Salesforce Made Easy: How to Leverage Software in Your Sales Process
Good salespeople follow a disciplined sales process. Sales softwares can be powerful tools for managing that process, but they can be overwhelming to understand—let alone use effectively to manage that process. In this post, I'll define the basic sales process and best practices, demonstrating how to use Salesforce.com to manage the process efficiently.[bctt tweet="How to manage your #sales process efficiently w/ @salesforce, by @TomStearns1"]
The basic sales process:
- A good salesperson identifies leads (or marketing supplies leads) and “works” them. Typically “working" could be contacting via phone, email, social interaction and in-person. Consistently working many leads through this process can literally mean hundreds, if not thousands, of individual activities.
- Once a lead becomes a potential deal, or what's called an "opportunity" (you’ve discovered they’re interested and you may be the right fit for their needs), then working this opportunity becomes another process, to which there are many stages.
While perhaps oversimplified, this chart explains how Salesforce is organized:
The key components of Salesforce software:
- Leads (prospects) are not connected to anything else in Salesforce.com
- When an opportunity (potential deal) is discovered, the lead is converted to a contact, and an account and a default opportunity are created.
- Open Activities: tasks not completed yet (calls, demos, email, social interactions)
- Activity History: completed tasks
Let’s marry the sales process to how Salesforce.com is organized:
Working a lead-
This is a lead in Salesforce.com with open activities and an activity history:
Here's how we get there:
3. You can email directly from Salesforce.com or use your own mail program (Outlook, Google, etc.) and track this in Salesforce.com. If you use an external mail program, use your Email to Salesforce.com unique URL (find this in "setup" under "email") in your bcc. field and it will automatically log the email as an activity with the lead, contact, account, and opportunity.
Converting leads to opportunities-
Make sure a "primary contact" is assigned (in case you have several contacts at one account).
Closing the deal-
Consider your timeline as it relates to the stages, working backwards. For example, if the deal needs to close in a month and you still need to analyze their needs, provide a proposal and price quote, negotiate, and get paperwork through their legal department, how will you manage your time and tasks to this end?[bctt tweet="Smart #salespeople plan backwards to map a process toward their goal, says @TomStearns1"]
Keep thorough records-
Maintain a disciplined sales process-
In conclusion, sales has many crucial aspects, but a disciplined process is the most critical. Consider that process, manage that process, and use Salesforce.com to keep you focused and on-track. You'll be more efficient, in control, and confident in what you can do.[bctt tweet="Consider your sales process and how @salesforce can keep you on-track, says @TomStearns1"]