In 2015, Jason Jordan and Robert Kelly conducted a study to understand how companies manage their sales pipeline.
They raised two questions to B2B company executives:
- to rate their company’s year-over-year change in revenue on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing “drastically decreased revenue” and 7 representing “drastically increased revenue.”
- to rate their company’s effectiveness in managing the sales pipeline
They published their observations in an article titled Companies with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue in the Harvard Business Review.
Their observation was that salesforce who had invested time in defining a credible, formalized sales process effectively managed their sales pipelines. The data showed an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies that defined a formal sales process and companies that didn’t.
This means the salesforce performed well when they had clearly defined stages and milestones and when they knew how they should be managing deals in each stage.
Their discoveries show the importance of having a sales checklist that sales reps can follow, refer and tick off during their sales process.
This article explores sales checklists, how they can enhance your sales efficiency and effectiveness, the top 7 sales process checklist, and their importance.
So scroll down for me.
What is a Sales Process Checklist
Sales process checklist is the tracking and marking off of the list of steps that a sales rep must follow during the sales process.
Each company will have its own set of sales processes. Systematic steps that sales reps follow while taking the customer through the pipeline journey from the time of prospecting till the closing of the sale.
Having a sales checklist will ensure that there is an organized approach toward sales and conversion.
How a sales checklist enhances efficiency and effectiveness
Having a systematic and structured approach to your routine tasks will help in enhancing sales performance and productivity. Furthermore, implementing a well-structured sales performance incentive fund can provide an extra layer of motivation for achieving sales targets and driving exceptional results.
A sales checklist will always be a roadmap to the sales process be it fresher in the industry or an experienced sales rep. While the former takes it as a manual to understand the basics of sales, the latter can always benefit by going back to the basics to brush up their memory. Additionally, adhering to the guidelines of ASC 605 ensures that revenue recognition follows the appropriate accounting standards.
A sales checklist will ensure that you are doing your work promptly as well as the client is getting a holistic experience. Hence, an organized approach at work will only enhance your efficiency and effectiveness at converting prospectus to potential customers.
Hence, incorporating a sales performance checklist will act as a guideline to your work, understanding the expectations and thereby making it easier to fulfill your responsibilities.
Top 7 Sales Process Checklist
Prospecting is the first step in the sales process. Identifying potential clients you can approach requires strategy as it must ensure both returns on time and effort investment. The efficiency with which you find potential clients is decisive in improving your conversion rate.
- Outbound Reach out
Sales reps reach out to prospective clients through various media. The common approaches that sales reps generate leads are cold calling and emails. Increasingly they are reaching out through multitouch point approaches like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
- Discovery call
The discovery call is where the sales reps have their first conversation with the client. This step is considered one of the most crucial parts of the whole sales process. It is through the discovery call they understand the prospects' pain points, qualify them as leads and determine the effort it will take to convert them into a customer.
- Product Demonstration
The product demonstration is the part where you show the product to the client. Sales reps must ensure that the demo is impressive as it has a big impact on the client's decision-making. In the limited time the client provides you, all key features that make you stand apart from the competitor must be shared so that their decision favors you.
- Address Their Concerns
No client will take your offer as soon as possible. There will always be raising of problems like managerial approval, budget issues, etc. The success of a sales rep is in anticipating the probable questions the client might raise, preparing satisfactory responses, and negotiating their objections to finally close the deal.
- Follow Up
Sales process requires patience. Usually, a sales process spans over 7-8 months or more. Hence, it's important to follow up on your clients, keep them reminded of your product without irritating them, and be updated about the progress.
- Close the Sale
The final step of a sales process is always the closing of sales. It is at this stage the client agrees to your product and signs a contract. This is always the end goal of sales reps which helps them attain their sales quotas and become eligible for incentives.
Importance of sales process checklist
Having a structured way of approaching clients is always beneficial for the sales process and reps.
- A sales checklist acts as a roadmap that sales reps can follow to ensure better performance at work.
- A standardized organizational sales process will have the best of practices that have been tried, tested, and approved. This brings uniformity in the sales process and quality in the sales pipeline experience.
- For a fresher, it will act as a sales coaching checklist that they can follow while understanding the sales job and while building their approach to it, incorporating essential sales coaching techniques to accelerate their learning and growth.
- Even for experienced sales reps, it is important to go back to the basics and sharpen your tools to ensure that there is consistent growth and improvement in sales performance.
Hence, building a sales checklist will always aid in better sales performance, better sales processes, and better customer service.
The MEDDIC Sales Process
The discussion about the sales process and sales checklist cannot be concluded without MEDDIC.
MEDDIC is an acronym for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion. It is a B2B sales methodology developed by Richard Dunkel and Jack Napoli who were working at PTC.
They were trying to find answers to three questions.
- Why did PTC win deals?
- Why did PTC lose deals?
- Why did deals slip at PTC?
They observed that there were six commonalities between all three answers leading to the birth of the MEDDIC sales process.
MEDDIC sales process is a customer qualifying prospects. Through these six stages sales reps identify the probable clients who will close the deal and filter out the one less likely to be converted.
The MEDDIC model gained attention when Dunkel and Napoli increased their sales from $300 million to $1 billion in 4 years.
Now let's understand MEDDIC in a broader sense.
Metrics analyze the quantifiable goals of your client and understand how your product will be a value addition to their operations. This helps in approaching the client by addressing their pain points and the success they can achieve with your product.
- Economic Buyer
Understand who is the decision maker and how they go about making their decisions. This helps in approaching the right person who can make the decision quickly and also approaches in a way that will get their attention and preference.
- Decision criteria
Organizations make decisions based on various factors. The common criteria are ease of use, integration time, budget, etc. Knowing these factors will help you in presenting the proposal in those terms and addressing any other issue that affects their decision-making process.
- Decision process
Decision processes are the steps the company takes internally to get your product onboard. Understanding this process will help you understand what's the time required and the paperwork involved to close the deal after getting the approval from the economic buyer. Hence, you will know where to approach when any delay in the decision-making process happens and work duly to fasten up the delay.
- Identify Pain
Identifying the pain points that the client is facing and addressing these challenges by providing accurate solutions to resolve them, as highlighted by sales performance reporting, will improve your chances of success. Rather than saying that there will be a better return on investment, quoting an amount of $5000 will have a better impact on their decision-making.
A champion is a person inside the prospectus company who will benefit from your product the most and who will be an advocate for taking you in. A person in a respectable position whose words can have a determining effect on the decision and pace is your ideal champion.
MEDDIC has become a basic foundation in the sales training checklist while preparing the new salesforce for the game.
By conducting the primary in-depth research in qualifying the leads, sales reps can invest time and effort on warm leads, increase the number of sales closed and attain their sales quotas.
Sales process is a systematic and strategic approach that requires the keen observation of the sales reps to understand what's the next step towards winning the deal.
Having a sales process checklist thus helps sales reps to better keep track of their clients as they move through the pipeline.
By analyzing your organizational structure, any tool that can best suit its practices and enhance its operational efficiency must be opted for. They help in bringing best practices that can boost the performance and productivity of the workforce thereby improving the organizational growth and success.
In sales where incentives are an integral part, having an automation tool for your incentive calculation has also become inevitable.