The Ultimate Step-by-Step Sales Process Template (2024)

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Get ready to create a repeatable sales process template. This guide walks through how to create the ultimate sales process template that will boost prospecting, qualification, and forecasting so that you can arm your salespeople with the knowledge they need to close deals faster.

Prepare to take the uncertainty out of prospecting and lead qualification, create performance and conversion rate expectations, and get your salespeople aligned.

What is a sales process?

A sales process defines how a company’s salespeople should prospect, qualify leads, handle objections, and close deals. It’s a guide for existing sales reps and a training tool for new ones.

Do you have a well-documented sales process? Or, do you have that one sales rep who brags about “just winging it” or “going with the flow?” Chances are their performance is not consistent. They might get lucky, but that free-flowing “process” isn’t exactly reliable. Worse, that rep’s attitude infects your sales team, and you end up with a company that can’t meet its targets.

There are many approaches and methodologies for creating and communicating a sales process. The first step is identifying what you want to achieve.

Why build a sales process?

A sales process sets your team up for success. It translates into deeper accountability, better forecasting, and increased revenue.

And with more than 1/3 of salespeople turning over, the need for a sales process has never been greater. Why? Because it gives your salespeople the information they need to excel at their jobs. A sales process also helps them create a consistent experience for your prospects. In short, a sales process template lets sales reps know exactly what to do at any given point in the funnel, whether new or experienced.

81% of sales and marketing teams don’t review and update their sales processes, meaning their teams are not operating at their peak performance level. More often than not, sales managers know it’s a good idea to have a repeatable sales process but don’t know where to start.

At Spekit, we empower sales reps by delivering knowledge in the tools they use every day. More on that later, but first, we’ll cover sales process steps. Then, we’ll share our sales process and how we use it to improve our sales team’s performance.

PRO TIP: Access the free prospect-centered MEDDIC Sales Process: 7-Step Implementation Guide here.

Sales process template steps

1. Prospecting

2. Lead qualification

3. Connecting

4. Identify pain points

5. Conduct a demo or free trial

6. Handling objections and questions

7. Make an offer

8. Close the deal

9. Deliver the product

10. Cross-sell/upsell

Every company will have a slightly different sales process because of its capabilities, target market, and culture. Before going further, here are some awesome resources to help you get started:

Here’s a sneak peek of the end-to-end Spekit sales process:

Spekit's complete sales process graph

1. Prospecting and lead generation

Prospecting is the stage in the sales process where your marketing or sales team actively seeks out potential leads. The goal is to create a pipeline of potential customers your team can engage with and convert into customers. Prospecting comes in different forms. You can prospect on social media and create lead-generation campaigns. You can skip this step if your sales process relies on getting leads from third-party sources (like referrals or vendor buying lists).

Prospecting is a key step in the sales process, and SEO can be a powerful tool in helping your team find potential leads. By optimizing your website for search engine rankings, you can increase visibility and drive more organic traffic to your website. Doing this will generate more leads and increase the size of your lead pipeline. By optimizing content for search engine rankings, you can ensure the right people see your website and help your team connect with the right prospects.

Related activities include:

  • Searching LinkedIn
  • Attending trade shows
  • Attending networking events
  • Email outreach
  • Cold outbound lead generation

2. Lead qualification

Not all prospects are created equal. Some have the potential to be fantastic clients. Others may turn out to be bad-fit customers and should be avoided. It’s not just a matter of whether or not the prospect can afford it – it’s about whether their needs match your product’s capabilities. Compare the prospect to any Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP) that you’ve created in advance. If your leads are being pre-qualified by another team, mention that in your sales process documentation to clarify the responsibilities.

Additionally, you should have a lead qualification system in place to track and monitor the progress of each lead throughout the sales process. Having an organized sales process template can help with this.

Related activities include:

  • Research the prospect online and on social media
  • Conduct a discovery call
Lead qualification criteria for a sales process template.

3. Connect

This will be your first “real” contact with the prospect once they’ve passed the qualifying stage. It can happen over multiple channels, like phone calls, email, social media, or in person. In some companies, the BDR/SDR hands the prospect to the sales rep. If there has been no prior contact with the prospect, your sales rep may need to take a more proactive approach. Remember, getting in touch may take several tries if this first attempt is a cold call.

Related activities include:

  • Reach out attempts via different channels
  • Defining meeting specifics (location, channel, date/time)
  • Identifying and inviting key decision-makers

4. Identify pain points

This is where you dig deeper into a prospect’s situation and identify the areas where they need help. Note that this doesn’t all need to happen during your initial call. You can accomplish this by asking them effective questions to draw the right information out or by conducting surveys and providing questionnaires.

Related activities include:

  • Preparing questions in advance based on your prospect research
  • Interviewing decision-makers
  • Interviewing important stakeholders
  • Sending surveys and/or questionnaires
Qualification criteria for a sales process guide.

5. Conduct a demo or free trial

Very few people will be willing to purchase a product they haven’t seen, so you’ll probably have to provide a demo or free trial to get the prospect truly interested. Do your best to ensure that important stakeholders like a line manager and/or an end user get to see the demo. Many products executives purchase fall flat because they don’t get feedback from the people who will be using them.

Related activities include:

  • Building a trial environment to match a prospect’s use case
  • Scheduling free trial start and end dates if applicable
  • Defining a list of users allowed to access a free trial
  • Customizing demo script to match prospect needs

6. Handling objections and questions

Your prospect will likely have questions and/or objections after the demo (you should be worried if they don’t). Some of them will be simple and easily addressed using your team’s stock knowledge of the product, while others may require the assistance of a sales engineer or someone from the product team. When handling objections, your sales reps need to be honest. Don’t let them fall into the trap of saying what the prospect wants to hear just to make a sale.

The truth will come out when the prospect finally uses the product. Many sales organizations have a policy of clawing back sales compensation if a customer churns soon after buying.

Related activities include:

  • Consulting with Customer Success or Engineering
  • Having a follow-up call with a sales engineer
  • Adjust the trial environment to address objections

7. Make an offer

Once all objections have been handled to the prospect’s satisfaction, it’s time to draft and issue a formal proposal. This proposal will include as many details as possible about the transaction, from what they’re paying to what they’re getting. Be sure to add details like the purchase amount, applicable discounts, and number of licenses purchased. You should also include the payment terms, expected support level, and renewal period. The prospect may negotiate the terms, in which case you will make adjustments until both parties are satisfied.

Related activities include:

  • Draw up a formal proposal document
  • Arrange meetings to discuss terms
  • Document any questions and concerns

8. Close the deal

The deal can be closed when your sales rep and prospect agree on final terms and conditions. This is where contracts are drawn up and signed and POs issued. Depending on the situation, your team may have to do some last-minute encouragement to get a customer to close sooner if you’re trying to catch a quota period. Such encouragement includes offering incentives like a free month of service, discounts, or perhaps creating a sense of urgency.

Related activities include:

  • Get approvals from the prospect
  • Secure purchase order
  • Determine payment method and timeline
  • Clear contracts with legal
Sales process template step 8 - close the deal

9. Deliver the product

The sale doesn’t end when the purchase is made. Many deals fail after the contract is signed. Don’t let your sales team relax until after fulfillment has been completed to everyone’s satisfaction. This could range from delivering a physical product to accessing an online platform or software product.

Related activities include:

  • Scheduling delivery of the physical product (if applicable)
  • Handoff to customer success or implementations
  • Check-in calls to gauge levels of satisfaction

10. Cross-sell/upsell

It’s worth following up with the customer after they’ve beenusing the product for a while to see if there’s an opportunity to expand their product usage, whether by adding additional licenses or offering related products or services. Different organizations tackle this in different ways. Some would prefer that the customer success team handle this, while others have dedicated account management teams to expand existing customers.

Related activities include:

  • Conducting a QBR to assess the needs
  • Coordinating upsell campaign with customer success
  • Reaching out to your product team for new features

Hint hint – we partnered with the team at Skaled to create this incredible Sales Playbook framework in Google Sheets. You can download it for free here!

Sales process playbook framework

Building your sales process template in Spekit

With Spekit, sales playbooks live where sales plays happen. Spekit surfaces information where and where reps need it, allowing them to close deals faster without disrupting productivity. Spekit enables the creation of contextual, agile playbooks that surface across every customer touchpoint. The playbook content is broken down into bite-sized answers to guide reps through sales processes and workflows seamlessly. In other words, critical information gets delivered through the tools your salespeople use every day.

So your sales process isn’t locked away in a learning management system or an aging document; instead, relevant information surfaces as your salespeople and customers move through the stages of your sales process.

Building out your sales process template in Spekit.

Rapid adjustments to your sales process template

Sales process templates in Spekit can be easily adjusted as your strategy evolves. You don’t have to wait months to make changes that you know will drive growth. Instead, you can publish and communicate playbook updates in minutes. Spekit also allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your sales process, determine who is using your resources, and identify areas of improvement.

Pipeline building with in-app persona guides

Help reps build more pipelines faster with in-app persona guides. Since prospecting happens in real-time, your playbooks should too. Reveal competitive battle cards, objection handling tips, and more in the moment of need.

Putting your sales process template battle cards in LinkedIn.
“Spekit’s true power is delivering playbook snippets in context. If I train my head of sales to qualify, it makes more sense for him to see the process when he’s about to qualify someone. Contextual enablement is definitely the future.” – SAM CHOI, VORTEXA - READ THE FULL CASE STUDY

Streamlined planning and account building

Spekit delivers in-app sales plays for high-value accounts, target industries, personas, and more. No more scrolling through a 100-page Google Doc.

“Spekit has served as our one-stop-shop for all of our reps that have questions regarding our sales processes and best practices, which saves me time so I can focus on other priorities for the team.” – KYLE ELIGIO, SENDLANE - READ THE FULL CASE STUDY

Benefits of using Spekit for Your Sales Process Template

Sales reps using Spekit have achieved 20% higher quota attainment, a 70% increased deal save rate, and spent 50% less time communicating new initiatives and changes.

Real-time coaching and support

Help reps push deals through the funnel with real-time coaching and support. Top-performing sales reps are 2x more likely to report they can always find answers to questions independently.

“Spekit allows our reps to be self-sufficient in mastering their tools, sales processes, and the continuous changes to our business in a contextual and intuitive way.” - HARISH MOHAN, OUTREACH.IO

Retention and expansion with customer playbooks

Drive retention and expansion with customer playbooks embedded within Clari, Gainsight, or any web app. This gives your Customer Success team the knowledge they need to turn new customers into lifelong champions.

“With the help of Spekit, questions never go unanswered. Spekit has significantly reduced the time employees spend searching for content.” – GLORIA RAMCHANDANI, COPADO - READ THE FULL CASE STUDY

Readymade playbooks

If you don’t have time to create playbooks from scratch, Spekit has readymade playbooks. Get the JBarrows Filling the Funnel Playbook, LinkedIn Sales Navigator Prospecting Playbook, or ZoomInfo Best Practices Playbook.

For a step-by-step breakdown of how to build each stage of your sales process in Spekit, watch this webinar.

Sales process final thoughts

You need at least one documented sales process if you want your sales team to hit consistently – or even exceed – quota. But it’s better to cover your bases and have multiple processes for different scenarios. Using our documentation process template to generate these sales processes, you can create a comprehensive set of team guidelines so that your sales reps can be confident and know exactly what to do, no matter their situation.

Contact us to digitize your sales process template and drive adoption with the leading just-in-time learning platform.

About the author

Elle Brayton
Director, Content & Communications
Elle is a boy momma 2x, brand builder, storyteller, growth hacker, and marketing leader with 12+ years of experience scaling SaaS B2B organizations.
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