Just about every process goes more smoothly when you have the right tools and resources to support it. Sales is no exception. Load your reps up with the tools they need to convert your leads into prospects, and prospects into paying customers, and they’ll close more deals than they would without them—and that’s what having a standardized sales process is all about.
What is a Standardized Sales Process?
More sales equal more revenue, and that’s generally the objective. A standardized sales process creates consistency. It’s a repeatable, scalable mechanism that lends structure and significantly shortens sales cycles, giving you more predictable results in less time.
Developing a sales process is always time well-spent. For best results, it should be tailored to your business model, your audience, and (of course) your team culture. If the process fits, it’ll be a sustainable vehicle that’ll take your organization further, faster.
Why Financial Firms Need a Standardized Sales Process
There are plenty of reasons why you need a standardized sales process. As a financial services firm, you trade in trust. A standard process ensures your reps convey a message that’s consistent with your branding, and consistency is inarguably the key to success.
According to the Sales Management Association, a standardized sales process increases individual sales reps’ results by 65% and drives an 88% increase in a company’s sales success.
Those are pretty significant numbers by any stretch—but numbers aren’t the only reason to enable a sales process. Here are a few more:
Faster Time-to-Value for New Staff
Training new reps and getting them up to speed doesn’t happen overnight. Consensus has it that it takes 100 days to start seeing value from new hires, but a standardized sales process can get them there faster. It’s easier to teach, track, and ramp up, and it massively eases management’s job. Since everyone follows the exact roadmap, getting tips from more established colleagues will get the newbies over the hump.
Keeps Reps Aligned to the Process
Clearly defined milestones help sales reps stay the course and prevent them from going off-book. Conversely, disorganized sales processes tend to head for the ditch quickly, even with a good prospect. Just like giving a presentation or a performance, it’s never good to wing it. You might win once or twice, but it’s not sustainable, and you’ll always be chasing your tail.
It’s always easier to get on the same page when everybody speaks the same language. Sales teams following an established process, taking the same steps, and communicating at the same level reduce confusion around sales processes. It even enables other departments to step in and provide support exactly when needed, aligning the entire organization to a common goal.
Better Qualified Leads
A standardized sales process helps reps to recognize when leads are not worth their time. Focusing on better quality leads shortens the sales cycle, reduces the effort needed to close, and helps reps spend time on opportunities with the most potential.
More Data Points to Measure
If your reps are always winging it, all you’ll be able to measure is wins and losses. Standardized sales processes provide you with measurable data points that enable an understanding of what reps are doing and how those actions fuel their results. With clear metrics to consider, it’s easier to course-correct at an individual level or tweak what’s not working for the team.
Predictable Sales, Predictable Revenue
Consistency breeds consistency. In other words, if your teams are applying a consistent approach to their sales process, their wins will be more consistent too. Predictable revenue helps you forecast more accurately. You’ll gain momentum, be able to set realistic goals and enjoy sustainable, steady growth because of it.
Build Trust with Your Customers
A disjointed sales process creates distrust, which can damage the brand and kill any chance of success, even with a well-qualified lead. It’s critical to move leads methodically through the buying journey, only advancing when they are ready to convert. Each stage should reinforce trust and provide a positive customer experience, setting the stage for a long-term, high-value relationship.
How HubSpot Enables a Standardized Sales Process
Creating a standardized sales process is quite simple—especially when you have a great tool like HubSpot. HubSpot is a CRM focused on sales enablement and will help you track every stage of your standardized sales process.
First things first. Let’s map out the sales process step-by-step. These are the typical steps involved in a standard sales workflow.
Prospecting is top-of-the-funnel activity. Your reps spend a lot of their time in this stage, and even though it can be time-consuming, it’s a vital part of the process. Prospecting can happen online: on LinkedIn, for example, at trade events and conferences, or by networking with clients and colleagues and asking for referrals.
2. Qualify the Lead
The first contact with the lead is a chance to find out whether they’re worth the effort; in other words, whether the lead is a good fit, if they have buying authority, and so on. It’s a time to connect and find out where they are in their buying journey.
3. Due Diligence/Discovery
Having qualified the lead to move forward (or maybe needing more information), you’ll dive into some deeper discovery about the lead and their company. The better you understand your prospect’s pain points, the easier it will be to sell them on your solution. This might also be a chance to speak to others at the company to get a sense of their big-picture objectives.
Pitch time is usually a formal presentation or demo of your product or service. It can’t come too early in the process because it might be a waste of time—both yours and theirs. Reserve the pitch for well-qualified prospects who have already been identified during the discovery stage. Here, you might also want to bring in high-level experts if the product or service warrants it. You want to give your prospect an idea of the kind of customer service they can expect.
5. Manage Hesitancy
You might face some resistance, hesitancy, or objections at this stage. No matter how well things are going, you should even expect it. Listening to their concerns allows you to tailor the solution to meet their needs. Your willingness to do so shows that you have their back, and the better prepared you are, the easier it will be to alleviate any lingering apprehension.
6. Close the Deal
The deal phase might involve offering a proposal or achieving buy-in from other stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. And while closing is the ultimate goal, there’s still a chance to improve or adjust the deal to make it better for all concerned. However, even though it’s a done deal, closing doesn’t mean it’s over.
7. Nurture the Sale
Closing the deal doesn’t mean the door is closed. Reps need to continue to interact with the customer to ensure their success with the product or service. Going the extra mile to support the onboarding process opens the doors to upsell and cross-sell opportunities, if not immediately, then at some point in the future.
HubSpot enables standardized sales processes, providing all the tools and data your sales team needs in one single, powerful CRM. Need help setting up your sales process in HubSpot?
We’re here to help. Set up a discovery call today, and let’s get started.
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