Single vs Multiple Sales Processes in Salesforce

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How Many Salesforce Sales Processes Do You Need?

Are you contemplating whether to have one or set up multiple sales processes in your Salesforce Org?
Prior to determining whether you need a single Sales Process or multiple Sales Process it is worthwhile to look at the definition of a Sales Process without reference to Salesforce:

“A defined set of repeatable, interrelated activities from market awareness through servicing customers that allows communication of progress to date to others within the company. Each activity has an owner and a standard, measurable outcome that provides inputs to another activity. Each result can be assessed, so that improvements can be made to (1) the skills of people performing the activities and / or (2) the sales process.”

–Michael Bosworth and John Holland, CustomerCentric Selling

Every organization is distinct, however, they all have one thing in common: they want to sell; and the power of analytics is the most valuable tool a company can use to identify what works best for that purpose, in other words, the series of steps taken to close deals effectively is nothing but a sales process. Every step right from finding and qualifying potential customers to closing the deal and later maintain a relationship can and should be mapped with Salesforce.  The focus should be on identifying the steps, creating a standard set of activities and also determining if different parts of the business sell in such a different way, that a distinct sales process would make sense.

DO YOU NEED TO RE-ENGINEER YOUR OWN SALES PROCESS?

Have a look at the default Sales stages in Salesforce and relate it to your own sales stages. Is it possible for your sales team to follow the same steps–stages–right from prospecting to closing the deal? Would that be possible also for all the products across varied geographies?
For some organizations, some stages might flow together extremely well while other stages might have a lot of friction, it’s really based on the nature of product, the target audience and sales channels. For instance, in the Real Estate industry, you might need different sales processes for commercial and residential property sales.


Here is an example of completely customized Sales Stages for commerical buyers in the Real estate industry:

✓ Prospecting
✓ Recommend Options
✓ Site Visit
✓ Under Client Evaluation
✓ Negotiation
✓ Verbal Commitment
✓ Loan/Cash Down payment
✓ Closed Won
✓ Closed Lost

Organizations dealing in B2B & B2C environments might also need separate sales processes. Here is a snapshot of default sales stages in salesforce

sales stages in salesforce

These stages are completely customizable, they can be added or removed to fit both single and multiple processes.

multiple processes in salesforce

The values added from the screen above becomes available in the screen shown below so new processes can be defined.
new sales process in salesforce

The steps involved in setting up multiple Sales Process are:
  • Define Sales Stages for all Sales Processes in the Opportunity Stages picklist
  • Create a new Sales Process
  • Include the Opportunity Sales Stage picklist values in the Sales Process
  • Create a new Opportunity Record Type and select the Sales Process and which profiles should have access
  • Optionally create a Sales Process specific Opportunity Page Layout that is used by the record type
Here are examples where multiple Sales Processes may be useful:
Products Business Unit vs Services Business Unit
Geography Based Sales Processes North American sales process vs German process
Deal Size: A large deal may have a different Sales Process to a small deal
Customer Segment: Residential vs Commercial
Channel: Direct vs Indirect


In order to answer the original question: if a single sales process is perfectly aligned to the customers buying process then there no need to turn a simple thing into something complex.  However, this is about efficiency for the Sales team and for the customer experience; so with that being said, despite the fact that sometimes “well-defined processes” are difficult and time consuming to create, a well-defined process (multiple sales processes) can tremendously help to increase sales, so don’t settle for something simple if it doesn’t truly show signs of success in sales!

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