In this scenario, we are creating a customized sales pirpeline in the organization. By customized sales pipeline we mean the process (or the pipeline) where the steps are specifically designed for the organization’s business practices. So, in this case, we are not following the typical predefined stages for sales. Let’s suppose there is an example company, and it sells some services to the customers. Typically the steps involved in the sales process are as follows.
Get initial information
When the customer has just contacted for the initial inquiry, the first step is to gather enough information about the requirements of the customer. This involves communication with the customer either over the email or via phone. When enough information is available as to what the customer is looking for the sales representative is ready to move to the next level.
Demo / Call to the client
2nd step is for the demo / call with the client. The sales representative will demonstrate the product / software / services and will explain various options related to it. This is a critical stage, as the customer gets insight into the product in this step. As a result, conducting this step correctly is very important.
Once the demo is concluded, the sales representative proceeds to the creation of the proposal and submit it to the client. Any specific concerns / questions by the client are also addressed / accommodated in the proposal in this phase. Once the proposal is created, it will be sent to the client.
Some negotiations on pricing, the cost may happen in this phase. Typically if the order value is high, then the customer will expect a discount of a few % on the order value.
This is the final step in this process, when the customer confirms that he is ready to sign the contract, this step will be activated. This step is reserved for paperwork to be finished once the customer has confirmed his acceptance.
Stage : Initial info
|What you do in this step||You will collect initial information from the client, about the key people involved in the order process, key requirements of the company, the urgency with which they are looking for the solution / service. The information you will need to collect is as follows ;
1. Summary of requirements
2. Contact details of the key decision maker
|When do you mark this as complete ?||When all the above information is obtained, and you are ready to move to Demo stage, you will mark this stage as complete.|
|What should you not specifically do in this stage?||Do not share pricing (Client sometimes is in a hurry, but we don’t give pricing unless we reach to proposal stage). However, you may quote a range of pricing XX to YYY as an indication.|
|How much time needed?||This step should not take more than 2 days, to complete. 1-2 phone calls and a few emails are all you need to collect this info.|
Stage : Demo
|What you do in this step||You will show the demo of our software in this stage. It is important to ensure that the key decision maker is involved in the demo. Avoid giving a demo to junior employees only.
During the demo, you will need to gather all the points raised and clarify on those later on within a reasonable time.
|When do you mark this as complete ?||You will mark this step as complete once the demo is completed and all the questions, points raised during the demo are clarified to the client. When client confirms there are no more open questions the step can be marked as completed.|
|What you should not specifically do in this stage?||Do not share pricing (Client sometimes is in a hurry, but we don’t give pricing unless we reach to proposal stage). However, you may quote a range of pricing XX to YYY as an indication.|
|How much time needed?||This step should not take more than 3-4 days, Demo is generally for 1 hour, but getting suitable timeslot may result in delay, after the demo you should clarify all open questions within 1 day.|
All your agents will be following a consistent structure for each sales inquiry. Your clients will experience the same steps every time no matter who the sales representative is. This is good as there is significant predictability in the operations
Know the stage of each case
Looking at the case stages, you can easily understand where a specific case is at this point. If any case is stuck in any stage, then it is easier to identify it.
The cases start getting resolved in a timely manner. Since the work is divided into stages, and approximate time for each stage is known, it becomes obligatory to sales reps to finish those in given time
This approach recognises that the business may need different customized sales pipeline for different processes, which can be defined easily.
Majority of CRM today consider ticket or a case as a single object and all the work done for that ticket is dumped in this case. However, the above approach recognizes that the assignment itself can be divided into many logical steps for better work management.