6 Ways to Leverage the Power of Process and Workflows in Sales
by Melissa Rogozinski, Chief Executive Officer
A version of this article first appeared in the April 19, 2022 issue of Legaltech News.
On Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., I hopped on my red, Honda PCX 150 and scootered down to Singer Island. Twenty dollars and thirty minutes later, I was on a paddleboard enjoying the calm, shallow waters of John McArthur State Park with flying mullets, an adolescent stingray and a head-bobbing sea turtle.
Despite knowing it was a justified mental health break, I felt guilty for taking two hours off in the middle of a Monday to go paddleboarding.
Then I realized why I was able to take this much-needed break. This wasn’t just a post-pandemic exercise in work-life balance. My team and I have worked hard to define and set up process and workflows for operations and sales so that we can run more efficiently and grow effectively. We have intentionally set ourselves up to get our jobs done well, in less time, thereby creating flexibility for other endeavors.
But not everyone has figured out this formula for success in under 40 hours. Conversations with industry sales executives and colleagues have revealed several gaps in sales process and workflow that need to be corrected:
- CRM assistance, management, training and usage;
- Business development with current clients;
- Resurrecting cold prospecting efforts;
- Outreach and follow-up tasks;
- Recalibrating deal process, cycle and workflow expectations;
- Development of an SAP template for every qualified prospect;
- Cross-training and collaboration between departments; and
- Creation and execution of a client success action plan.
Below is a detailed list of best practices to help your team leverage the power of process and workflow in sales.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software Setup. A CRM is a software that acts as a single repository to bring sales, marketing and customer support activities together and streamlines business process, policy and people in one platform.
- Modules: Provide clear direction and training on the criteria for who qualifies as a Lead or Contact and at what point a Deal can be created and assigned.
- Fields: Map fields in each module for easy importing of external information as well as conversion within the existing application.
- Leads and Contacts fields should be required and mirrored in both modules: Company Name, First Name, Last Name, Title, Email, Phone (Mobile), City, State, Country, Company Type, Account Type, Lead Source, Tags.
- Deals module fields include Name of Deal, Account Name, Deal Owner, Product or Service, Expected Revenue, Stage, Probability and Closing Date.
- Reporting: Setting up fields with consistent naming conventions throughout modules allows marketing and sales leaders to easily generate reports that provide insights to help improve strategy and growth.
2. Business Development with Current Clients. Existing customers are critical to the stability of your business and retention rate, provide lifetime value and are likely to refer others to your brand. Stay on their radar by letting them know how much you appreciate them. You can do that with handwritten “thank you” and “birthday” cards, asking them if there are other ways you can help them, requesting referrals, and occasionally issuing a satisfaction survey. Of course, make notes about these efforts in your CRM.
3. Resurrecting Cold Prospecting Efforts. Sales professionals who have relied on existing business become complacent with the status quo, or realistically struggled on how to evolve through the pandemic can be retrained as HUNTERS. Use our HUNTERS methodology, found in the February 15, 2022, article Hunters vs. Farmers, to retrain your sales team on cold prospecting. Before you reach out, make sure you’ve captured all of the contact information for the decision-maker as well as preliminary research notes about the opportunity in your CRM.
4. Outreach and Follow-Up Tasks. The pandemic and technology has revolutionized the way professionals buy, sell and generally want to conduct business. Being able to get the attention of your prospect without drowning in a sea of digital communication requires a very targeted approach. Document this follow-up task cadence with each prospect in your CRM until you secure a first discovery meeting. (Also, consider the time of day or evening for digital outreach—we’re not as 8:00 am to 5:00 pm as we used to be. Adapt as needed.)
- Day 1: Online outreach and handwritten note via snail mail.
- Day 3: LinkedIn connection request with inbox note.
- Day 7: Email with embedded Loom video.
- Day 10: First phone call to prospect.
- Day 14: LinkedIn feed review and post engagement.
- Day 21: Second phone call to prospect.
- Day 28: Nurturing, monthly e-newsletter campaign.
5. Deal Process and Workflow. We all know closing a deal is no easy task. It takes thorough preparation, a well-documented follow-up process and patience.
Once you’ve secured a first discovery meeting with the prospect, be sure to take the time to write out an SAP (Strategic Account Plan) prior to conducting the meeting. One day before the meeting, send the prospect a confirmation email and include three to five pain points identified in the SAP. (This is another good opportunity to use a short Loom video.)
Take the lead on scheduling pitch presentations, next steps meetings, proposal reviews and negotiation discussions. Make sure that you’ve kept notes and recordings from all the previous meetings and communications so you can accurately reference and apply them to deal-closing conversations. Document the results of each touch in the Deals module of your CRM.
6. Cross Training and Client Success. Sales efforts should not be limited to the sales team. Cross-training marketing and client success professionals will deliver an exponential increase in lead generation.
Invite marketing to attend sales calls, demos and pitch presentations with your sales reps. Make sure client success knows all the products and services your firm offers for upsell opportunities. Our 10 Steps to Align Legal Sales and Marketing provides more guidance to help maximize your company’s full growth potential.
As Drew Goletz, national sales director at Avalon, observes, “Following a proven, repeatable sales process will always yield the desired result, and ultimately, drive revenue across your organization. While a good sales process should be simple, so many salespeople get caught up in non-sales-related activities that they forget to follow through with the KPIs—phone calls, emails, etc.—that will lead them to success. Stick to what you know works, and the results will follow.”
RPC Strategies’ “Lift Your Sales” series is our response to several requests for solutions to this pain point. We have several more topics in store for the coming months that will address strategies like setting up your CRM for sales success, how to write and use an SAP for more effective lead qualification, sales process and workflows for higher close-win rates, the most important (and overlooked) member of your sales team and many more. Please connect with us on LinkedIn
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