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Defining the Sales Process


A complex sales process was creating inefficiencies and frustration for the sales force.

An industrial manufacturer had a complex internal sales process that was preventing the company from tracking and managing the sales process from leads to opportunities to the sale. Limited visibility into the sales pipeline was hindering the forecasting and revenue projections. No formal customer segmentation existed to focus sales pursuits on profitable, attainable business. Further investigation revealed:

• Sales Processes

o No real-time visibility into entire sales pipeline (campaign, lead and opportunity management).

o No progress or milestone approach for advancing complex sales to closure

o Ineffective and time consuming usage of the CRM tool by sales management and the field

o No tactical operational plans existed for selling with alliance partners

• Organizational Structure and Roles

o Sales support team was not part of Sales and Marketing despite core sales mission

o Insufficient pricing authority given to regional sales management despite investment in regional structure and field sales model

• Product Customization

o Sizable volume of customizations requested and granted

o Customer requests treated similarly, independent of level of complexity or expected value of sale

• Metrics & Incentives

o New incentive plan was complex with the inclusion of distributor revenue in sales plans and was not well communicated to the field

o No real-time visibility into pipeline performance (e.g., progress, yield or win rates percentage)

o Low compliance on bid tab capture and submission


Business Unlimited was hired to develop a sales and sales management process to allow for visibility into the entire sales pipeline and focus on yield management.

Activities included:

• Facilitation of cross-functional sales process workshops to define new sales processes and approach with agreed upon stages and milestones

• Development of a high level end-to-end sales process map from lead generation to sales and customer service

• Integration of sales process into existing CRM tool and development and facilitation of sales process training

• Analysis and recommendation of existing CRM platform and management of the vendor selection process for a sales configuration tool


The results of Business Unlimited's recommendations led to:

• Deployment of a true sales process to manage long-term, complex sales pursuits through the whole lifecycle without additional investment in IT or software by using the existing CRM tool

• Real adoption by the sales force within three months of deployment

• Cross functional reporting and insights for sales and executive management

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