How to use Salesforce to improve your sales process

Posted on 12-10-2023

Sales processes are essential for businesses of all sizes. A well-designed sales process can help you close more deals faster, improve your team’s efficiency, and gain valuable insights into your customers. 

Ensuring an effective sales process is paramount for any business; it is not the most straightforward task to implement.

Sales processes vary across companies, depending on your product or service, revenue model, and customer journey. But no matter what kind of company you’re in, a robust sales process can make all the difference in driving revenue. Building and maintaining a sales process using best practices can significantly impact a company’s growth trajectory. 

Tips on how to use Salesforce to implement or improve your sales process:

Start with a solid foundation.

Before building or optimizing your sales process, you must agree on key definitions. What is a marketing qualified lead (MQL)? A sales accepted lead (SAL)? A sales-qualified lead (SQL)? Once you understand these terms, you can map your sales process as a flow chart. This will help you visualize the process and identify any areas for improvement. Also, decide criteria and at what point prospects become a marketing qualified lead, contact, and opportunity. 

Choose a sales methodology.

A sales methodology provides a framework for guiding your sales team toward success. There are many different methodologies, so selecting one that aligns with your company’s go-to-market strategies is essential. Here are a few popular methodologies to consider:

  • MEDDIC: This methodology is well-suited for companies with complex sales processes or those that target enterprise customers. 
  • Solution Selling: This approach focuses on customizing a solution to meet the specific needs of each prospect. Solution selling is a good choice for sales teams that want to provide a more personalized experience for their prospects.
  • Account Selling: This methodology involves investing more time into researching and carefully selecting prospects. Account selling is a good choice for sales teams prioritizing lead qualification and reaching the right prospects and companies.
  • BANT: This framework enables the sales reps to qualify the leads in initial calls instead of spending days or weeks. It emphasizes a lot on the budget of the lead. Can the lead purchase your product or service?  

Apply the gate method. 

Lead and Opportunity phases aid users in navigating the customer sales cycle, transitioning them through pre-established steps. Design phases to align with your selected sales methodology, directing prospects along suitable steps and facilitating deal closures for your sales representatives. Consider these Opportunity phases as checkpoints:

  • Checkpoint 1: Prospect Discovery Phase
    In this initial phase, individuals expressing interest in your offerings are identified, though they haven’t been actively evaluated or engaged by the sales team. This category encompasses inbound contacts (those who’ve provided their contact details without further information) and outbound contacts (those vaguely familiar to the team through preliminary inside sales investigation).
  • Checkpoint 2: Lead Qualification Phase
    Here, the focus is determining whether your offerings alleviate the potential clients’ challenges. Reflect on questions like, “Does this prospect hold decision-making authority? Is this prospect an ideal fit for our product?” Affirmative responses to these inquiries indicate a qualified lead.
  • Checkpoint 3: Proof-of-Concept Phase
    The appearance of this phase varies among companies, aiming to ascertain whether your offerings meet the needs of potential clients. For instance, software enterprises might introduce product trials at this juncture.
  • Checkpoint 4: Price Negotiation Phase
    This phase ensures prospective clients acknowledge and accept your product as a viable solution to their challenges, with both parties reaching a consensus on the product’s cost and value.
  • Checkpoint 5: Deal Conclusion Phase
    Critical to this phase is the categorization of leads into “closed-won” or “closed-lost”. Distinguishing between the two enables the identification of reasons behind successful and unsuccessful deals, respectively.

Such insights empower a shift in your role from tactical to strategic, aiding leadership in identifying and addressing process inefficiencies and reasons for deal losses. Consequently, this awareness facilitates your rise as a strategic collaborator in the organization.

Make it Salesforce-friendly.

Once you’ve chosen a sales methodology, you must ensure your Salesforce process is aligned. This means creating custom fields, workflows, and reports to support the different stages of your sales process. You should also ensure your Salesforce data is clean and consistent to report your results accurately.

Get your team on board.

Once you’ve built your Salesforce sales process, training your sales team on how to use it is essential. Make sure they understand the different stages of the process and how to track their progress. You should also provide them with the resources they need to be successful, such as sales scripts, templates, and playbooks.

Review and refine.

No sales process is perfect. It’s important to review your process and make adjustments as needed regularly. Pay attention to your sales metrics and identify areas where your team struggles. You can also use Salesforce reports to identify trends and patterns in your sales data.

Following these tips can build a better Salesforce sales process to help your team close more deals faster.

Linden-CRM is a Salesforce consulting and implementation partner that can help you maximize your Salesforce investment. We can help you define your sales stages, create custom fields, automate tasks, and use Salesforce reports and dashboards to improve your sales performance. Contact us to learn more about our services.




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