified manner, often with little effect. With the help of the sales funnel, experienced sales managers can immediately see where the salesperson ’s problem lies and whether they need help and guidance. For example, a salesperson’s large number of sales opportunities are stuck in the high-level stage. Once he participates in the large order, the manager needs to intervene in advance to meet with the high-level manager to help him successfully advance the list to the next sales stage. Another problem for some sales staff may be that the business opportunities in the sales funnel are not enough to support his performance goals. The sales manager can judge that this person may lack the enthusiasm or skills to find new customers, and the manager can quickly take corresponding actions To reverse the situation.
Value 6: Help sales individuals plan time and performance
The sales funnel can help sales individuals plan their own performance and time, and even find the lack of sales skills to improve sales performance. For example, when the salesperson finds that the number of sales funnel opportunities is insufficient, he knows what measures to take to improve. Through the sales funnel, sales staff can understand their conversion rate, customer unit price, and whether many orders are stuck at a certain stage of the funnel, so they know what measures should be taken to make the order conversion rate higher. We will also expand on how to help sales people in the later articles of the sales funnel series.
Value 7: Avoid the loss of customers when the sales force moves
For companies that focus on project-based sales, the sales cycle is relatively long, and the flow of sales personnel is inevitable. The sales funnel can help the company smoothly hand over customers, let new employees get started quickly, and avoid the company’s losses. When the employee leaves, the manager or the sales manager can check the core projects and progress in the sales funnel one by one with the original sales staff. If they can cooperate with the sales CRM system, it can better help the company maintain customer assets or new projects Not lost.
To sum up, the sales funnel is not just a simple tool for sales promotion, it also possesses these seven core values. It is of great significance and value to the company’s performance improvement, even the professionalism and execution of the sales team.