How to Organize Your Sales Department for Success: Top 10+ Tools and Strategies
An effective and profitable sales process doesn’t happen by chance. Every successful sales department relies on a well-structured sales team that focuses on generating qualified leads, engaging with potential customers, and closing the deal. However, developing a lucrative sales cycle also requires using the right marketing strategies and tools.
What does it take to be a top sales leader? If you’re an entrepreneur or own a startup, how can you organize your sales department for success?
This article is a definitive guide to developing an effective sales strategy for maximizing business success. By the end of the article, you will know how to build a strong sales team for your company.
How to Write an Effective Standard Operation Procedure (SOP)
The basis of any successful sales organization is an SOP. The standardized operation procedure is a step-by-step list of actions detailing the routine sales process. By implementing an SOP, managers, team leaders, and salespeople have a point of reference for a standardized sales process.
Why you need a SOP for the sales department
SOP for a sales department is invaluable on several levels.
First, managers can use the SOP when training new sales reps, ensuring they know the entire sales process from the start. Second, SOPs help to eliminate unnecessary and time-consuming decisions when questions arise about the sales process. Additionally, it’s possible to make changes to any sales stage or include a new sales approach and quickly communicate this with the sales representatives.
When writing an effective SOP, clarity is a crucial element. The procedure steps should include a clear purpose, definitions of industry-specific jargon, and a numbered step-by-step strategy. In a more complicated or involved sales process, a flow chart may work better.
Check this free template and workflow diagram example to get started crafting your SOP for the sales department.
What’s the best way to write a sales department SOP?
There is no defined way to write an SOP. The details and form depend on your company and sales methodologies. However, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind. Let’s look at four ways to write a Standard Operation Procedure for your sales department.
1. Write down the sales procedure
First, it’s necessary to make a list of all sales processes that need documenting. Typically, you should envisage all the required steps involved in a sale. Then, develop an in-depth list of each step. The goal is that someone who has never done the task before can follow the SOP and reach a successful outcome.
For example, in internet sales, the standard operation procedure could have instructions on taking and posting images online. In addition, there could be procedures for writing content, tracking sales, and collecting customer data.
2. Choose a format for the sales SOP
Typically, the most common format is a numbered list. However, workflow diagrams, organizational charts, or a list of detailed instructions can also work well.
3. Get feedback from sales professionals
Once you have a draft of the sales SOP, it’s vital to get feedback from the sales department. For example, they may notice a sales process step is missing. Or they may have ideas on optimizing the procedure to result in a more effective sales process.
4. Writing an SOP
To write an SOP, think about getting the message across clearly and concisely. Here are a few tips on writing an SOP:
- Start each line with an actionable command.
- Only include relevant information.
- Make the document scannable by always including action commands in bold at the start of detailed instructions.
Although an SOP is a time-consuming project, you will find that it saves time and boosts your team’s sales performance.
How to Use Presentation Decks to Organize Your Sales Department
On average, 6.8 people are involved in a B2B deal. When pitching to a potential client, using the correct presentation deck is crucial.
Unfortunately, many sales presentations tend to be heavy on production but light on substance. While this type of pitch may seem exciting, the result is that a potential buyer doesn’t see compelling reasons to buy.
What is necessary to create a sales pitch to start the customer journey?
Here are some handy tips you or your sales team can pitch to a prospective client to boost sales success:
A sales pitch based on your prospective customers’ most significant pain points will be more effective. Although you are excited about your product, use the pitch to show how your product is the best solution for the buyer.
Use case studies
If you know your target audience well, you can use specific case studies to increase sales success. For example, you could research similar companies and show your solution has solved their frustrations. Case studies help to offer real solutions to real problems.
Communicate with confidence
Elicit feedback using questions that communicate confidence. For example, every so often, ask, “What are your thoughts on this solution?” This is better than “Does this make sense to you?” Or, during your sales pitch, use phrases like “We believe this would…” instead of “We think that….”
Or, you could say, “Our company developed to increase….” Again, this is more confident than “The was developed to….”
Make sure that your sales pitch is short and to the point. Only present enough information for a prospective buyer to be convinced of your product.
But suppose you have done your groundwork. You clearly understand your target market, know your audience’s challenges, and ensure your sales pitch addresses their concerns. But if the sales presentation fails to influence the buying decision, you need to think about your presentation deck.
A presentation deck could be a simple tool such as a PowerPoint presentation or Google Slides. However, with more and more sales pitches taking place remotely, using a top sales deck is vital. After all, the purpose of the sales pitch is twofold. First, you must showcase your product features and value proposition. Second, you want to affect the buying experience.
Check this guide from Sales Hacker for examples of effective sales decks.
Five Essential Tools to Create a Strong Sales Process
To organize a successful sales department, having the right tools is vital. Digital tools can help manage the sale funnel, from making cold calls to potential leads to sealing the deal. In addition, essential tools also ensure you have an after-sales strategy to keep customers happy.
What are the essential tools your sales department requires? Let’s briefly look at five tools that can help convert more leads and result in greater customer retention.
1. CRM software
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are essential for managing relationships with existing customers. CRM solutions help sales teams to keep track of customers. This makes it easier to build customer relationships, streamline marketing efforts, and stay on top of sales.
Many vendors offer CRM solutions for small to large businesses. Therefore, it’s vital to choose one that allows growth down the road. In addition, the software should suit your budget, buyer personas, sales strategies, and business needs.
Check this guide from Business News Daily on the best CRM software for small business needs.
2. Software to generate more sales
Several tools are available that help a sales department streamline its current sales process. These can include sales gamification, sales acceleration, sales intelligence, and sales analytics. Let’s look briefly at some of these practical solutions.
- Sales gamification: Managers can enhance sales by adding competition and recognition into the sales pipeline tasks. Sales reps receive rewards for completing repetitive tasks—cold calling, setting meetings, and closing deals. The result is more engaged, productive teams.
- Sales acceleration software: These tools help automate repetitive admin tasks like data analysis, audience targeting, and email generation. This allows sales reps to close deals in less time.
- Sales intelligence tools: These solutions help salespeople identify potential leads and help target existing clients.
- Sales analytics: An essential tool for all sales teams is analytics. Only by analyzing data from marketing campaigns and sales can marketing teams know if they are getting a healthy return on investment (ROI).
This list of tools for improving the sales process can help get you started.
3. Video conferencing tools
Video conferencing is now a significant part of every company. For example, video conferencing software allows sales teams to engage with potential and existing clients remotely. In addition, by having the right tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype, companies can offer practical solutions for remote employees.
4. Electronic signatures and document processing
E-signatures are as legally binding as an ink and paper signature. However, using software to eSign documents, proposals, and contracts streamlines the whole process. It also allows the original signed copy to be linked to CRM software. Another of the benefits is that e-signed documents reduce paper waste and storage space.
5. Tools to facilitate account-based marketing (ABM)
ABM is a way to target high-value accounts with a personalized marketing strategy. For large organizations, this is vital because between seven and 20 persons are typically involved in the decision-making and buying process. ABM tools bring together many sales and CRM tools to reach key decision-makers.
HubSpot has an in-depth list of some of the best ABM software for businesses of any size.
How to Use Content Marketing in a Successful Sales Process
When it comes to marketing, producing high-quality, high-value content is essential for success. Therefore, the sales department must know how to leverage content in an effective marketing strategy. For example, the marketing department could create content with a specific goal in mind. But how will the sales team know its purpose and where to use it?
Aligning sales with marketing
An effective way to maximize the impact of content marketing is to meet regularly with the sales department. For example, when it comes to long content assets and broad campaigns, the sales team must know what is coming, why it’s coming, and when. In addition, this type of meeting gets everyone on board.
It also makes sense to organize content assets in a way that is easy for others to find. This could involve tagging assets depending on buyer persona, customer pain point, or industry.
Another way to leverage content in sales is to provide email templates with links. So, the marketing department could create follow-up emails for the sales team to use.
But what about longer-form content? How can a sales team know how or when to use eBooks or webinars to boost sales and engage with customers? In this case, it’s helpful if there is a short, scannable outline or summary of the asset. Therefore, a salesperson avoids second-guessing or wading through a ton of content to come up with a pitch.
The Importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
Effective customer relationship is a crucial element of a successful sales department. With various teams involved in sales and employees working remotely, CRM tools help keep everyone ‘on the same page.’ Setting up a CRM takes time. However, once implemented, it saves companies time and resources while boosting revenue.
The importance of CRM tools is obvious. CRM collects all customer interactions across all channels in a central place. This allows sales, service, and marketing teams to work effectively. However, it also strengthens relationships between team members, stakeholders, and collaborators.
Here is a list of the vital role that CRM plays in the sales process:
- Simplifies workflow
- Builds a streamlined sales pipeline
- Automates repetitive tasks
- Keeps customer data and contact information in one place
- Automatically tracks sales inventory
- It helps identify sales leads
- Generates personalized information for potential leads
- Tracks client activity
- Identifies potential sales
Although CRM tools used to be accessible only to large corporations due to cost, there are several budget-friendly solutions for small businesses. Examples of excellent CRM tools include Nutshell, Keap, Zoho CRM, Really Simple Systems, and Hubspot CRM. In addition, many of these solutions have free versions available for limited users.
Get started on choosing the best CRM for your sales department with this detailed CRM software breakdown.
Software to Help Drive More Sales
How can you choose the best sales management software for your needs? Here is a short overview of excellent tools that can boost the effectiveness of your entire team:
- HubSpot: The advantage of HubSpot is that it offers a free CRM. It is also easy to upscale the sales management software with addons to help identify ways to grow traffic and convert visitors. HubSpot also has a CMS system for building a website.
- Nutshell: This CRM facilitates sales automation, emailing, and collaboration between various sales teams. Features include sales reporting, unlimited pipelines, and funnel reporting.
- Zoho CRM: This tool for sales departments helps convert more leads into clients. It has the necessary features of all the top-end CRM platforms, including social media interactions. You can also contact customers directly from the platform.
- Teamgate: This fully-functioning CRM tool is ideal for streamlining customer communication and generating more leads. Its data-driven insights and tracking capabilities help keep users up-to-date.
- Keap: This CRM solution helps sales teams develop highly effective marketing campaigns. Keap offers various plans for small to large businesses that want to boost sales and increase revenue.
Organizing Your Sales Department for Success: Take Action Today
Organizing an effective sales department is the best way to ensure any startup, small business, or large business thrives in a competitive market. However, it’s not enough to assume that a great product will simply ‘sell itself.’ Therefore, entrepreneurs must think about developing an effective sales team from the start.
The first task is to develop an SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) to ensure continuity and effectiveness. Then, it’s necessary to utilize the best digital tools to build relationships with customers, analyze data, present sales pitches, and manage your team. This way, from the start, you can organize a sales department that will work efficiently and generate sales for your business.