Explanations of how and why sports teams with less skilled players beat squads filled with stars can sometimes get a bit fanciful. No doubt, factors like good fortune, home court advantage, and sheer will and determination help explain why Cinderella squads sometimes prevail.
But a far more compelling rationale for these upsets can be found in the fact that teams made up of lesser skilled players can outshine their stronger and faster competition when they embrace a consistent system. Put simply, a strictly followed process is a powerful multiplier of individual skills and effort.
It’s why successful companies always have a defined and standardized sales process. If you doubt the power of process, just look at the scoreboard: A study by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association found that B2B companies with a defined sales process saw nearly 20 percent more revenue growth compared to companies that didn’t.
Process matters in both sports and sales. Think of your sales process as the repeatable and standardized game plan all the players on your sales team can follow as they work to turn a lead or prospect into an actual customer. These include the steps that define when and how to reach out to different customers, how to generate solid leads and how to communicate with others at your company so you can leverage each other’s activities.
Supercharge your sales processes with a CRM
While a process is critical to success, its effectiveness can be significantly augmented when it is reinforced and automated with the help of a CRM. For example, companies that lack the marketing automation features of a CRM will inevitably devote a large amount of staff time to targeting, crafting and sending emails to prospects. A CRM is not only able to make this entire process far more efficient and effective through automation, it can also ensure that the right marketing messages are delivered to the prospects most likely to respond positively.
There is a ripple effect to CRM benefits such as marketing automation. When more relevant content—content, that is, that more precisely addresses the real challenges faced by your prospects—is delivered to the appropriate audiences, your sales team will be starting with stronger leads to pursue.
A CRM can also facilitate any aspect of your sales process that involves communication between teams within your company. Sales teams are most effective when they work closely with their marketing, product and customer support colleagues. A sales process that involves bringing in your company’s best product experts to answer a prospect’s questions or to lead a demo will be far more powerful when there is visibility into all past interactions with a potential customer.
A sales process provides consistency and predictability to an entire company’s efforts to win new customers. The process is made immeasurably better when a CRM can help leaders understand your actual win rate and the size and quality of your pipeline. This is the kind of vital information sales and company leaders require to set realistic sales and revenue targets.
Give your sales processes structure with a CRM
Ultimately, what a sales process provides is time and structure to a sales team. When there’s a process to follow—particularly one supported by automation—then sales reps don’t waste time on activities that don’t lead to actual sales. This frees them up to take the time to personally follow-up on particularly promising leads and to check in on important customers. With a stronger process, both your customers and your sales team will be happier and more productive.