You’ve decided it’s time to create your first sales process. But where do you begin? You could spend weeks designing, or pay professional consultants to work with you on an initial design. If you’re ready to go that route, then contact C5 Insight to discuss your needs.

Most organizations, however, need to start quickly and with a low financial investment. Not only does that keep risk low, it also builds in time to learn before rolling out a more complex process. The single most important piece of advice: start simple. Not sure if your sales process is simple enough? If you have to ask, then it’s not. Make it simpler.

Here is a 3 step process you can use to design an initial 3 step process. We call it the 3×3 (aka “3-by-3”) sales process. It’s not a long-term solution, but it is the perfect place to start.

Step 1: Sales Stages – Beginning, Middle, End

Every sales process has stages. In the early stages of creating a process, it can be tough to determine what the stages should be, and how they should be sequenced. But almost every sales process has one common element – giving the prospect a price. This goes by different names, such as: quote, proposal or estimate. And it almost always happens near the middle of the sales process.

Prior to providing a quote is a qualification stage. After providing the quote, there is generally a period of closing or negotiation.

With that simple framework, you now have your first 3 stage sales process.

Step 2: Name Your Stages

Name your stages something that is relevant and meaningful in your organization. The table below has some different ideas that you can use.

It’s helpful to have 3 simple stages, with quoting in the middle, because this makes the other two stages much clearer. When a rep decides it is time to start working on a quote, then the stage should be set to “Quoting”. When the quote has been submitted to the prospect, then the stage should be flipped to “Closing”.

Simple. Simple is good.

Step 3: Track and Improve

Don’t expect the mere fact that you’re starting to get your team to stick to a consistent process to have a significant impact on results. The process enables you to monitor, coach your team, and collaborate on identifying improvements. Just like you’re practicing LUCK with your customers and prospects, you need to practice LUCK with your sales team to continuously improve their process.

Logging the reasons why deals are won or lost can be a helpful source of knowledge that can be examined and discussed in order to make improvements.

I’d love to hear how your sales process is working. Did you try 3×3? Something else? Share your questions or lessons learned below.

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