How Process Can Be Used to Streamline and Optimize Sales

It’s a misnomer that sales can’t be standardized. Salespeople aren’t usually expected to follow a structure in their day-to-day jobs. Who cares about routines when what matters is the result (closing deals and bringing in revenues), right?

Most salespeople don’t want to be standardized until they realize its power in generating sales. Based on a study done by the Harvard Business Review, organizations that have defined a sales process had 18% more revenue growth than those that didn’t have a defined process. 

The problem with not having a standard process is that everyone makes up their own steps and follows a slightly different process. This makes it hard to grow and scale. Some salespeople don’t convert as many deals, some take longer to close deals than others and onboarding and training a new hire becomes a painful and tedious process. 

We rarely think of sales when we think of business processes that can be standardized and streamlined. Most of the time when we think of streamlining a process in organizations, we think of manufacturing and service. Toyota, for example, is known for its reputation around quality, efficiency and productivity, but most of that comes from the manufacturing side of the business. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Toyota saw an opportunity. 

The company realized that everything that built a great reputation on the manufacturing and service side of the business could be brought to sales. Its highly advanced operations in manufacturing called Toyota Production System is made up of tools and techniques, so they thought “Why can’t we apply this to sales?”

Instead of looking at manufacturing and a widget when going through a process, you’re looking at a person in a dealership when going through a process. From the moment that a person drives into the dealership, it is clear where they should enter, where they should park, how long until they are greeted and all the subsequent processes like financial approval, accessories, quoting and closing, all the way through to the delivery and follow-up. 

Standardizing your processes leads to success, and that definitely includes sales.  Based on research by the Sales Management Association, 90% of all organizations that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked as the highest performing.

Here are more specific benefits of standardizing your sales process:

  • Have a more effective and unified sales team structure
  • Reduce inefficiencies
  • Follow a clear course in every step of the sales process
  • Facilitate finding qualified leads
  • Deliver a better and more consistent customer experience
  • Onboard and train new salespeople quickly and easily
  • Increase accuracy of sales forecasts 

To streamline and optimize sales (and create customers for life), you have to create a standard process that you and your whole team can follow. 

Looking at sales as a process allows you to identify where inefficiencies are, be aware of what’s working and align your sales process with your organizational goals. It helps your team develop a standard sales process that is repeatable and sustainable, which brings in predictable revenue.

Standardization in sales involves taking a little bit of what your best people are doing and making it a standard for everybody else to follow. 

What practices work best? What optimizes the cash flow from prospect to contract signing? Take these practices and set them as a standard. Document them and create a centralized location to store process information. Once your salespeople learn the standard, they’ll want to use it even if they don’t want to admit that they need it.

In love and respect,

Hilary Corna

Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


Leave a Reply

I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



When was the last time your inbox inspired you? Sign up today!

Thank you for subscribing!