I have spent the past 10 years being immersed in sales, sales processes, sales systems, pipeline software, CRM tools along with a tonne of conversations and committed to learning. I have tested and refined sales processes for different business models in the B2B space and I now run, promote and teach a "Six Step Winning Sales Process". There are two minimum rules you have to apply
So here we go!
Rule 1 - Set up your sales pipeline process (in excel, google doc but ideally a sales pipeline software tool).
1) Sweet Spot & Leads - List individuals and companies known to be in your "sweet-spot" target market.
2) First Contact / Concrete Action - A scheduled meeting, phone call or agreed action with the target person / company.
3) Gather Information - Get the information you need to qualify them in, out and to be able to work on an option of value to them.
4) Proposal & Negotiation - Present "value" option(s) to them, define decision timeline and identify/overcome buying obstacles.
5) Close Sales - Yes/No - Ask for the business.
6) Review. Learn. Repeat - Clarify learnings, ask yourself how you can be better, tweak your process steps and repeat.
GOLDEN RULE - To move from one pipeline stage to another you MUST HAVE a defined next step in your diary, e.g., an arranged meeting, otherwise you cannot move the deal forward.
Now, please open the attached pdf document for a graphical illustration of the Six Step Winning Sales Process.
Rule 2 - Assign probability percentages
You need to build in a series of probability percentages aligned to each stage of the sales process and I have included within the Six Step Winning Sales Process pdf a sample of the percentages I suggest you apply to a software as a service (SaaS) type sale. You can calibrate the % overtime but the key is to start with a rule in place for each stage of the process which is applied to the realistic value of the deal. The reason for you apply probability percentages is that: -
A) You can accurately project sales revenue. For example, if your average deal value is $10,000 and you have a deal in stage 2 at 10% then the projected sale value in your projection for that deal is $1,000. The deal value will increase as the deal moves through the pipeline, e.g., when it gets to stage 4 the probability of the sale increases to 50% or $5,000.
B) Keeps you and the team focused on moving the deal through the stages (or any obstacles in your way).
C) It makes it more scientific and takes "gut feel" out of the sale.
D) 80+% of your sales time should be spent working on moving deals through the stages.
E) Effective Inventory/Stock Management if you are selling physical products
F) Identify best performing lead sources
Remember to apply the GOLDEN RULE above and you will be "Golden" before you know it!