How to Close More Deals by Mapping Your Sales Process

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Most builders live by the rule “Measure twice. Cut once.” Sure, it takes more work on the front end, but it saves time, money, and frustration for the overall project. It wastes less material and gets better final results.

But most builders probably learned this rule the hard way. Early on, they skipped those extra measurements and ended up with something that didn’t line up. Then they had to backtrack until they found the wrongly measured piece. In the end, they learned the extra time measuring is well worth the investment.

Isn’t the same true in sales? Sales measurements aren’t taken in inches and feet — they’re taken through a sales process. If you can check measurements of success continually, you’ll be able to catch problems before they destroy your deals.

Here’s how a measured sales process keeps your sales team on track.

Why Sales Process Mapping Works

Any time you put a process in place, you have something to measure. And in sales, a routine sales process gives your salespeople a launching point for success. Sure, people do different things. Some salespeople approach a process with more creativity. Some clients need a more tailored approach to sales before they buy. But the groundwork of a sales process can be the same for everyone.

Related: A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

The Basic Sales Process

A consistent sales process keeps your customers on the same track. Perhaps your sales process steps look something like this:

  1. Schedule an initial meeting
  2. Follow up after the meeting regarding any action items you discussed
  3. Give them a quote
  4. Make sure they received the quote
  5. Make contact regularly until they buy (every 30-60 days)

With sales process mapping, not only do beginning salespeople have a foundation for pursuing prospects, but these sales steps also help you troubleshoot three common problems.

Problem 1: Low-Performing Salesperson

If a salesperson isn’t meeting their goals, you have a starting point for identifying the problem. Look at their sales process. Are they scheduling enough initial meetings? Do they respond with quotes promptly? Do they make contact regularly after sending quotes? If they’re missing one of these steps, you’ve likely found the issue they need to work on in order to improve.

Without a process, it’s hard to identify the problems. Why isn’t this salesperson performing? When you have the same sales steps in place for everyone, you can identify low performers and pinpoint the problems.

Problem 2: Disappearing Prospects

A process also keeps your clients on a marketing path. Maybe a deal gets delayed or a prospect seems to disappear for a while. At one point, this prospect seemed interested, but something happened. They managed to fall out of the sales funnel either by choice or because a salesperson didn’t follow through.

But sales process steps help you pick up where they left off. If a prospect already received a quote, you can follow up on that quote rather than starting over when you resume contact.

Problem 3: Inconsistency

A sales process gives your clients consistency. And consistency builds trust. Your clients will come to realize everyone at your business is on the same page. They trust that you’ll be in contact regularly and know the next steps. And when they know they can count on you, they’re more likely to give you their business.

Setting Up the Sales Process

Paint broad strokes as you come up with the right process for your business. You don’t want to box people in. Instead, show them what general activities lead to sales. Then tie those activities to different steps, but leave room for salespeople to tailor their approach to the clients.

Then teach the process from the top down. Use top salespeople to outline the activities that led to their sales. After they have collectively outlined their sales process, they can teach it to others. If everyone follows that outline, each salesperson will be on the same page as they move clients through the funnel.

Make Sure It Works

You’re measuring the activities of your sales team along the way, but now it’s time for one extra measurement. Evaluate the sales process itself. Look at your sales process at least every six months to see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll start to notice trends like when people buy, where people fall off, and where individual salespeople succeed or struggle. Don’t isolate individual sales situations, but look at the whole sample. Then you’ll be able to make better decisions about what actions to take.

Sales is a marathon, not a sprint. It evolves over time. As the market changes, your sales process changes. So evaluate it regularly to make sure it matches up with the results you want.

As a manager, you’ll find a sales process makes it much easier to manage your team, replicate effectiveness, and scale your success.

How to Manage Your Time When Your Schedule is Unpredictable

time management for salespeople

Unpredictability is part of the beauty of sales. Rather than being cooped up behind a desk, you get to drive around town and meet a variety of people in the process. Each day is different because each day holds new interactions. It’s hard to get bored with a job when no two days look the same.

But what happens when that unpredictability turns into un-productivity?

Maybe you get a last minute request from management. Maybe a client has a problem they need solved. Maybe there’s an issue with paperwork you need to fix. Maybe heavy traffic just throws off your entire day. Once you get behind, it seems you’ll never catch up and finish the day you planned.

But you scheduled your day, right? How did it spiral out of control?

When Customers Start Managing Your Time

Even the best salespeople fall victim to the biggest time drain: Customers. You’ve been highly productive, booking appointments and selling each way you turn. In fact, you’ve sold so much that now you have a ton of customers who see you as their point person.

Related: 3 Ways Sales Reps Can Maximize Time Between Meetings

That means you get the calls fielding questions and troubleshooting. Now, instead of prospecting, you’re dealing with the customers you already have. You’ve become bogged down with the minutiae of servicing the product as opposed to selling the product.

Appointments are interrupted and your train of thought derailed. How do you get back on track with the sales pace you were keeping not so long ago?

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Tips for Reclaiming Your Unpredictable Schedule

There’s something to be said for managing the unpredictability each day holds. No two days look alike, but your day needs parameters.

Designate Your Time

Start by sectioning your day into tasks. For example, block off 9:00am-11:00am as your sales call time each day. You obviously won’t call the same people each morning, but now you have a set time for prospecting via phone calls. The more you can designate times of day for particular tasks, the more you control your use of time.

Delegate Your Tasks

Interruptions challenge your ability to maintain these time blocks. The solution? Delegate the challenges. If you spend a lot of time providing customer support, hire an administrative assistant to field those calls. Just set up a call-forwarding service to the assistant, particularly during hours you’ve set aside for something else. In doing so, you’ve taken away a distraction for your sales call time each morning without missing any sales opportunities.

Related: Time is Money: 4 Ways to Reduce Costs for Your Salespeople

If an assistant isn’t an option, choose a service that filters which calls come through to your phone. If you have prospects you’re waiting to hear from, use an app that will allow only those calls to come through. If you have particularly draining clients, set those calls to go directly to voicemail.

Monitor Your Time

If you’re managing a sales team, use the CallProof app to help your sales team monitor their time. You may notice these same patterns. If their sales numbers have dropped, maybe they’re spending a too much time on the phone with current clients. See how you can help them implement these strategies to delegate their roadblocks to selling.

Planning Your Day

Distractions are the biggest obstacle to a productive day. Decide when you want to to deal with what. Then use these ways to channel the distractions to the right person, or at least the right time frame.

Whether you hire an assistant or just delay talking to high-maintenance clients until you have the head-space to deal with them, distractions will continue to come. You just have to learn how and when to handle them.

How do you manage the distractions in your day? Leave your best tips in the comments below.