Creating your Sales Processes

This article assumes that you have set up your Sales Pipeline, Deal Stages and Custom Fields for Opportunities. If you haven't done that yet, click the links in the yellow section above.

entering the pipeline

When you start setting up your Sales processes, the first thing to think about is what should happen after a Lead has been handed over to Sales from the Marketing team.

Do you want to pass the lead to the Sales Manager for pre-qualification checks, or pass the lead directly to the sales team? If the lead should be passed to the sales team, should they pick up their own leads, or should the assigned Owner be decided automatically, based on something about the lead (For example their Region or Product Interests)?

How do you want the person to receive the lead? Do you want to:

  • Notify the person by email?

  • Assign that person as the lead's Owner?

  • Make the lead visible to the whole sales team in the Qualified Leads sidebar (so they can pick up leads themselves)?

Do you want to do anything more at this point? You may want to:

Once a sales person or manager picks up the lead, you will want to decide whether or not to create an Opportunity for them. You should define a list of criteria by which to assess the lead, and what checks should be done before creating an Opportunity for your sales team. This should be documented and shared with the team.

When creating an Opportunity or closing an Opportunity (as Won/Lost/Archived), you have the option of setting certain Custom Fields as required - read more about that here.

Moving through the Pipeline

In each of the deal stages, you have a number of options to help the sales people take down the right information and reach certain targets. All of that can be configured when setting up the deal stages, read more here. These are your options:

  • You can set a default probability (of closing) for Opportunities in this stage.

  • You can require the Sales Person to send a certain number of emails, and/or make a certain number of calls, within an allotted time frame.

  • You can highlight certain custom fields as important to fill out at this stage, and give a helpful message/description.

Post Sales

When an Opportunity exits the pipeline, it can either be:

  • Won: The contract is signed

  • Lost: The deal didn't go through

  • Archived: The Opportunity was created accidentally, should not have been created in the first place, or the deal was deferred to the future (you could also use a separate deal stage to indicate this scenario).

When the opportunity is won/lost/archived, what do you want to happen next? This will likely be a joint discussion between the Sales and Marketing team if nurturing content is involved.

For Won opportunities:

  • You may want to put them onto a new customer onboarding funnel - to introduce them to the company, the system, the team that will support them and so on.

  • You may want to add the contact to a long term nurturing funnel for upselling/cross selling or repeat purchases, whichever may apply to your business.

For Lost opportunities:

  • You may want to put them onto a nurturing funnel for the potential of doing future business (if you have assessed that this is possible)

  • You may want to delete Contacts and Accounts that will never be sold to in future. This is a best practice in terms of GDPR, as you no longer have "legitimate interest" in holding their information.

For Archived Opportunities:

  • You may want to place the contact onto a nurturing funnel for future sales. At this point it may be possible to send them more specific content as you know what their needs and interests are.

  • You may want to delete Contacts and Accounts that will never be sold to in future. This is a best practice in terms of GDPR, as you no longer have "legitimate interest" in holding their information.

The last things to decide/think about have no impact on how the system is set up, but rather how you use it. You should consider the following:

  • Notes: Where do you want Sales people to take notes? On the Opportunity, Contact, or Account? Do you want them to make notes in more than one place? In general, the best practice is to think about where the information will be used in future. Is it relevant just to one of the contacts? Is it relevant to just this deal, or would we want to have access to it during future deals as well? When creating a note on a Contact, there is the option of automatically associating it with the Opportunity as well, however Account notes must be made separately.

  • Reminders: How do you want your team to use Reminders? Should they just use it to follow up on their own leads? Do you want them to use it to assign tasks to each other? Do you want to use Reminders to smooth things out when your employees take vacation?

  • Email Sync: Do you want to see all communication between leads and your Sales team in the system (visible on Contacts and Opportunities)? Read more about Email Sync here.