How to Create a Complex Sales Cycle Workflow
Creating a predictable, repeatable process for your sales cycle allows you to spend less time closing a sale, so you can start generating the next. This is especially important in complex sales when a sales professional and a customer are navigating an extended buying experience. Having a complex sales cycle workflow empowers your sales team to understand exactly what they need to do to succeed, consistently and collaboratively.
What Is a Complex Sales Process?
A complex sale process is a roadmap you use to create consistency and uniformity in your complex selling relationships. Having a step-by-step plan for engaging with potential customers and closing sales is fundamental to a good sales strategy, minimizing conjuncture and inconsistent results.
Creating a complex sales cycle workflow is not complicated if you include these essential elements:
Lead generation: Lead generation for the complex sale adds buyers who have expressed interest in your product or service to the top of your sales funnel. Leads could also include audiences within a certain demographic or geography who are likely to be interested. This information can be gathered through research, purchasing lists, or marketing efforts.
Discovery: This is when you get to know your prospective customers and clients – identifying their pain points, what motivates them, and their buying triggers. In a complex selling environment, you also build a rapport with them, asking questions and listening as much as possible. Going for the sale too quickly could jeopardize the whole thing.
Qualification: Now it is time to determine if your leads would make good customers and are worth pursuing. This is also where you determine if they are the decision maker, or if they must involve someone else who would be. Many in the complex sales industry take the BANT approach – budget, authority, need, and time frame – to qualifying their sale. Meaning, does your client have the money, decision making power, need, and required timeline to move forward with the sale?
Pitching: This is where you communicate to your prospective customers or clients exactly what you are offering and how it can solve their problems. Your discovery and qualification stages inform this one and position it for success. The more personalized your pitch in a complex sale, the greater the likelihood you will close it.
Objection handling: There is a myriad of reasons why a potential customer would be hesitant to buy. Objection handling is the stage of the sales cycle workflow for you to listen to your prospects’ concerns and try to reposition your offer in a way that overcomes them. You can use techniques such as listening carefully to their apprehension, repeating it back to them to help them feel heard, asking any clarifying questions, validating their feelings, re-framing the objection, and working to find a solution that overcomes it.
Closing: Closing is the pinnacle of the sales process. Now it’s time to negotiate prices and services and sign on the dotted line to make it all official.
Follow-up: This is where you thank your customer or client and let them know how much you appreciate their business. This is also where you continue to nurture your relationship with them by providing any additional support they need and looking for ways to continue to engage with them and promote retention.
Check-in: Once your customer has had the opportunity to use your product or service for a time, check in with them to get their feedback. This will help them feel valued and will encourage them to refer others to you as well.
Once you have outlined your approach to each piece of the complex sales workflow, you should share it with your sales team and ensure they are comfortable utilizing it. You should also look for ways to receive and incorporate feedback from your team. Your sales workflow should be a living part of your process – one that is constantly evaluated, adapted, and evolved.
A comprehensive and easily duplicated complex sales cycle workflow is one of your company’s most important sales tools. At Paradigm, we understand the importance of having a big picture view of what your sales team is doing, so you can produce the greatest return on investment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but we can use our sales enablement services to find the right one for you. Let us help today.