Sales leaders, why are you using the standard sales stages in Salesforce? Or any other CRM for that matter? Do you think your CRM knows the sales stages of your business? Absolutely not!
What is a Sales Stage? Like belts in Karate a sales stage measures the progress of your sales deal. To make it worse, the accuracy of the forecast relies on your sales rep’s opinion of these stages. How can you get accurate results when the real outcome of that forecast could get them fired?
Stop forecasting your stages with vague words that are defaults in your CRM. Why? Because stages are very open to interpretation of each rep. Remove the ambiguity of the stages and you increase the accuracy of your forecast.
Forecast using clear and unarguable milestones. A milestone is an action a buyer has made, not the seller.
Create or edit your stages to represent 4-7 milestones that happen in 80%+ of your sales cycles. See the following example that replaces the old vague stages:
Remove the ambiguity. There is no question between a sales rep and sales leader when a milestone stages is accomplished. Stages 2.0 represent the buyer’s journey rather than the seller’s journey. So why should we track the buyers stages/milestones instead of our own stages/milestones?
Follow the Buyer Cycle
”Don’t use milestones that track the sales cycle but the buyer cycle”
The business world has an epidemic of “Buyer Dysfunction.” With over 6 decision makers on average in business purchases, companies suffer analysis paralysis. The sellers know how to sell, but the buyers don’t know how to buy.
Your sales stages in your CRM should track the buyer’s milestones and not your sales reps’ milestones.
80% of buyers have requested more help from the sales rep in the buying process. Why not outline every step needed by your other customers that made the deal happen?
Imagine a world with predictable sales numbers, accurate rep forecasts, and buyers enabled to buy. Now stop imagining and email your SalesForce Admin immediately to get upgraded to Stages 2.0.
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