Assessing Your Sales Process: How to Improve Results and Increase Revenue

The key to effective sales process evaluation is avoiding searching for problems in your sales process. It's about identifying and initiating improvements.

Assessing your sales process is crucial for any business looking to improve results and increase revenue. By deep diving into your sales process, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes that will lead to better outcomes.

The key to evaluation is avoiding searching for problems in your sales process. It’s about identifying and initiating improvements in your sales process.

It is ongoing and continuous – distinguishing a healthy sales process.

This article will discuss the importance of assessing sales processes, the areas to improve it, and the metrics or framed questions to track and measure its success.

Key insights in this guide include:

Defining the Sales Process

What is an effective sales process?

A sales process is the series of steps a company takes to convert a potential customer into a paying customer. The sales process steps include everything from initial contact to closing the deal. Sales processes can vary from company to company, but they generally have steps such as lead generation, qualification, proposal, negotiation, and closing.

A healthy sales process assumes sales effectiveness as essential. 

Sales effectiveness is a fluid concept, but it generally refers to how well the sales organization can successfully guide prospects through its sales funnel to a conversion. 

The most common ways we evaluate sales effectiveness are sales metrics, such as:

The problem with using these sales metrics is that our leaders and sales team become complacent and reactionary. Leaders see the data and react to the situation.

However, true sales effectiveness is about more than finding problems. It’s about uncovering improvements in your sales process effectiveness continuously.

Sales effectiveness is a fluid concept, but it generally refers to how well the sales organization can successfully guide prospects through its sales funnel to a conversion. 

How to assess your sales process

There are four primary improvement areas in your sales process, and I express these as questions: 

  1. Are we profitable in sales? 
  2. Are we selling quickly enough? How can we make it quicker? 
  3. How can we sell more?
  4. How do we sell to more people with the given opportunities we have? 
sales team and sales leader in a sales meeting

Measure Revenue Results

Is your sales process profitable?

People need to start here. Your sales team keeps the light on in your company – it is the organization’s battery.

Therefore, sales performance is vital.

Here is what you ask yourself: 

  • Are you making money? 
  • Is revenue coming in?
  • Is it at a profitable rate? 
  • Is the sales process getting you the revenue it should? 

Revenue is the metric that indicates whether or not your current sales process is working, but you address this metric question by looking at your return on investment (ROI) in the company and sales process.

Sales Accelerator Process

We evaluate your compensation structure, prospects, tech stack, sales playbooks, sales strategy, sales process, sales tools, hiring and onboarding to ignite revenue growth and performance.

Measuring ROI

You must be ROI positive on your sales process and your sales function. If not, you’re in trouble. 

Let me clarify ROI positive: 

It is not; I put in $1, and I make $2 back. That’s the entire profit and revenue of your company. 

Your company must be ROI positive, starting with your sales team and sales process.  

Understand that your sales team and process solely generate revenue for your company. It is the only department that has this explicit goal. 

You need to be at least 5-10x profitable ROI on your sales process. An organization needs to get $10, $15, or $20 back for every dollar you invest in sales.

Reality dictates the sales team’s revenue will pay other employees’ salaries, fund departments, and bills to keep the light on. 

And, then, you need to make a profit. 

That is why we start here and audit the profitability of the sales process. It tells us directly whether the sales process is working or not. 

sales leader speak with prospect and sales team

Track Your Sales Cycle Length

How long does it take to conduct a sale?

The sales duration identifies how long it took for the prospect to contact the company to the deal closed. It organizes your contact’s customer journey based on the stage of your sales process: 

Lead → Opportunity → Customer

Measuring the customer journey calculates how much time a typical sale takes. This information allows you to forecast revenues and ROI.

The most effective sales process is designed around making it efficient and quick.

Gathering Sales Cycle Data

Gather information and data on your sales cycle length by asking some simple questions, including:

  • How long does it typically take between a lead entering your system and the sale closed?
  • What is the average time prospects are staying in each stage?
  • How can we get prospects through the pipeline faster? 
  • Where can we shorten it?
  • How do you know it to be true?

Firstly, don’t make assumptions. I have heard it before:

“It takes three to six months.” No. It takes nine months. 

Many sales leaders pull numbers out of nowhere. It is essential to look at accurate data and numbers. That is why the third question is so vital. Seek the truth with evidence. 

 

sales team sales leader success

For example, I audited a digital design agency, and their sales leader told me it takes them about 30 days to close a deal. However, the audit revealed deals were kicking for months and months. We obtained a more accurate understanding when we compared time vs. sales managers’ and rep’s activities and actions. It took sales reps 30 days to close once they actively started working on it. Regardless, they only actively started working on closing deals months after the lead came into their system. 

To calculate the duration of the sales cycle, add the total number of days it took to close every sale from the point of lead entry into your system, then divide that sum by the total number of deals completed. This number can differ for business models, sales methodologies, products, services, and other factors.

The most effective sales process is designed around making it efficient and quick with repeatable steps. The marketing agency prioritized shortening its sales cycle, and its improved efficiency saw an increase in closed deals and opportunities with larger deal sizes because it could focus on creating solutions for prospecting more significant deals. 

Let me also highlight that deal size doesn’t correlate to the length of the deal either. In other words, more significant deals are closed in the same cycle length as shorter deals. And, vice versa, more straightforward deals should not take longer or less time to close.

Analyzing the sales closing length is a clear indicator of your sales process. 

Many sales leaders pull numbers out of nowhere. It is essential to look at accurate data and numbers. Seek the truth with evidence. 

Theorize ways to increase average deal value

How can we sell more?

Asking yourself this question prioritizes increasing revenue and improving results rather than looking for failures and problems.

You are asking yourself these questions:

  • How do I sell more?
  • How can I increase our average? Units for sale? Or average deal value?
  • How can I sell more to the same customers in the same transaction? 
  • How can my sale process allow us to sell more?

Always think about it from the perspective of increasing your average.

If you do not know how, evaluate your sales process, especially to solve that.

If the answer to “How do I sell more?” is: “It’s not possible,”

…that’s a huge red flag.

Sales leaders must constantly theorize ways of increasing the average deal value to increase business potential. That denotes a healthy sales process when leaders and sales reps continuously ask these questions and refine the steps.

Sales Accelerator Process

We evaluate your compensation structure, prospects, tech stack, sales playbooks, sales strategy, sales process, sales tools, hiring and onboarding to ignite revenue growth and performance.

Evaluate Your Closing Rates

What percentage of your leads turn into opportunities?

First, do your salespeople get enough leads to hit their goal? Firstly, if my salespeople convert a high number of leads into opportunities but still miss quota, that is unacceptable. Now, I don’t allow my sales reps to use marketing as an excuse.

Yes. It could indicate the marketing team needs support to generate more qualified leads — but you still need to make quota and hit your numbers.

Conduct pipeline reviews. Look at the churn rate percentage of prospects requesting a demo after a discovery call — if specific customers are churning quickly, how can you vet for this mismatched prospect early in the sales process?”

Monitor how many leads your salespeople actively contact new prospects in their networks. Are they making cold calls? How many prospects did they reach out to? Have they collaborated with the marketing department? How did they dig deeper to make a quota?

As a subset of this, does your sales team know how many prospects they need to fill the sales pipeline each month or quarter to meet your revenue goals? Do they understand the prospective buyer? What is the specific pain point? If not, you need to look at your leadership style, and coach and train each sales rep.

sales leader or sales team speaking to prospect

Second, are your salespeople effectively following up with those leads? If your reps convert a low percentage of leads into opportunities — your follow-up is the problem.

Review their approach. Are they personalizing their first contact? Using multiple channels (email, calls, social media, etc.)? How quickly do they give up?

Sales Process vs. Sales Methodology

It’s important to note that a sales process differs from a sales methodology. A sales methodology is a specific approach to selling, such as solution selling or consultative selling with varying sales tools and prospective buyers. On the other hand, a sales process is a broader term that encompasses the entire process and the next stage steps a company takes to close a sale.

Some sales reps need help understanding the difference between them. Refining and optimizing your sales process steps means focusing on something other than improving one sales methodology.

sales team sales leader success

How do we sell to more people with the given opportunities we have?

Some people want to know how many opportunities convert to paying customers. This percentage varies by industry and, if not analyzed correctly, is misleading, ushering in common mistakes.

For example, high close rates (think 65% or higher) could indicate that your sales team is cherry-picking easy-to-close prospects that require minimal effort — but you’re leaving money on the table with a discriminating bias.

On the other hand, low close rates could indicate the team needs more training or that there is a disconnect between product or service and customer-specific pain points. If you’re losing prospects out of your funnel, you better figure out what’s wrong fast.

Additionally, compare each sales rep with the team average to identify top performers, low performers, and other subtle motivations.

Remember that high-performing sales teams are made of individuals with defined roles working together to achieve a specific goal. You can’t have a team with all top performers — it never works, trust me.

Most importantly, you must think of creative solutions to close more deals with your opportunities in the given period. You have more red flags if you can’t think up innovative solutions to this question.

sales hiring and sales team

Implement changes, test, and measure

How can I ensure we continue to make progress?

The next stage is about enacting those improvements in your sales process. It is about theorizing the answers:

  • How do we increase the close ratio?
  • How do we improve the average deal value?
  • How do we speed up the sales cycle?

You can start getting granular and tactical as you look for those answers and make those improvements.

  • Maybe we need to increase the amount of pageantry
  • Perhaps we need to our pitch needs to be better
  • Possibly our messaging needs to be better
  • We may need to position our ship differently.
  • We need to be more aggressive.
  • We need to stop floating deals.

Once you develop an idea, you test and enact those changes. Ensure you know the parameters that define success, such as an increase in the close ratio, an increase in average deal value, an increase in opportunity conversion rates, or a faster pipeline.

Then, execute throughout the various stages with concrete actions.

Finally, remember that assessing your sales process is an ongoing process. Making constant adjustments and improvements will help you keep your sales process up-to-date and ensure that you are always working towards better results.

Get help improving your sales process

Assessing your sales process is crucial for any business looking to improve results and increase revenue. By taking a deep dive into your sales process, you can identify areas for progress.

Let me be clear, if you were going to find the solution to your sales team’s issues, you would have solved them by now.

You likely need support to solve and manage them. You can’t afford to leave anything up to chance. 

We help your sales leader and sales manager close deals faster and at a higher rate. Rose Garden is solutions-focused, so if you want me and my team to ignite your revenue growth, we will do so with our Sales Accelerator Process and Team Assessment.

Startups and SMEs must stay up-to-date and ahead of the competition in today’s ever-evolving sales landscape. We provide Founders and CEOs with hands-on coaching, tools, and support to create systems & strategies to scale their sales teams. 

You can’t afford to leave anything up to chance.

About the author:

Ali Mirza is the Founder & CEO of Rose Garden, a national sales consulting organization, and featured in Forbes, Inc, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Business Rockstars, and The Wall Street Journal.

Ali is a highly sought-after public speaker presenting at multiple national conferences on innovative ways to accomplish transformational growth on your sales team.

Rose Garden provides unparalleled support and guidance to growth-minded founders via sales strategy differentiation, world-class sales culture creation, and exclusive playbooks, processes, and scripts to position them for limitless growth.

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