The sales process is essential for any company, and it should be constantly reevaluated. Unfortunately, consumer behavior can change over time, which means that you will periodically need to examine and optimize your sales process. Today, we will walk you through sales process optimization: 7 steps to higher ROI.

1.     Document your current customer journey

Although there are many similarities in how sales are made across any industry, every company is free to deviate from the norm. Take a look at the customer journey for your company. What are the exact steps a user needs to take before becoming one of your customers?

Ask your sales team about all the techniques they use to turn someone into a customer and ask the sales reps to help you document the process. If you optimize for SEO, your website can do a lot of the heavy lifting by increasing your customer base through organic traffic. Keep in mind that it’s not the responsibility of the sales team to generate leads; however, they are the ones who follow up on potential customers.

The first step in optimizing any process is understanding what you are working with. Once you have a clear idea of the customer journey, you’ll be able to tell how many points of interaction you have with your customers and what your sales team does to establish trust with customers. Looking at the current system will tell you which areas need improvement.

A sales representative on the phone with a customer.

Identify the weaknesses in your sales process and turn them into opportunities for growth.

1.     What are the weaknesses of the current sales process

No system or process will be perfect, and knowing what your weaknesses are will tell you which areas of the sales process need immediate attention. See which obstacles are causing stalled sales and which actions are required to overcome them. If your leads are constantly getting stuck in the same place of your sales funnel, then you need to find a solution for that bottleneck, or your bottom line will suffer.

For example, users may present interest regarding your services, but you can still have trouble with your website conversions. The experts from Convert More suggest installing a widget to connect customers to your sales team instantly. Even if you don’t manage to close a sale on the spot, it’s important to nurture leads through your sales funnel.

2.     Define your target audience

You might already know who you are marketing your products to, but it’s helpful to know who your ideal customer is to make the most of your sales process optimization. The best way to do this is to create an ideal customer profile. Not all leads will be equal, and if you have done your due diligence and created distinct customer profiles, it will be a lot easier to separate your leads into categories.

This approach will let you focus more energy on pursuing higher-value leads. You should always prioritize leads closer to completing a purchase or have shown interest in upsells and high-value orders. Dedicating most of your efforts to high-value leads will give you a higher ROI from your sales representatives.

Sales and marketing teams working together on optimization for a higher ROI.

It is your job to get employees to agree on sales process optimization.

3.     Bridge the gap between sales and marketing

If you plan to do any sales process optimization, you will probably alter how leads are generated and followed up on and how your existing sales funnel functions. These changes will have the highest impact on your sales and marketing departments. To get a higher ROI from your sales process optimization, you should ask both departments for ideas and feedback for the changes you plan to implement. Representatives from these departments don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to the KPIs for their individual goals. Therefore, we recommend having a neutral third party oversee the optimization process. Keep in mind that you should also measure the effectiveness of your SEO, which can give you additional insight into how well the current system is performing.

4.     Automate whatever you can

A great way to streamline your sales process is to implement tools for software automation. Choosing the right CRM software for your business is far from easy, and many companies make the mistake of getting the wrong software for their needs. It’s important to remember that you should use tools that will help you effectively bring your ideal sales process to life. We often see companies make the mistake of adapting their sales process to the available tools. Realistically, there are many options to choose from, and you shouldn’t settle with sub-par solutions.

5.     Make sure all your employees are embracing the changes

People are naturally hardwired to resist change. This is especially true when it comes to learning new skills and using automation software. Some of your employees might fear that they will be out of work due to the automated tools you will be implementing. It is your responsibility to assure them that their jobs are safe.

Explain that the new tools will help by taking over mundane tasks and that your sales team will have more time to dedicate to leads. Be warned that, unless you get everyone to accept the sales process optimization, the new system you are implementing will run into a lot of roadblocks.

A laptop

Track the metrics and get ready for another round of optimization.

6.     Set goals and monitor results

You’ll need to come to terms with the fact that sales process optimization isn’t a one-and-done thing. To ensure you are achieving a higher ROI and that your system is operating optimally, you will need to monitor results. Set the Key Performance Indicators according to the feedback you have received from the teams involved in your sales process. You should also set a date when you will review the results and perform another round of optimization.

The bottom line

We’ve given you the rundown on how to achieve success with sales process optimization: 7 steps to higher ROI. There is always room for more improvement, so you should keep that in mind and try to think of ways to make things work even better.