It’s Not Always About the Opportunity

It’s no secret that sales people and sales leadership are laser focused on the sales process that drives opportunities to close. I would say it’s quite natural. You have a deal in the pipeline and you want to replicate the steps that have been used successfully in the past to ensure the deal closes. But what about the steps needed to get the opportunity into the pipeline? Deals don’t just show up in the pipeline do they? No, of course they don’t.  They happen as a result of a process that has a different goal.

Introducing the Account Sales Process

One of my favorite features in the new Dynamics Customer Engagement is the ability to build Business Process Flows for virtually anything. Business Process Flows are how you easily establish and track any process. Need one for Leads – got it.  Need one for Opportunities – got it. The one we are going to focus on for the this post is the sales process that takes a prospect from never having heard of your company to active opportunity.

If you stop to think about the actual process that takes a prospect to opportunity, the steps are not all that difficult. You can’t sell anything to anyone if you are not speaking with the right person. You also probably have an ideal customer size and industry. Then when you do find the right person and they are the right fit, you have to establish that your product or service fits a need they have. There you have it! In just one short paragraph you have a sales process to get you to the sales process. When you take this process and build it into a Business Process Flow, as you can see below, you end up with an incredibly easy way to execute and manage the sales process before the sales process.

How To Get Started

Interestingly enough, most companies have the activities going on, they just have not identified them as a sales process. I highly recommend that you take those steps and turn them into a sales process. Don’t have Dynamics Customer Engagement? Though it is a little more cumbersome, you can still accomplish this by simply classifying your prospect records by the stage they are in.

Once that is accomplished, you can add more sophisticated measurements that tell you how long it takes on the average for a prospect to turn into an opportunity. Like everything, you have to walk before you run, so get started today.

Want help establishing the sales process before sales process for your business? We would love to help.

About the Author

About the Author

Kip Smith - Founder & CEO

Kip is a business process engineer who has spent the last 20+ years providing architectural and executional guidance to companies wanting to streamline their customer lifecycle and operational productivity. With experience in both large corporations and small entrepreneurial companies, he prides himself in being able to quickly identify the road blocks that keep organizations from reaching their full potential and then implementing solutions that remove those roadblocks.

Prior to founding Alternetics in 1999, Kip was a member of the senior management team for two large publicly traded companies, serving in both sales and operational leadership roles.

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