Play #040 Define Your Sales Stages
Increase Sales Effectiveness With Well Defined Stages
Each week I will bring you one Sales play that is either tested from my past experiences of scaling or from the trenches as a current VP of Sales at Leadium.
The thought process of “We need more leads” still runs rampant in many sales organizations. When most of the time the real issue is a lack of sales effectiveness.
Well-defined sales stages with rules around disqualification and exit criteria for each sales stage is the first foundational piece to increase sales effectiveness.
This will allow your sales team to make sure they are working on the right deals and disqualifying ones that would be nothing but a huge distraction.
Before your build out your sales stages you need to make sure you have a clear picture of what a good prospect is and isn’t. You can map out what deems a “qualified lead” and what things would disqualify a lead. Make sure your team is very clear and thing and there are blurred lines. This single point is the most important piece before letting a deal into your pipeline. Get your team to have the mindset of “trying to disqualify deals” and protect their time. YOU DON’T WANT THEM SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME WITH TIRE KICKERS.
Once you have your criteria built out now it’s time to build the process out in your CRM. Make the process simple and easy for your sellers to follow as we know how much reps hate filling out the CRM.
NOW IS THE TIME TO MAP OUT YOUR SALES STAGES.
Make sure it is clear what is required for a prospect to move from one stage to the next. These are hard rules the reps must follow or the whole system will break. Having the stages of your sales well defined and mapped out will eliminate waste in your pipeline, increase effectiveness and give you insights into where you lose deals and where reps need coaching.
ALSO, LET’S NOT BE BORING.
Be creative with the name of your sales stages. Below is a common example of each sales stage from prospecting to delivery and CS.
Stage 1: The Quest for Prospects!
Imagine being a detective, searching for hidden treasures. That's how we find potential customers - the awesome businesses that need our fantastic products and services!
Stage 2: The Qualification Challenge!
Time to put on your thinking caps! We ask questions and make sure these businesses are just the right fit for what we have to offer. We want perfect matches and remember to protect your pipeline.
Stage 3: The Needs Discovery Adventure!
Let's become explorers, diving deep into the wants and needs of our prospects. We want to know what makes them tick and how we can help them succeed! We need to quantify the problem they are looking to solve.
Stage 4: The Show-and-Tell Extravaganza!
Get ready to shine like a superstar on a big stage! We present our super cool product/service in a custom way based on everything we know about them and their needs. Showcase how you can make them the HERO!
Stage 5: The Obstacle Overcoming Rollercoaster
Sometimes, challenges come our way, like riddles, we need to solve. But no worries, we're problem-solving champs! We face obstacles head-on and find smart solutions. Uncover all their concerns and get them to ask questions.
Stage 6: Negotiation Showdown
Here comes the most exciting part - negotiation time! It's like being a skilled negotiator in a wild west duel. We work together to find a win-win deal! Remember we are on the same team so let’s get to the finish line together.
Stage 7: The Great Closing Ceremony
Hooray! We did it! The deal is done, and everyone's happy! Or Not?
Stage 8: The Onboarding Fiesta
Now, we're throwing a party to welcome our new customers! We help them get settled and teach them all about our awesome products.
Stage 9: The Support Superheroes
We become heroes in capes, always there to help our customers with any questions or issues they may have. We're like customer service champions!
Stage 10: The Follow-up Magic Show
Finally, we sprinkle some magic on the relationship. We keep in touch with our customers and show them even more fantastic products they might love!
Now maybe you don’t need 10 stages but take the ones that you need build them out in your CRM and make sure you have clear instructions for your team and what needs to happen at each stage before a deal moves to the next stage.