<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/4z2e82sWyhmveGlCzuJa" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
setvi-sales-roi-1000px

Sales Process Best Practices Part: 2

Authored by TopOPPS on April 16, 2014

Stage Naming  Convention

This is often the part of a sales process that seems simple but often confuses people.  For example is the stage called “Qualified” or “Qualifying”?

Qualified – Means something has already happened.

Qualifying - Means you are still going through the process.

Following the above concept take a look at the two different sales process naming conventions:

Process 1
Qualifying
Defining
Negotiating
Pending
Closed Won

Process 2

QualifiedDefined
Negotiated
Committed
Closed Won

You can see that following Process 1 allows for people to truly understand where the deal is in the sales cycle and in Process 2 it allows for personal interpretations (often by management) that the deal is further along in the sales process than reality.

How often do you hear this?

• I think my sales reps are sandbagging?

• I don’t sandbag, but I am very conservative because I don’t want management breathing down my neck about a deal.

 Advice to management: Really good sales reps will not sandbag, but they loathe something like Process 2 because they feel management has built a process that is not real.

Advice to sales reps: Your managers are always going to be asking about deals in your pipeline, get over it. If you have a good process and you follow it in the CRM, direct them back to their process. If the process is broken, well then you need to politely explain that to them as well.

Defining Exit Criteria for each stage

This is something that very few people understand but if they fixed this one thing, their entire sales process and forecast would improve immediately.  For this discussion we are going to assume Process 1 is our sales process.

So the question is when does something move from Qualifying to Defining?  The answer lies in what specific information you want.

To keep it simple we want Qualifying to include the following:

 • B – There is a line item in a department budget for your solution.

• A – You know who is the “Yes “person and who are the “No” people

• N – You have established the prospect has a real pain your solution solves.

• T – You have established that the prospect has a compelling event.

 Sales Process

• Qualifying
• Defining
• Negotiating
• Pending
• Closed Won

Sales Stage Advice: Now because we have another stage called DEFINING it’s possible that you could claim knowing Authority and Need tells you the deal is qualified. If so you need a simple checkbox that a rep can click that says Qualifying Exit Criteria the sales rep checks. This means the sales rep cannot sandbag and in that management will have to trust their sales rep.

Best Practices Advice:  – In most companies requiring full BANT to declare a deal qualified is best. It means the top of your funnel is full but also keeps the clutter from the rest of the funnel and gives you a better ability to forecast.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Lists by Topic

see all

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

January 15, 2021

Best Practices For B2B Sales - Monthly Sales Meeting

This blog focuses on the third part of the Sales Management Process, the monthly sales meetings.  These meetings are held on a monthly basis, usually twice a quarter, at the beginning of the months when the quarterly business review[QBR] is not being held.  This is a team call with the sales manager and his/her sales team, plus sales support and marketing.  While it may not be feasible to invite marketing to all the one on one’s and sales forecast calls, they should attend the monthly sales meetings and the QBRs.  This will help align marketing and sales. ...

sales management, Sales Process, best practices, sales best practices

December 14, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Forecast Call

This blog focuses on the second part of the Sales Management Process, the sales forecast calls.  The last three blogs focused on Sales Coaching and One-on-Ones, the first part of four parts that make up the Sales Management Process.     A Word of Caution Both One-on-Ones and Forecast Calls are weekly meetings, but don’t make your One-on-Ones the forecast call.  One-on-One time is for the sales rep.  This is the sales rep’s  sales development time.  It is your time to help them become  A-players.  The Sales Forecast Call is all  ...

Sales Calls, Sales Forecasts, sales best practices, Sales Forecast Call

November 21, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching-Performance Reviews

This is a continuation of the previous two blogs on sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses on reviewing the sales rep’s overall performance during a one-on-one.  In a series of weekly one-on-one meetings this topic typically comes up once every four weeks.   ...

sales management, AI for Sales, best practices, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

October 30, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Weekly Pipeline/Opportunity Review

This is a continuation of the previous blog on sales rep coaching.  The prior blog reviewed how sales rep coaching fits within the sales management process and outlined best practices related to “call coaching”, one aspect of sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses another aspect of sales rep coaching --  sales pipeline reviews and detail opportunity reviews.  The next blog will focus on the third aspect of sales rep coaching, sales rep performance one-on-ones.   ...

sales management, Sales Process, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, automated sales rep coaching, sales best practices, Sales coaching

October 16, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching and One-on-Ones

Sales rep coaching and sales manager/sales rep one-on-ones are the catalyst for sales optimization and sales growth. They are also the tool for increasing the sales rep proficiency and converting C and B quality sales reps to B and A players.  Some supporting research from CSO Insights reveals a correlation between quota attainment and coaching.  The study found the better the sales manager coaching the higher quota attainment.   ...

Sales Executives, Sales Tools, AI for Sales, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

August 26, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Management Process

The next four blog posts will focus on the sales management process.  This is the overarching sales processes between sales leadership and sales managers, sales managers and sales reps and sales operations with sales leadership, sales management and sales reps.  These processes align the different sales groups towards the same goals. This is the fourth category of blog series Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management based on the original blog post for this best practice series started on January 21st. ...

sales management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

August 19, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Opportunity Postmortem

or a sales team, complacency is the enemy of improvement and growth.   Top sales teams continuously improve to achieve better standards, no matter what level of success they have reached in the past.  The blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement, focused on using analytics as a basis to identify bottlenecks in the sales process and create a process for continual improvement.  That is one way.  Doing a sales postmortem is another.  It provides an operational perspective on how to enhance the sales process. ...

sales best practices, sales opportunity management, sales account management

August 11, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Always Know the Next Step

The most important step in any sales process is the NEXT step.   It is a hurdle that must be cleared to give you the right to move to the “NEXT, NEXT” step.  The next step is not granted, but earned by successful completion of the current step.  The next step has to be set up with the buyer as you finish out the current step.  ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility, sales opportunity management