Why is Sales Process Management Important for Businesses?
Selling is one of the most important activities of a company. This is because sales mean income. Since the main purpose of companies is to make money, selling is in a sense like eating. If we compare companies to an organism, the income (money) that will come from outside to meet the nutritional needs is possible with sales. Revenue, which is vital for the future of companies, is realized through sales.
Creating sales, revealing the sales potential is the task of marketing. For example; We explain what we do with marketing, what products or services we offer to our customers, and if our customers of that scale are interested, they buy the relevant product or service from our company. Essentially, the marketing process is a very challenging one. Therefore, it is equally important to turn this sales opportunity into real sales while you have the sales opportunity.
At this point, if we manage our sales processes well, we will not miss the sales opportunities we have created. We must manage our sales processes very well in order not to miss opportunities and to capture sales revenues that will add value to our company.
Management of the sales processes provides the company with the following benefits:
- We have the opportunity to increase the income we will provide to our company as a result of the marketing activities and promotional activities created.
- For our customers to be aware of our company and to know our brand and company well, we have to provide effective interaction and communication with them in our sales processes. In this sense, the management of sales processes is also an important element for our brand.
For these reasons, companies should manage their sales processes very seriously and focus on these issues.
Sales Processes Optimization
When considered strategically, one of the most important factors in forming the bridge between a company's strategic plan, monthly business plans, and the company's daily plans is the management of sales processes.
The management of sales processes makes it easier to control and manage activities such as labor, capacity, time, and capital in order to meet the market needs of the enterprise effectively and profitably. In this context, sales process management ensures that different departments focus on a single goal and target by increasing the cooperation and integrity within the company. Therefore, it has an important place within the scope of the OKR targets of companies.
The stronger the management of the processes within the scope of sales force management, the stronger its contribution to customer satisfaction, turnover, and profitability. The establishment of sales processes within the company, regular follow-up, and management of the processes are subject to healthy handling and evaluation of the organization. It ensures that all business partners and process owners within the company meet around the common purpose and achieve the goals and create a process management infrastructure. For this reason, it should be checked whether the businesses manage their sales processes well or not.
Critical Questions in Sales Process
A company that thinks that it manages its sales processes well should be able to answer the following questions:
- How many sales opportunities came to our company last month. What is meant by sales opportunity is this; It does not matter if we are a production or service company, in this sense, how much is the demand for our products and services?
Determining the number of demands can take place in the following ways. How many e-mails have been sent to our website related to our products and services via e-mail, how many calls have been received? They can also request via phone, they may say that we want to get the following product or service from social media, social media communication channels.
Sales opportunities that come with the forms we put on the website or by reference, or new demands from our existing customers, from companies where we sell our products, are also important in determining demand. After all, we have to ask how many opportunities came last month, how many, thousand or five hundred?
If you cannot respond, you need sales process consultancy and effective management in sales processes. The answer to the question of when and why do I need it is to ask these questions.
- How much of the sales turned into real sales?
- How many of the incoming sales opportunities led to the purchase of products and services from us in real terms?
- What is our rate of closing sales according to the opportunities coming?
- Based on sales channels, what% of them came by search, and how many% came by email?
If you can say why we can improve the channels with fewer sales opportunities.
- Is there a person who deals with incoming sales opportunities, if any, is that person an expert in their field? Who is responsible for sales opportunities?
- How soon have the sales opportunities returned to us?
- When was the last time contacted by the incoming sales opportunity, does the communication continue, do we follow the processes?
When we think of these questions, if we cannot satisfactorily answer them, if we do not have a command of the systems to give or managerial issues, it means that there is a need for sales process consultancy.
This is not a situation like whether I should make a return to the incoming mails or when we last sent this e-mail to whom we should send it again. In a systematic framework, we should find and list the companies that have never been contacted, then ask which companies we make offers, which companies we make presentations to, which ones we send demo products or promotions, and thus how many sales opportunities we have.
The goal here is to less painfully close the sales as possible. When we have the opportunity to sell, it is to bring the sales to the point where we can bill in real terms and receive payments from the customer. For this, we can determine whether we can answer these questions or not, based on this, do we manage our sales processes and sales force well.
We say that if our customers cannot provide the answers to these questions in the sales process, you may consider getting sales process consultancy or sales service consultancy.
What is Sales Management?
The most important feature that distinguishes sales from other marketing departments in order to increase profitability for businesses is income. While the sales activity makes money for businesses, other marketing activities create a cost for the business.
Sales management is the creation of a sales force outside of planning, executing, and controlling sales in businesses. Effective sales management is the only activity that generates income (profit), growth, and resources for companies to sustain their lives, which greatly affects the sustainability of businesses from generation to generation.
There are some duties that sales managers should have for companies to reach their sales targets. These;
- Planning, selecting goals
- Organizing, determining tasks determining
- Directing, duties, and responsibilities for the execution of activities
- Coordination, adjusting the operations in harmony
- Staffing, establishing a sales team, and developing the team
- Control, supervising activities and taking regulatory measures,
- Analysis, the examination of other environmental factors,
- Management, Creating a sales plan
Sales Process Digitalization
From the time the sales opportunities came, how long did the company turn these sales opportunities into real sales? This is one of the issues to be followed. The follow-up of this varies from company to company.
If the company provides services in the "B2B" field, that is, if it is a company that sells products or services from company to company, there may be short or long term sales periods at this point, it varies according to the sales volume of the product sold and the sales processes.
For example, the production company will make a new mold, the molding process of the product, the production time of the mold, mold negotiations can take a long time. Or a supplier agreement, a company that will be a subcontractor of a company, at this point it is called sales, project processes can be long or short. In fact, in a fully automated system, the demand is met within a day or two.
For example, in the field of electronic commerce, the system is like this. The demand comes, the purchase is made at that moment, there is an instant sale. It is necessary to squeeze the sale towards these sides as much as possible. Hence, it is important to keep these times.
Another important issue is how our monthly averages are going. We can also compare our monthly sales averages with the sales of the previous year. Is there an improvement or a regression? We have to follow them. Because these data will give us the right signals about whether the works that are valuable to the company are on track.
Many companies actually feel and know this, but how do they do it?
He knows by looking at the invoices he has issued and the point of sale. It is very important to follow these issues here, how much demand has been received, how many requests are there, how many sales opportunities are there, whether these sales opportunities are increasing, and if so, how much we have converted into sales, if we follow them, there will be opportunities for improvement.
For example; Let's say 10% of incoming sales opportunities turn into real sales. Here, can we make 10% to 15%, why can't it be more than 10%? Therefore, the aim is to transform incoming sales opportunities into more real sales as possible. In this sense, if we follow all these, actions will emerge here. All of what we've mentioned is one of the sines qua non-tracking issues.
Another issue is to follow the performances of our sales force and sales personnel. In this way, it can be observed which of our sales personnel provide more performance. This tracking system can also be connected to premium systems, it is also important to follow them systematically.
Sales During Pandemic
Digitalization in the Pandemic Process
The pandemic process reminded all of us how important digital transformation is and that companies should be managed systematically in the digital environment and digitally in sales processes. During the pandemic process, it was deeply felt that digital transformation is necessary for all areas of life.
Sales processes were normally carried out manually or with excel tables. Managing these processes does not mean going digital. The use of computers by companies does not mean that there is digitalization. Digitalization must systematically reveal data integrity and be in a format that can guide and analyze that data integrity in other areas. This is what digital transformation is all about.
“The optimist sees an opportunity at every difficulty, the pessimist sees a challenge at every opportunity.”
Pandemic shows us how important this is. Systems, software, customer relations, business management software, or CRM became very important at this point.
Whether there is a pandemic or not, there is already a fact that managing the sales processes systematically provides this: Your sales and our departments are growing and new employees join. You already have a data and information system for those employees. When the data is kept systematically, the new sales personnel can read and see all of them in this sales management process and can get from here how they should do it. Thus, it adds significant value to institutional memory.
Companies that have a systematic approach during the pandemic process, wherever they are managing their sales processes, especially with the infrastructure of this business, do not necessarily have to be a fixed computer within the company wherever they go, it provides mobility to all sales personnel if a cloud-based follow-up is done or is to be done. Problems arising from such communication and access to information in sales are prevented. There is momentum in the sales process, after all.
After the company first contacts you, that sale should be finalized in a certain time, so it is important to capture the momentum. While capturing the momentum, loss of time in such access or confusion will negatively affect sales.
During the pandemic, this became more important; It became important to manage and access all sales data through a single system regardless of mobility, location, and location. At this point, companies using CRM and customer relationship management systems have continued without any problems, but companies that do not use these systems too much or that are weak and do not use them effectively see the importance of this. We see that the institutions that have adopted digital transformation during the pandemic process continue their activities without slowing down. At this point, if there are companies that do not manage their sales processes in this way, we recommend that they adapt quickly. We can summarize the management of sales related to the pandemic process through digital systems in this way.
How Should Sales Management Be During The Pandemic Process?
The COVID-19 epidemic, which has affected the whole world, has had many effects on businesses. Firms that completed or used digital transformation before the pandemic process adapted to this process less painful. The transition to digital transformation enables companies to continue their sales activities during the quarantine period. Companies started to seek solutions to reduce the impact of this epidemic on employees and to ensure the continuity of sales and marketing. In this process, companies have developed some software to communicate effectively with customers:
- Providing internal and external communication with the help of technology,
- Making presentations and conversations effective using management software applications such as CRM, activating video conferencing, telephone presentations, video calls
- Contacting with existing or potential customers,
- Developing new methods that will benefit existing customers with the active use of the reference system,
- GettingMaintain your position in Google, being at the top of the search results gaining importance to catch potential customers, The importance of
- positive attitude and optimistic approach,
- Experience of competitors during the pandemic process should be followed,
- Team training, provision of training and education for employee morale and motivation for interior and exterior in the process,
- Enhance existing CRM systems to adapt to the pandemic period
"Don't waste any crisis."
Relationship Between Sales Processes and Digitalization of CRM
CRM is a result of factors such as rapidly developing technological developments, competitive environment, customer expectations, and changes in customer requests. Relationship marketing (CRM) "Customer Relationship Management" (CRM), which is called the marketing method, has been reached.
The Benefits of CRM at the Point of Digitalization of Sales Processes
- Enterprises It enables the collection of all important data for the company in a single point and enables the employees to access them instantly and easily from anywhere thanks to the software. Each company has its corporate memory.
- It increases the growth rate of the company. It allows companies to develop new strategies as the workflow is organized.
- It speeds up the sales process and increases your turnover, it helps to increase productivity in the marketing department by making the workflow systematic.
- All data of the company is safe. Since the data saved in the system is permanent, new employees can easily access it through the system.
- The remote control is provided. The CRM software enables you to control and manage all sales and services of the company without going to the company remotely.
- It makes it easy for you to categorize and follow your products or services according to the demands of the customers.
- The availability of data in the company increases team productivity and motivation.
By creating your strategic planning based on sales processes with CRM software, your company's relationship, and interactions with existing customers and potential customers can be managed smoothly and securely.
Successful Sales Processes and Management of Customer Relations
It is necessary to start with modeling sales processes. How can we model sales by looking at them from the outside, it is necessary to think about it. Marketing is one of the activities that create sales opportunities.
Although some companies do not have a marketing department, marketing is done. Not as the company marketing department, but the company owner, the boss can make promotions to companies. The firm somehow has a specific name in the current market, is known for its references and work, opportunities can come that way too. Or it has a marketing department. Activities are carried out that will provide the company with more sales opportunities related to its product and service. Participation in fairs, various advertisements, sponsorships, sending e-newsletters, digital marketing activities on the internet, advertisements are given on google or sending e-mails directly, they can start a sales process from here, which can be a customer potential.
There are different stages of the sales process. Sometimes the customer may wonder about your products and services, but they may not be at the point of the buyer. He may not have the potential, knowledge, or intention to receive directly. This company or this person may only be in the information phase, so it is necessary to separate them. This is called the sales funnel.
The marketing logic in the sales funnel comes from the fact that the upper part is wide and the lower part is narrow. In the large part of the funnel, companies, potential customers refer to your customers who may need your products or services but have not communicated, starting with sales opportunities that are still in the information phase. As the funnel shrinks and progresses towards the bottom, those who are interested refer to the customers you are talking to, trying to close the active sale, purchasing your products and services, and selling them. After this stage, the process with the customer stops from gaining a new customer and turns towards gaining your references for new customers.
After the sale is completed, the sales funnel continues. After receiving the product or service from our company, the customer should be managed in another way.
This is called customer time cycle management (customer type syscall management). In this way, we need to model the process. Opportunities that can be sold in this model are called sales could feel lead (leadership can be felt in sales). There is "sales could feel lead" or there is "marketing could feel lead". "Marketing could feel lead" (leadership in marketing can be felt) are potential customers that you can potentially market.
Personalized marketing is the implementation of the strategy of providing individualized content to companies at the stage of data collection, analysis, and use of the automation system. For personalized marketing to be successful, as much personal information as possible about the current customer or potential customer must be obtained. This is done by personal information data, digital technology.
Personal marketing models can be created by grouping as married, with children, or age classification. With personalized marketing, it is ensured that the right contents reach the right customers. We start your marketing in this way and try to bring the customer to the end of the sale towards the point where the sale is realized as we slowly go down in the sales funnel method. At this point, it is necessary to model them all. We do these in sales process consultancy.
After all, let's assume marketing "marketing could feel lead" is complete. There is a volume there, as we go down from that volume "sales could feel lead", we are now bringing them down the cycle as sales opportunities that are qualified enough to make sales and close the sale. Sales could feel lead has the opportunity to sell, or sales can be made qualified, there are various stages in sales opportunities. These stages are as follows;
- Interview phase, first meeting, sent an email, received the email, wrote a response,
- Meeting phase, a meeting arranged, face-to-face meeting
- Sending the proposal
- Evaluating the proposed revision of the proposal as a result of the proposal was
- Approved, brought to the end of the funnel, the sale was closed
- Requesting the contract phase
- Sales lost,
It is necessary to model all the positive and negative processes in this way.
For example, the process may be the process of a "be to be" sales company. This process may vary from company to company. It is necessary to model this process well and to manage these stages in all stages of the model. Since it is a complex process, a systematic software approach is required at this point.
A successful sales process design begins after modeling these phases. After these are done, the sales personnel who deal with them, in the same way, maybe one of the sales staff turns the sales opportunity into a positive result in a short time, the other may not be the same, it is necessary to distinguish, manage and make the situations visible. It is necessary to analyze the system as much as possible and make improvements in certain places.
For example; we modeled all these processes, and as a result, we managed the processes. At this point, our rate of successfully closing sales opportunities is 10%, can we make this 10% 15% or how do we make it 10% better? What could be the improvements in converting 10% of incoming sales opportunities into sales? Analyzing them is an important part of our sales management process. When the first contact was made, the company sent an email, the feedback was made to the company, how long is the process from here until the successful completion of our sales process? For example, if it is three months, why three months, can we reduce these three months to two? By the way, there are also bidding processes and contracts. It is necessary to analyze all these. In this way, we attempt to analyze and optimize sales management processes. At this point, both customers will be more satisfied and the company will have the opportunity to transform the incoming sales opportunities into more real sales. Important issues in these processes are as follows;
- Modeling, modeling,
- Obtaining data after
- Examining data, data
- Improving and how to do it,
- Closing sales, taking action
Prosoftly Approach in Digitizing Sales Processes
As Prosoftly, we start with the current situation analysis firstly in the sales processes. In the current situation analysis, we analyze the places to make the sales. How sales opportunities come to the company, we examine this.
In this sense, let's think of the company as a closed house, it is necessary to determine how many doors we have at the entry point of our guests/customers who will come to our house. One of these gates is the search door. In the sales process that we can obtain through a door e-mail, with our forms on a door web site, one door from social media, another door reference, it is necessary to look at which doors customers will enter our company.
After looking at these, if we increase the number of these doors, if possible, and the more we increase the accessibility levels, we will provide customers with the opportunity to reach our company. Maybe they tried to reach us, but they did not see our phone, e-mail, or we gave an advertisement, but we do not have contact information in the advertisement, or let's assume that the name of the company is not displayed on Google, it is necessary to reproduce these entrance gates at these points as much as possible.
Control and Tracking of Customer Relationship Processes
Do we keep it as a call when a call comes in, do we count it as an email when an e-mail arrives, do we keep a total number at the end of the day, how many sales have come to us this month? Certainly, companies receive emails and calls, but most of the time there are losses if systematic work is not done there. Losses are not only experienced but also collective data cannot be obtained due to those who use different Excel forms. Companies spend a lot of time creating data. At this stage, it is necessary to look systematically for solutions. As Prosoftly, we determine these and approach them with an appropriate sales methodology.
What we mean by the sales methodology is how a company works when a sales opportunity comes, until it turns that sales opportunity into real sales. When a sales opportunity comes, it should be determined whether the company is doing a demo, sending promotions, or being visited. For example, what we do when we visit, do we make presentations, take samples with us, are we talking about our references if we are a production company or a service company, we should determine them in advance.
Is there a system that the company follows while doing sales methodology?
The company may be using an ERP system, but it doesn't care too much about the size of the sales. There is a module, but it may not be implemented. After analyzing these, we look at whether we can activate these systems as a company within the possibilities of the current company. If we can activate it, we activate and remodel their existing systems. We re-optimize the phases of the sales and create and implement a new model.
Let's say that these systems do not exist or their existing systems are heavy, then we offer our CRM product, optimization, a software product to companies. We developed and created these products, this software in light of the criteria and principles we mentioned. We offer these services to companies and manage their sales processes quickly. This is how the approach takes place at Prosoftly.