Are your sales teams drifting?
Do your salespeople and your marketing department ask you hundreds of questions every day?
Do you feel like you need a little more organization?
You’ve come to the right place.
You’ve probably heard terms like sales funnels and b2b sales process flowchart.
“Yes, Juliana, very nice names but…How do I create them?” Relax, don’t get overwhelmed.
I have some good news: although many think that a marketing and sales process flowchart is difficult or something only professional strategists do, it’s easier than you think.
And in this article, I’m going to tell you some tips, tricks, and sales process template examples that you can use to get it done fast (they will help you even if you don’t have much experience in project management).
You are welcome
What Is a Marketing and Sales Process Flowchart?
The first thing to do is to have a basic understanding of exactly what you are going to do when you create sales process flowcharts.
Like any other business process, there are a set of steps that you will do every time you go through the sales cycle with a customer. These will apply regardless of what you are trying to sell them and how big the sale is.
So if you want to have success and maximize revenue, I recommend that you take note when building your sales strategy:
- Prospecting and qualifying – you don’t want to go further with unqualified leads! Quality matters, always.
- Pre-approach – warm them up to the idea that you’ve got the answers to their questions
- Approach – once you have an early rapport, introduce yourself!
- Assessing needs – what does your prospect need, and how can you deliver it?
- Presentation – it’s time to unveil your master plan!
- Dealing with objections – there will be some, so don’t panic!
- Commitment – the moment your prospect decides to go with you
- Follow up – because the sale isn’t closed until there’s money in the bank!
Every single sale in every single industry will follow a similar process to this. A sales process flowchart just formalizes it, so everyone on your sales team knows exactly how to proceed.
With these sales process steps, your project management team can track each project from before the sale even happens. This way, the sales rep and PM can work together in harmony.
Making a Flowchart
Of course, your sales flowchart will need to break all those steps down into smaller chunks, so that your sales and marketing team always know what to do next.
Sales flowcharts use a system of shapes and interconnected arrows to indicate which action should be taken when a prospect takes a particular action. Each type of process should be a different shape, and ideally a different color, so they’re easy to differentiate. These include:
- Start – the start of the whole process
- Process – what you are going to do
- Subprocess – when there is another step or steps to be taken to complete a process
- Decision – when you or your client makes a decision
- Document – when processes, decisions, and other important information needs to be formalized in writing
Your sales flowchart should visually represent how you will approach, nurture, convince, and close a sale. They make it easy for any employee, new or old, to determine what they should do next. This makes it easy to move the sales process along and helps to save time and money.
Having a marketing sales process flowchart will be for your team like when the castaway finally sees land and stops swimming adrift. Yes, that much.
How to Build Your Own Sales Process Flowchart
Ok, let’s get down to the important stuff – start the action!
While there are sales process flowchart templates out there, this is a very personal and company-specific process. A good sales process will be based specifically on the products and services you offer and take into account your internal business administration processes.
So, for instance, when your sales team needs to generate a quote number or process a purchase order, there will be a step on your sales flowchart that corresponds to that task.
A B2B sales process flowchart tells your team what they need to do, and when, but it also makes it easy to track, project manage and measure results.
So, to create a sales flowchart that is specific to your company and the products and services you sell, you might do the following:
- Determine when and how you would find and qualify leads
- Create an offer that would encourage them to opt-in
- Create an automated process that shares high-value information
- Identify a point at which you switch from automation to a human salesperson – usually when a prospect requests more information
- Create steps to find out what a prospect’s pain points are, and how your offerings address them
- Develop a quote and follow up on the process
- Identify when / if you will abandon the sales process – because sometimes, a customer just won’t take the next step
- Create a new process to capture and manage orders
- Integrate with payment and accounting systems
- Develop a follow-up and after-sales process
Each step of the individual sales and marketing flowchart will be different, but it will always start at the very beginning of the new client relationship and cover all the steps until the sale is done, the product is delivered, and the check-in of the bank.
There are many applications, both paid and free, that allow you to build your sales flowcharts in a very simple way. Make friends with the tools, they will undoubtedly save you from this one.
Formalized Processes Make Efficient Teams
You know I’m a big fan of efficiency (and I think all business should be).
The biggest reason you should have a standardized sales process is so that you can quickly and easily replicate steps that have succeeded in the past.
As you scale your sales department, a strong sales process lets everyone know exactly what they need to do to qualify more leads, nurture them, negotiate a favorable contract, and then close the sale.
But this doesn’t start and end quickly. You might have to adjust your sales process when you first start developing it, as you learn more about what works and what does not.
A formal process also makes it easy to onboard new sales reps and provide them with tools that you know work in your industry and for your company.
Your sales and marketing teams will know how to go from one step to the next. Both departments will work in line and the day-to-day problems will disappear, and so will your headaches.
I always say that time is money, and without a doubt, a Marketing Sales Process Flowchart will save you time and maximize your revenue.
So, if you haven’t already started working on this, start applying some project management principles to sales, and discover how much it can improve your sales pipeline.
Come on, it’s time to start kicking ass!
Benefits of Creating a Process Flowchart for Marketing and Sales
Having a successful sales process is the key to business growth. However, this may not be enough as we need to also understand the sales process in order to make the right decisions. We may ask ourselves—do we really understand what our sales process looks like? What does it mean?
To help us with understanding the sales process, we can create a visual representation of it by creating a sales process flowchart and a funnel diagram. These visualizations will help us identify any area needing improvement. A well-defined sales process flowchart can also streamline the sales process which can increase efficiency and effectiveness.
Other than simplifying the sales process, there are other benefits of creating a process flowchart for marketing and sales which I’ve listed in this section.
It defines and documents the sales process
Visualizing the sales process through a flowchart will help in defining and documenting the entire sales process. This makes it easy to understand as well as share with others who might need it.
It identifies bottlenecks and areas of improvement
No process is flawless. Now and again, we will spot areas that need improvement. By using sales process flow charts, we can easily identify these areas of improvement and bottlenecks so we can modify the process to make it more efficient and effective.
A flowchart will help in pinpointing areas of improvement in the sales process and eliminates any bottleneck.
It makes a complex process simple
A typical sales process is often long and complicated and involves various people and touchpoints. Creating a flowchart will break down this process into manageable steps, making it simpler and easier to understand and follow.
It helps with communicating the sales process to other parties
Explaining the sales process among employees using a flowchart makes it easier for them to understand the complex process and keeps them aligned with other teams’ processes.
To keep the business running, we need everyone in the business to understand the sales process. However, it’s difficult to explain it all in one sitting. Instead, we can use the sales process flowchart to communicate it to all persons involved in the business as this makes the steps involved in the sales process easier to understand. Also, we can use the sales process flowchart in presenting our sales process to third parties should we decide to outsource parts of it to third parties. In short, the flow chart makes communication of the sales process more effective.
It improves customer relationships and satisfaction
In any business, the customers’ experience must be at the forefront of everything we do. This includes the sales process. A sales process flowchart will make it easier for our customers to purchase products and services from us which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
When you can improve the sales process through a sales process flowchart, customer satisfaction can increase along with customer retention.
Using a sales process flowchart is a great help in getting everyone in the business aligned with the overall sales process and allows for improvement in the process. We can lean on it to maintain a competitive advantage in the ever-changing market.
Steps to Building a Marketing Sales Process Flowchart
A sales process flowchart is beneficial to the business as it helps parties understand the process as well as make room for improvement. How do we create a sales process flowchart? We have listed five steps you can follow to guide you in creating without any headaches.
Step 1: Gather data and analyze existing customer behaviors and touchpoints
To create a sales process flowchart from scratch, we must first gather data about our customers. We can get this data from several resources such as market trends, input from sales reps, and even the sales process flowcharts from other businesses in the same industries.
Gather data about your customers from different sources and get your sales team involved as they are the most exposed to the customer base.
A great source of data about customer buying behavior is the sales teams. After all, they spend the most time with the customers. We can combine all consistent experience from sales reps and managers. We can have them share what they did to transform qualified leads into closed deals to incorporate them into the flow chart.
Another way we can gather data about our target customers is through online research. Many B2B sales processes start prospecting for customers through social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, and even email lists. We can also gather data about prospective clients through in-person events such as conferences and industry events.
Step 2: Set goals and objectives with clear metrics
To test whether the sales process chart is running and completely visualizes the sales process, we need to have metrics as a basis. This step requires us to set goals and objectives along with clear metrics that we should apply to the sales process.
We should always measure KPIs in our sales process as forgetting to do this can lead the entire sales process to become ineffective. However, we should remember that the focus should not be directed towards numbers only. Instead, we should dig deeper into what the numbers tell us.
Use the goals and objectives you have set as basis for the metrics you will use to test your sales process flowchart.
Step 3: Identify and document customer personas, user stories, or sales funnels
Once data are gathered and goals are set, we now should dig deeper into what these data mean. We cause the data we gathered in Step 1 to identify what our customers are like. We can also get feedback from customers about their overall buying experience.
Remember that this step is all about the customer. We should approach this step from their perspective to identify factors that affect their buying habits objectively. We can also use what we have identified and documented to determine the sales funnel for our sales process.
However, we should take note that the typical sales process isn’t always relevant to B2B cases. It’s still important to find out as much as possible about a business we may want to sell to, including their needs and experience with us, but this will differ from the data and documentation we’d gather about individual customers. Consider including the business demographics, objectives, and pain points which helps in determining which of our prospects will need our products and services as solutions to their problems.
Step 4: Create the flowchart using simple visuals like boxes, arrows, etc.
Now that we know the important aspects of our sales process, we are ready to create the sales process flowchart. We can start off with the prospecting stage of the sales process and work through the whole sales process that we created in the previous steps. Use visual tools such as arrows and boxes to signify a stage or aspect in the sales process. For example, arrows can be used to signify a transition from one stage to another or boxes for significant touchpoints such as sales reps or product ads.
Use visual tools in your flowchart to represent elements in the sales process for easier understanding.
This is the step where you have the freedom to choose the elements you want to include. However, remember that in creating the sales process flowchart, we should be consistent in the visual elements so that other users can understand the data easily.
Building a B2B-specific flowchart with its own sales methodology is a good idea. B2B flowcharts often use yes or no scenarios in illustrating how we should respond to our prospect’s decisions and actions at each step of the business sales process. B2B users may have access to more options than individual buyers. By using arrows to specify the next step action for a specific decision, our sales team will know what steps to take as they move along the sales process.
Step 5: Test the chart by running through it yourself or asking customers to do it. Adjust as needed.
A sales process may not always be fixed since the market and potential customers always change. We should always test out the sales process flowchart to determine whether the sales process actually happens for the entire customer base.
Use the goals and objectives you determined beforehand to help you in testing the sales process flowchart you created
As we test our chart, we can begin measuring the results at each stage. Doing so can help us identify trends in customer behavior. Observe closely at each stage of the process and ask for feedback from the sales teams and the customer to determine whether adjustments are needed. If necessary, adjust the sales process and communicate with others involved.
When we follow up with our sales teams as well as customers about their experience at each step of the sales process, we can evaluate and determine whether our products and services can meet their needs. This cultivates a nurturing relationship between us and our customers which can lead to more opportunities for deals and growth.
Businesses generate revenue through sales. This is why identifying the sales process is important in keeping the business afloat as this describes how the business is able to sell its products and services to its customer base. However, the sales process can be complex which makes understanding it a headache. That’s why it’s a good thing there is a sales process flowchart to help.
- A sales process flowchart visually represents the whole sales process, from the point potential customers are determined to the manufacturing of the product to its delivery.
- Sales process flowcharts are beneficial in many ways. They can be used to identify areas of improvement in the sales process, which can lead to a streamlined and efficient sales process.
- These flowcharts can also be used to help individuals in the business organization easily understand the whole sales process, especially if you are planning to outsource a specific point in the process.
- Creating a sales flowchart follows a series of steps that include researching and testing. it is highly recommended that you include your sales teams as well as the marketing team in creating the flowchart to ensure all aspects of the sales process are covered.
- Since a flowchart is a visual representation of a process, you should include visual tools such as boxes, arrows, and circles to signify elements and stages in the process. Use these tools consistently to avoid confusion among users of the flowchart.
- Test out the flowchart against clear metrics to determine whether adjustments are needed. If so, adjust accordingly and retest.
Now that you know the basics of creating a sales process flowchart, we are sure you can confidently create one with your team. However, there are still many flowchart templates and software packages you can use such as what we have at ScaleTime. Connect with us and let’s optimize your sales process!