How to Create a Sales Process Mapping?
Mapping your sales process enables you to visualise and define every step your sales team goes through in order to close a deal and manage an ongoing relationship. Organisations that map their sales process effectively can help to minimise friction in the process, reduce errors and close deals faster. Your sales map can guide your team toward the end goal of turning prospects and leads into customers. Read on to discover how to create a practical sales process map to improve your sales performance.
What is a sales process map, and why should you create one?
A sales process map visually represents all the stages of the sales process. It maps what should happen at each step of the sales process and can vary by customer action or response in their buyer journey. It’s often created as a flowchart or Infographic and provides a detailed sequence of actions involved in the sales journey.
Mapping your sales process has many benefits, including
- Employee Transparency and Training - an easy way to explain to employees what should happen in the sales process.
- Consistency - ensuring teams have the same understanding of the process, and customers can expect a consistent level of service during the sales process regardless of who they are dealing with.
- Enhance Efficiency - A map allows the sales team to identify bottlenecks, streamline interactions, and optimise the sales process for maximum efficiency by breaking down the sales process into manageable stages. For example, 47% of organisations experience project delays due to inefficiencies in their agreement process - this could be identified as an issue with a sales process map as you could increase the speed of your sales pipeline.
- Maximise conversion - understanding the customer journey through mapping increases the likelihood of conversion as they are targeted interactions at key points in the user journey.
- Aligning Sales and Marketing - A mapped process can help to align your sales and marketing strategy.
- Visualise goals - It can help the team visualise goals at each stage of the buyer journey and in the sales process.
How to map your sales process
Here are the key steps for mapping your sales process:
1. Identify all stakeholders
The sales process involves cross-functional teams, so you should engage key stakeholders to map the journey's stages. This could include the legal team, customer service, finance, IT and marketing. You’ll get insights into the business from various stages of the journey.
2. Define the start and finish points of your sales process map
Begin with the start and end points of the map. Understand where your sales process begins and ends, so you have clear from and to points in your journey.
3. Map the user journey
Consider your buyer personas and their needs, motivations and pain points at each stage of the journey. Map through their initial problem, awareness of your solution, consideration, decision-making, purchase and advocacy. Identify the triggers that move your customer from one stage to the next in the journey. If you haven’t already got buyer personas, or don’t understand your user’s current journey, consider conducting customer research.
4. Map your current sales process
Begin your sales process map by collating all of the steps in your current process from your stakeholders based on what is happening right now. You should name each stage and describe the actions that take place at each step. Each map will likely go through the stages of awareness, targeting, prospecting and lead generation, qualifying, pitching, negotiation, handling objections, closing the deal and nurturing. Some examples of naming each step could include brand awareness, brand interaction, identifying qualified prospects, discovery, demo, proposal, contract, contract signed, implementation, go live, and retention. You should map each stage of the process.
5. Define each stage of the process
For each step, you should summarise what defines the completion of the step and how a user moves to the next stage of the journey.
6. Identify strengths and weaknesses in your current sales map.
When your initial mapping is completed, you’ll be able to identify all the stages of the funnel and where there are gaps or areas to be improved. Decide what could help your customers and employees based on their needs at each stage.
You could consider adding steps or changing processes to reduce friction at this stage. For example, your sales team may manually post contracts instead of delivering digitally. Mapping your sales process can help identify areas for digital sales innovation. A key area of opportunity is the agreement process: how you prepare, sign, act on, and manage sales contracts, from nondisclosure agreements to quotes to master service agreements to statements of work. When handled manually, they introduce errors, frustrate customers, and suspend selling— multiple times throughout every sales cycle.
Which tools can help you with the sales mapping process?
Process mapping software like Microsoft Visio or Miro can make your current process much easier to document. If you want to add improvements to your current process, you may want to consider digitising processes using tools like DocuSign for Sales.
How to avoid process mapping mistakes
1. Keep the process simple and visually appealing
If the map is too complex, it will be difficult for your sales team to work with. Capture all the relevant stages and activities, but you do not need to list every single item in intricate detail, or your map won’t be user-friendly. That said, you do need to include the key touchpoints, or the map will be too vague.
2. Align with customer needs
Your sales process should focus on customer needs and align with the buyer journey, or it won’t work and will result in a disconnected process.
3. Make sure you are transparent with all the stakeholders
You should involve the sales team and all other relevant stakeholders in the process, or they may not be engaged. When the sales process map is ready - it should be communicated to all stakeholders.
4. Measurement and Review
At the beginning of the mapping process, you set end goals. You should measure how customers move through the process and review if you aren’t meeting your overall goals. The sales map should be flexible and improved when you can eliminate friction and improve the processes in your sales cycle.
Removing friction in your sales cycle
Sales process mapping is an invaluable asset that elevates sales teams to new heights of efficiency and success. Organisations that arm their sales teams with a well-mapped sales process can eliminate friction in their sales cycles and enable the sales team to close deals faster while contributing to a superior customer experience. Forward-thinking organisations are digitising their sales and agreement process at every sales cycle stage, including contracts, non-disclosure agreements and financing agreements. A sales process map is just one way to help make your sales team more successful.