How to structure a sales workflow: Guide to sales management

Let’s cut to the chase— when you are considering the growth of your organisation and improving your revenue, what comes to mind? Right away, you probably thought of the sales team, but can you identify exactly what has to be done to really reach your sales goals?

Effective sales workflows can indeed boost conversions, turn more leads into closed sales, and ensure all of your agents offer clients quality and consistent experiences regardless of the audience. It may sound simple, but many sales managers find it challenging to build scalable sales processes that can maintain sales traffic consistently.

In this guide, we will help you tackle those struggles and introduce to you:

  1. What is sales workflow management and why you need it
  2. How to create and map a sales process
  3. What is a sales process vs. sales methodology
  4. What are the right tools for your sales management workflow process 
  5. Common sales process mistakes you should avoid

What is sales workflow management and why do you need it?

To define what is sales workflow management, it is important to first know that a sales workflow can also be known as a sales process (As we mentioned in our introduction). 

Basically, like most workflows, a sales process or workflow is a series of repeatable steps that your sales team can follow to move a lead from an early prospect stage to closing the deal and acquire them as a new client. 

When these steps are viewed from the beginning to the end of the cycle, these are referred to as a sales pipeline, which gives you the bigger picture of the future potential sale and the likelihood of having a conversion. 

Thus, sales management is overseeing and leading the sales representatives or agents to form strong bonds with prospect clients in order to close more deals, and the way they do it is by implementing said processes, strategies, and objectives to guide their team reach or even exceed objective goals.

A well structured sales workflow will help your sales team keep consistency in their service quality and deal closures by providing them a clear process to follow, which will help you:

  1. Gain insight in the number of leads in each stage of the sales funnel.
  2. Have a clearer view on the conversion likelihood at each stage.
  3. Understand better your target audience on each step.
  4. Identify which stages might require more attention and reformations.

How to create and map a sales process

In order to create a sales process, it is important to first map it, which is the process of going through each actual step in real-time and understand how it influences the organisation, the sales team, and finally the consumer. 

This will allow you to discover the inefficiencies in your process, rescue what is working well, and align your workflow to your sales goals. This helps the sales team develop a long-term sustainable strategy for business growth. 

Mapping your sales process will find fundamental answers to your decision making, which is crucial as it is the foundation for your team’s work and strategy.

Here are the 5 simple steps you can follow to start creating and mapping your sales process:

1. Begin with the end

To know where to start, you need to know where it ends. Mapping your sales process involves defining your set goals as a sales team. You can be as specific as you want, but always try to keep it simple. 

2. Have everyone involved

It takes more than just your sales team’s involvement to meet their goal. Other areas of the organisation such as marketing, customer service, and even IT could impact your sales process and end-client experience. So, it is always good to bring everyone together, share your objectives, and have their input in the entire process.

3. Map the sales process steps

Having the previous steps in consideration, you can now map your sales process. Start by looking back at your sales process history and identify which stage proved to be effective and where in the way your prospects dropped.  Also, it’s important to measure the duration of each step and start tracking which team areas are affecting your sales team and what are some actions you can implement to optimise those inefficiencies. 


4. Create a customer’s journey map

Having mapped the sales process, you can follow the same structure, but now in the customer’s perspective. You can use the same chart to make a parallel comparison on the actions and reactions of your client to every step of your sales process. Make sure that you have your buyer persona in mind for this when mapping to ensure that your sales team is always focused on your target audience.


5. Optimise, experiment, and analise 

Having both maps ready, you can start implementing all the changes you see fit to improve your sales pipeline. After you have tested your new strategies, you can measure the results to know how to keep optimizing your sales process.

Sales processes vs. Sales Methodology 

It’s important to know the difference between a sales process and a sales methodology. Although the two might be closely related, a sales process and sales methodology are two completely different things:

Sales process: A solid set of actions that your sales team has to follow

Sales methodology: A framework that supports your sales processes, 

Simply put, sales methodology is more of a philosophy than a series of steps.

What are the right tools to manage your sales management workflow process

The process of setting up a sales workflow can be overwhelming as it involves many team members of different areas and is a long process that requires a lot of trial and error to get it right and implement it correctly. However, you can make this process easy and painless by using project management and collaboration tools such as MORNINGMATE that can help you keep track of your different sales process strategies and keep up your sales team’s productivity and proactivity:

1. Sales pipeline management

Suggested tool: Task manager

Using a project management software is also about knowing how to use its tools creatively. You can use the work progress bar of the task manager to keep track of a current lead by defining each progress bubble as a status of your sales pipeline so you can easily see the state of a deal your trying to close and make comments and subtasks as you progress with the sale.

2. Service quality standards checklist

Suggested tool: To-do lists 

A To-do list can be used for more than simple task reminders. You can make list templates in which you have all the steps to ensure service quality and even assign each item to the manager that needs to revise it in order to check it and continue with your list.

3. Physical or virtual internal and external meetings

Suggested tool: Event planner

A big part of sales is to be constantly communicating, not only with the internal team and departments, but also with prospective customers. MORNINGMATE makes organizing your meeting schedules a piece of cake, whether it is physical or virtual with people inside or outside the organisation, you can continue with your workflow on the same platform with everyone.

4. Sales record keeping

Suggested tool: Project feed and advanced search

One of the biggest challenges in sales is to keep a good record of all activities and movements that have been done in each step to not only see how to close the deal, but also how to identify the pain points in the process that could help improve it. MORNINGMATE offers a project feed that automatically organises all your sales activities, articles, meetings, and files in chronological order so you don’t lose track of any work, and with the advanced search bar, finding something has never been easier.

5. Sales team workflow management

Suggested tool: Gantt chart 

Although this applies to almost all departments, it isn’t an exception for the sales team as well. Having a good and easy to understand visual of your entire work will keep you more aware of the things that are getting delayed and where you should put most of your focus and efforts on to not miss out on any tasks, leads, meetings, and more.

Common sales process mistakes you should avoid

Now that you have all the knowledge and tools to set up a sales workflow, here are some common mistakes sales managers make that you can easily avoid:

  1. Don’t leave any step of the sales process open to interpretation. Have them well defined and onboard your team on the exact processes.
  2. Keep optimizing and improving your sales process. As the organisational objectives and your consumer behavior changes, your sales workflow must evolve and adapt accordingly. 
  3. Don’t leave other teams out of the loop, especially marketing and align your commercial sale strategies to the marketing campaigns and content of the organisation.
  4. It’s not just about closing deals, it’s about the entire process. Concentrating on providing value on every step of your sales process is the key to increasing your chances of closing deals.