A 5 Step Guide To Building A Good Sales Process: SharpSpring CRM

sales process

A great sales process guides your leads through different stages to the point of purchase.

Sales Processes bring multiple benefits such as:

They guide implementation: A good sales process would provide clear steps for your business to handle sales. With a process, you can quickly tell what is working and what is not, which helps you draft better strategies.

Qualifying leads: A clear sales process helps your business quickly identify more qualified leads so that you can focus on them. This helps to save resources and also makes your team more efficient.

Better customer experience: Due to many leads, sales teams may not adequately handle each one with the time and attention necessary.

Such may bring about an unpleasant customer experience. But a sales process with automation would help your teams space out interaction and keep track of each.

Increase sales revenue: Creating a sales process helps you follow up and nurture your sales leads effectively. This improves your long-term relationship while also increasing the likelihood that they will eventually purchase.

However, to get the best out of your sales process, sales automation is essential. A comprehensive Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) will help you automate every step from start to finish.

An automated sales process also makes your sales teams more efficient, allowing them to focus on more valuable activities.

Building An Automated Sales Process

At Funnelbud, we have created multiple sales processes for clients along with CRM integrations. 

Here is a simple step-by-step process that we follow when creating sales processes with SharpSpring. You can also use this formula to make one for your business.

Step 1: Understanding client needs

The first step for any practicable sales process is understanding your potential clients and their needs. What industry are they in? What do they value? Etc.

This information will then inform your subsequent activities because you will determine how your offer can help them and how it differs from the rest.

There are several ways you can obtain this information

General company research: You could analyze the client’s online behavior and identify patterns and interests that could be useful. For example, you can check which content they most interacted with to gage what they might be interested in.

Meeting with clients: Alternatively, it helps to interact with the customers to understand their needs. Such interactions would help you know what they want and expect and provide clues for future encounters.


Step 2: Planning the sales process

With a clear understanding of your customer needs, you can now start planning an efficient sales process. Here are two ways to do this;

Internally with your sales manager / expert

You may choose to design your sales process in-house with your salespeople.

They would be able to identify which stages are critical to your business. Key elements most inhouse teams would include are:

Prospecting and qualifying

Your teams would identify potential clients either through a manual hunt or automated lead generation campaigns in this stage.

They would then qualify them to isolate those more likely to purchase for further nurturing.

Define customer needs

Your teams would then delve into the customers' specific needs, determine their pain points, and establish how your offering can help them.

Make an offer

Now that you understand your customers' needs, you can then approach them with an offer or sales proposal. You must negotiate with them if they are willing to get the best possible deal for you and the customer.

Complete the deal and deliver

When you agree with the client, you can then close the deal, sign any agreements needed, and deliver as promised.

Planning the sales process

Hire an agency

Alternatively, you can use a sales and marketing agency. Agencies could provide you with specialized and experienced personnel to help you create effective sales processes.

They would often take time to understand your business and then derive the best possible approach to employ.

Step 3: Implementing the sales process in SharpSpring

With an outline in place, you can then start to automate your sales process with SharpSpring features.  The different automation tools you use will largely depend on the nature of your sales automation process.

  • Adding automation features

First, you will need to set up the various individual automation features such as email automation, triggers, meeting scheduling, etc. These would help you speed up multiple repetitive tasks along the way.

Below is an example of an automation workflow that creates a task when an opportunity/deal is won.

SharpSpring task
  • Creating custom fields

Since customers' businesses and needs vary, it is unlikely that you will use the same processes for each one. So, at this point, the SharpSpring system allows you to set up custom fields for a specific customer.

For instance, some of our clients here would require chatbots, but others will often not need such features. Instead, they work better with email correspondence.

  • Creating the draft sales pipeline

After setting up and customizing the different automations you need, SharpSpring allows you to create a draft sales pipeline.

Example of stages in a sales pipeline:

Pipeline Stages

Step 4: Reviewing

After setting up the process in the SharpSpring software, you must then review it to ensure it works as intended.

Run some tests

The automation software allows you to run some test processes for which you can use your details or other existing data. It would help you understand how the automation tools work with your processes and how they appear to your target leads.

In most cases, you'll need to test the email automation, the landing pages, meeting features, signatures, etc. If you notice any issues, you can quickly fix them before going live or involving any real potential customers.

Step 5: Make The Process Live in SharpSpring

When all the first five stages are complete, you can then "publish" your new sales process and make it go live. It starts to execute the intended tasks of identifying prospects, qualifying them, further sales nurturing, etc.

Even during execution, you must constantly look out for any sections that you can improve. Some may require additional automations. In other cases, your prospects would need further information/documents to understand your offerings fully.

Whereas automation greatly helps you simplify the process, your personal touch is often necessary. You want your customers to be more comfortable that they are not entirely dealing with a robot.

Final Thoughts

Creating an effective sales process can significantly boost your sales conversions. It gives you a definite roadmap that reduces error and inconsistencies, thus helping you provide a great customer experience.

With these steps, you should be able to map an effective sales process well suited to your business that yields results.

Need more guidance on creating a sales process, reach out to our team of experts, or get a free demo today.

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About the Author

Priscilla Achieng

Priscilla Achieng is a lead Technical Content Writer at Funnelbud. A Content marketing professional by day, a passionate soccer fan by night, she also provides copywriting and SEO services for businesses of all sizes. You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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