Continuous sales improvement is a practice adopted by several companies in order to continuously obtain better results every day. Regardless of segment, size or product or service sold. To achieve the much desired excellence, some strategies and methodologies are necessary.
Which company does not want to improve its business process and delight its customers every day?
Differentiate yourself from the competition and show why your solution is really different: this is what you want.
However, in order to reach the desired level, it is essential to apply continuous improvement processes in sales.
For this, a set of strategies and methodologies need to be applied. And, the purpose of this article is precisely to help you and your company in this mission.
After all, it’s not because you’ve had a few good months of sales that you should stagnate, right?
Literally overnight, some technology and / or innovation can change the scenario of certainties and convictions that you had. Then, to make up for lost time, it will take more time.
So, why not anticipate and be the innovation? Applying continuous improvement in sales, you follow this direction.
Want to know how?
What is continuous sales improvement?
Continuous improvement is the practice that several companies adopt in order to continuously achieve better results.
So, applying this logic to the sales process, it is about having practices, actions and strategies aimed at – obviously – increasing sales.
But more than selling more: you need to sell better. Sell to the right customer and the right way.
If you simply “push the sale,” you can achieve your goals and objectives. But will you have really satisfied and delighted customers with your brand?
However, there is no way to apply any kind of improvement if there is no standard within the sales routine.
Having indicators, that is, sales metrics help (and a lot) to identify defects within the process.
They are fundamental in managing sales and the entire structure: people, budget, goals, tools, etc.
If each salesperson acts the way he wants, in the time and on the terms he wants, how to know if his process works?
In fact, there is no process there: each one sells and works as he pleases. And that’s bad.
So, obviously, the biggest tip of all to start a process of continuous improvement is: define your process well.
The steps of the funnel, the activities at each step, scripts, attempts … whatever is necessary.
Having a standard and recording everything that is done, you will be able to (there, yes) begin to apply the necessary changes.
And if you are a company that sells software as a service, we have a comprehensive guide to structuring your SaaS sales for you.
Benefits of the continuous sales improvement process
What are the benefits of always improving your process? Well, that is a very easy question to answer.
This, of course, for those companies that have already undergone the so-called digital transformation in the sales sector.
It is truly impossible to get the numbers and information needed to improve processes.
Therefore, the use of a sales CRM is indispensable and fundamental for you to be able to improve the commercial routine more and more.
That said, as you get better and better, the reflection will be immediate and direct in the success of the customer consuming your brand.
Making them evangelizers of your company, who defend and refer you to new customers is also another clear consequence.
But there are more points to highlight when you successfully apply continuous sales improvement processes.
And we can highlight items like:
- improvement in customer service (both in terms of time and assertiveness in approach);
- increased productivity of the entire sales force, optimizing all activities to be done on a daily basis;
- this also reduces CAC, after all, nobody will waste time (therefore, money) with little useful or mechanical tasks that take too much time;
- higher conversion rate at all stages of the pipeline, which inevitably improves your sales results;
- greater assertiveness in lead capture strategies, after all you will know your best customers and acquisition channels;
- increased professional engagement and motivation of the sales team: after all, with fluid processes, everyone feels better to work;
How to apply the process of continuous improvement in sales with 3 different strategies
Concepts: ok. Benefit: ok. But how to actually implement a process of continuous improvement in sales in companies?
As we said, some methodologies are necessary for this. And we have separated 3 of the most efficient ones that will correct existing problems:
- PDCA cycle.
Let’s see how each of them can improve your sales process:
1 – 5W2H
The use of this method serves to help organize ideas on what to apply for improvements and also questions that constantly arise.
Especially because, the application of new methods always brings uncertainty, impasses and is a huge challenge for all involved.
This method basically consists of a checklist of questions and specific activities to be developed with maximum clarity, efficiency and effectiveness by all participants.
Even so, 7 are the existing guidelines so that no doubt remains.
- What – what actions should be taken?
- Who – who are responsible for carrying out each action?
- When – what is the deadline for each action?
- Where – where will each of the actions take place?
- Why – what is the purpose of carrying out each action?
- How – how will each action take place?
- How much – the cost of each action to be performed for the company?
This methodology is efficient because it provides a map of activities, it is a guide document to make all improvement actions clearer.
It also saves time and resources, after all, you will have every clear consequence. If any doesn’t make sense, it should be changed immediately.
2 – SCRUM
This is an agile methodology that helps different sectors of a company – not just sales.
But, of course, it applies well to the commercial area. That’s because it allows each salesperson to effectively control the action plan.
It is also about prioritizing what is really needed and making the routine less cumbersome: you will only do what you really get.
For this, of course, like all methodology, planning is necessary. And this happens through:
- Backlog – the activities selected for the sprint;
- Sprint – the time to carry out the chosen activities.
Within the sprint (which is the delivery time of the activities extracted from the backlog), there is a division:
- To do – the activities to be done;
- In progress – activities started;
- Testing – activities completed but which still need to be validated (by a superior, colleague, customer, etc.);
- Done – 100% completed activities.
At the end of each sprint, an evaluation meeting must be held and the positive and negative points discussed.
Thus, in the next one, each one will be able to work more and more in the ideal form and quantity, eliminating the impediments experienced in the previous sprint.
This management method is based on 4 steps to be able to control and apply continuous sales improvement in processes and products:
- Do (do);
Like all methodologies, its application demands: focus, patience and discipline.
In practice, it works like this:
The initial step is always planning. Here, it is everyone’s role, not just the sales manager.
It’s time to:
- identify the main difficulties in daily life, looking for the reasons and possibilities to get around them;
- establish goals and be clear about where you want to go;
- define an action plan to carry out the planning done.
Time to act. It is important for the sales team to be disciplined and stick to the plan.
It is important to emphasize, again, the importance of having a sales system to record all the actions taken – which will be decisive for the next stage of the methodology.
Here again we see the need to have very clear, defined and possible to check metrics.
That’s why we talk about the importance of using a CRM. It is for him, at this moment, that you will appeal.
- note conversion rates at each stage of the funnel;
- the amount of opportunities gained and lost and in what stages they occurred;
- which products and services sold the most (and match which customers bought).
Basically you will measure everything you set out to do. We have previously mentioned some common problems that are generally subject to continuous improvement.
From the check: what went well and what didn’t?
In the flaws found, you start to apply the methodology again. So it is a cycle.
You spin and spin as many times as necessary until you have no more flaws.
This means continually seeking to improve the process in order to focus more and more on the customer and their needs – which will thus lead to more and better sales.
So, how can we help you?
If you have any questions or want to know how a CRM helps you to improve sales processes, talk to a consultant.
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you have better results day after day in the commercial area.
The first talks about sales methodologies to be used at different times within your company.
The second talks about tips, strategies and practices to understand how to scale sales in your company.
A hug from CWT, your CRM. #RunCWT