Sales Strategy · Sales Management

How do I design a sales process?

Mohammad Abu Musa

September 28th, 2016

I help startups build better user experience through testing their websites and mobile apps with testers who provide videos of themselves using those products and provide comments about their experience.

I sold this product for three companies so far, but I do not have real sales experience in terms of building sales pipelines nor structuring HR policy for sales agents. 


I would love to get feedback on these topics

1-  how to design a sales process & how to evaluate sales tools I need (CRM)?

2- What is the checklist I must go through?

I already built the customer persona (buyers persona) now what should I do, what is the order and how should I adapt.

Here are the customers persona I built 

Lubna Desginer 

Hassan Product Manager

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Kim Albee Marketing Automation & Content Marketing Strategist

September 28th, 2016

Do any of your personas have purchase power? Or are they influencers with the people who would have authority to buy?

It seems like you have a marketing and nurturing challenge first to build the case for your product, then to reach out and also find the those that are ready to buy. 

It will help to figure out and map content to where they are in their buying cycle and what content would be a fit for them at each stage.  Then you can better assemble a funnel to attract, engage, and convert your target audiences into leads and customers. 

If you have a WordPress website, then the thinking and tools available at http://wpmktgengine.com/blog might be helpful. 


Mohammad Abu Musa

September 28th, 2016

Thanks Kim Albee. 

I sold my product six times so far, so I will answer your questions based on my experience and the customer persona analysis I have done through interviewing potential customers.

None of those persons have the purchase power but they influence the decision heavily. The final decision is done by CEO, Marketing Director, or in some cases UX director.

Regarding the marketing challenge, we addressed the following
1- We know that we need to make those persons aware of the importance of our service and how it solves directly their problem. therefore we are building an knowledge base, use cases, webinars, and blogging about our findings. 

2- We host UX meetups to discuss latest practices.

We made these two decisions because we know that customer personas need a scene of authority and experience from our side to trust us and this what we are building.

We are compiling a content plan to address challenges they face and how we address these challenges as expert not as a company that is pitching a concept.

Despite the fact that content marketing is great on the long run, on the short run we need to figure out other outbound sales channels. which we do not have experience in terms of planning, implementing, and hiring.

I am looking for a checklist(logical plan) where we can answer the basics and and fill in the blanks to know how the sales plan should look like.

I hope do not sound confusing, but I am confused myself. I want to order my thoughts and figure out the next steps.

Thanks

Mike Moyer

September 28th, 2016

At the core of a sales process is definition of the key steps or stages along the path towards a sale. Each step should be clearly defined and goals should be articulated. You should assign each step a closing probability so you can use it to forecast sales.

Here is an example of what a sales process looks like and a link to download a PDF:

Slicing-Pie-Sales-Process-SAMPLE.png
 


Once you and your team have agreed to the basic plan you can set it up in a CRM program. I've tried dozens of programs and I keep coming back to ZOHO CRM. It is a solid traditional CRM that is simple, yet has the core sales process functionality needed for sales management and forecasting. I've even become a Zoho reseller and would be happy for you to create a free account here.

Many CRM programs are glorified contact managers. People want "simple" programs, which is understandable, but over simplification often strips out core functionality that can make the software less useful over time. Zoho does not make that mistake.

Your sales process is mapped in the "Opportunities" module. In Zoho CRM you can map each stage in the process and a closing probability. Here is an image showing these two important fields:

Zoho-Opportunties.jpg

ALL CRM programs take a little getting used to for managers and sales teams. Even a solo sales person can benefit greatly from a properly designed sales process and a good CRM program!

Mohammad Abu Musa

September 28th, 2016

Thanks Mike, I like the structure I think the feedback you provide is a great starting point to build pipeline. 

Along with Kim's feedback I think I will be able to build a process and tweak it along the path.

Geoff Tanham Author at Decision2buy Inc.

September 29th, 2016

These are wonderful responses you are getting for your question Mohammad. The most detailed was Mike's which though good and defined, does not, in my opinion define a sales process. It does define engagement, though that process in his sample is missing some key elements, not the least of which is what is the objective for each stage of the sales process. I believe, as stated in my book, Selling Is Everything, that all purchases are driven by 4 key, iterative questions and only successful when the buyer finds their own "What's in it for me? values for each area. As such, a definitive sales process for your sales teams has to incorporate these components. First and foremost is the obvious question: what is your decision2buy criteria? This may be called data generation in the CRM model above, but this simple question and answer drives all successful sales cycles. In simple terms, this means you have to ask to learn and not suppose. You have to build sales processes that not only influence, but meet the needs of decision2buy criteria of the organization and final decision maker. After 6 successful engagements you have learned some, but not all of the challenges in reaching a positive conclusion based on a set decision2buy criteria for each. The challenge is to build a repeatable and flexible sales process that takes into account both of your targets within an organization to ensure you sales  happens. This is no easy challenge, but with a thoughtful approach to learning from what you did well and not as well, you will be able to define your process more accurately. Integrating this into a CRM will be just a matter of mapping the process, with benchmarks and objectives for each step. Great success!

Mohammad Abu Musa

September 30th, 2016

@Geoff Tanham I was in an exact discussion yesterday, I was talking to the head of sales of Oracle in the Middle East, he explained the importance of engagement and listening, he even mentioned to answer "what's in it for me?" . I think your answers and many other answers I got here and from other people are very important to build the process.

I think now I will not select a CRM, but rather build a sales process based on engagements and get common answers to commons questions.

Here what I want to do:

1- Lead Generation: I want to position the company as the expert of analyzing UX, therefore I am pushing the marketing team to blog, make webinars, and building case studies to raise awareness about the importance of testing UX for website and mobile apps.

2- Prospecting: I built a set of questions to figure out which companies I am must target and who are the people inside these companies I want to target. examples of these questions
1- Is this website is an eCommerce website or Travel website?
2- Do they speak Arabic?
3- Who is the head of marketing or head of UX?
4- How do they measure user's engagement on the website?
5- Is the website updated on weekly bases?
I have more questions but I do not want to make this post long

3-Setting up a meeting: Connecting the responsible person pitching the idea and raise questions about engagements or sharing interesting facts we found out from other customers  

4- Meeting the prospect: a meeting where we pitch for one minute, build credibility of the sales person in another minute, then ask the following questions to the client

1- How do you measure engagement on your website?
2- How do you get feedback from customers?
3- What are the reasons that makes people do not convert on your website?
4- How do you settle disputes during your design process?

I think these questions needs to rephrased, but my point that I want the client to sound like he/she is coming up with the idea that he needs our service

5- Closing, I think I need prepare a list of common questions I got from customers regarding the service and why would they buy the service, like "we do not have the budget for" I think I need to study this part in more depth 
 
Once this process is figured out and able to close the deals, I will transfer it to CRM where we can actually automate the process and make it logical.