Why a Dedicated Sales Development Process?
More and more sales teams are starting to understand the benefits of moving to a dedicated sales development process. By implementing formal, structured and milestone-centric sales processes, companies can build more leads and make more profitable sales. If you’re transitioning to a dedicated sales development process, you’re in the right place.
Here’s how you can take advantage of the many benefits and make the transition as smooth as possible while you put it in motion.
Do You Need a Dedicated Sales Process?
Is it worth your time to implement a strategic, data-driven sales development process to improve efficiency and achieve more wins? Let’s start by examining whether or not you need a structured sales process to help you stay organized and alert. Here are some obvious signals that you do.
Sales and Marketing are Misaligned
When your sales and marketing teams aren’t striving for the same goals, or are unsure of what each other are doing, your business could take a dive. If there isn’t an open line of communication between the two teams, employees can waste inordinate amounts of time on administrative tasks, like searching for contact information or entering data manually.
Additionally, good communication between sales and marketing can foster essential feedback that can improve lead conversion rate. If these two teams aren’t communicating effectively, you most likely need to implement a sales development process.
You’re Doing Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is an effective sales process that every team should try. If you’ve recently implemented an inbound marketing strategy, ensure that your sales development process is on point. To better align with the customer’s buying journey, your sales development reps (SDRs) will need to mold their sales process around the way consumers shop in today’s digitally-centric buying environment. The modern consumer just doesn’t react to old-school selling tactics anymore, or generic, one-size-fits-all content – you need to provide personalization.
In order to provide the personalization the consumer desires, you may want to consider a dedicated sales process that will provide the foundation for you to build the best messaging to reach your market.
Your Team seems Stuck in the Past
Is your team using new tools and technology or are they stuck in the past, manually inputting data into spreadsheets and skimming through their rolodex? Maybe you have invested in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, but your sales team has yet to adopt it for various reasons. Whatever the cause, if your team isn’t using cutting-edge tech and tools, you may be continuing ineffective practices that are long past their prime.
Implementing an high-quality sales CRM or development software will give your team the automation they need to focus on the bigger picture – customer management and making sales. With a dedicated sales software, your salespeople won’t have to waste time with the time-consuming minutiae that the job entails.
It’s Best Practice
After all is said and done, a dedicated sales process is a time-tested best practice for sales. It sets up a proven system for your sales team to be more efficient and thus make more sales. With the amount of trial and error many businesses go through as they ramp up their sales development process, this will add a sense of competence and accountability for the entire department.
Top Benefits of a Dedicated Sales Development Process
There are several useful benefits to implementing a dedicated sales development process. Here are the things you stand to gain when you put yours in place.
More Efficiency with Sales Software
After you’ve decided on a dedicated sales development process, it should be integrated into your CRM. This will give structure to everything that you do – from identifying the highest-value customers to utilizing content that’s built around specific personas. It forces your salespeople to follow a process as they check-off their efforts.
Putting everything on one centralized CRM dashboard gives your SDRs crucial information, such as ideal sales cycles, conversion ratios and days in stage. Without this essential function, salespeople can be hindered by an unorganized process that supplies dead-end sales leads.
Identifying Opportunities & Misses
When you’ve integrated your sales process into a CRM application, you’ll receive unparalleled insight into opportunities that you’ve likely been missing. When you can identify gaps in the specific steps of your process, you’ll be better positioned to improve your overall sales efforts. Whether you need to amp up your training, or shift the demographics of your target market, you won’t know until you have a process to identify your opportunity costs.
Increased Win Rates
When there’s no way for salespeople to know which steps to take, sales cycles will grow longer and win rates will decrease. Enacting a dedicated sales development process gives your team clear actions to take so they won’t waste time on repeating previously-missed steps. When your sales process is streamlined, SDRs now have clear, actionable steps that can be checked off as the customer moves through the funnel – increasing their chance at conversion.
Quick Assimilation for Employees
When you have a dedicated sales process, it’s much easier to assimilate new employees into your workflow. With everything laid out in an easy-to-understand document that’s provided at orientation, they can jump on-board without any disruption to your sales efforts. Encourage these new salespeople to embrace the strategy and use it to justify their actions.
Additionally, this supplies you with a way to measure your new employee’s performance. Are they keeping up with the implemented milestones and targeted goals? Tracking their efforts against your process will let you know who your top performers are, as well as those that may need to be cut from the team.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Overall, a dedicated sales development process will provide your entire sales department with the context they need to reach success. Now, your team will be on the same page in terms of optimizing and sticking with a structured plan. Meetings will go much more smoothly, now that each salesperson can ask the right questions, such as, “What step are we at in the process?”, “Why did we miss this opportunity?” or “Now that we’ve completed this step, how do we move forward?”
Creating a process that your team can adhere to will make your sales team’s efforts much more efficient and effective.
How Do I Implement a Dedicated Sales Process?
Now that you understand the main benefits behind implementing a dedicated sales process, you’re now probably ready to implement it. The key here is to put it in place incrementally; the first step being to gather the essential components.
Sales development processes are most effective when they contain several strategic elements, carefully designed to advance prospects through the buying journey. Here’s a look at how you should implement your sales process.
Find the Best Sales Development Platform for Your Needs
Sales development platforms will help support your SDRs efforts by automating administrative tasks and busy work, allowing your team to focus on more of what matters – building relationships and making sales.
There are a ton of sales software options out there, with many offering useful tools such as:
- Integrated, centralized dashboard
- Email templates with content
- Day and hour reports
- Sales-ready opportunity reports
- SDR sales tracking
- Analytics reports and measurements
- Goal tracking
- Territory segmentation
- Persona and demographic research and development
Utilizing the best CRM tool for the job will make your entire process more seamless and efficient, while allowing your team to identify valuable leads and the most effective sales strategies.
Define Your Lead Qualification System
Sales development calls for clearly-defined steps for qualifying leads. If you don’t understand what qualifies a lead that comes your way, you’ll end up wasting valuable time on uninterested consumers. Additionally, handing off improperly-vetted prospects to your closers can also result in the loss of prospects who might have otherwise made a purchase.
By defining the qualification process, each department associated with sales development can now produce a more structured buying journey for a specific audience. Building specific steps that your SDRs can follow will help optimize your efforts when reaching out to new prospects.
Find a Centralized Content Management System
It’s wise to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are aligned, as we discussed earlier on in the article. Because sales teams make heavy use of the content that marketing creates, they need to have easy access to all of the collateral that’s available to them. Content allows SDRs to make use of the wide array of assets to educate prospects and qualify leads, depending upon where they are in the sales cycle.
As a powerful, targeted sales tool, a centralized content management system will let sales reps find the content that’s useful for their specific situation. With a sortable, easy-to-use content library, you can find assets that’s geared toward various customer personas or those in certain phases of the funnel – SDRs get the chance to deploy the content that impacts your target’s buying decisions.
Understand Sales Analytics, Measurements and Reporting
Sales analytics are integral to inform your sales team at every step of the purchase path. Analytics help by providing cold-hard data to measure, track and report on sales efforts. This also helps to keep marketing and sales aligned by providing insight into what’s working and what isn’t. Understanding how these can be utilized to identify new or missed opportunities is incredibly important to enacting a dedicated sales process.
Improve Collaboration, Improve Sales
Simply put, improving collaboration across all departments will improve your overall sales. As the bridge between marketing and sales, sales development requires constant input from each team to optimize the buyer’s journey. If you can improve the way you internally collaborate, you’ll enable your teams to inform each other on the best way to convert leads.
Best of Luck with Your New Sales Process!
Now that you know the advantages of and steps involved with implementing a dedicated sales development process, you’re ready to put in action. As you implement your formal sales process, you’ll see higher profits and more valuable long-term customers.
During your transition, don’t hesitate to reach out to OppSource for any and all of your sales questions – we’re here to help. We wish you best of luck on your journey!
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