Sales Process Intelligence: The Agilon-POTENCI (A-P) Framework
One reason sales transformation has become more important now than ever is because often new sales methodologies and processes are not moving the needle enough to adequately address the sales paradigm flip, which has resulted in buyers completing a majority of their purchasing decision before the first contact with sellers. To catch up to where the buyer is in their evaluation process (journey), sellers must execute a superior engagement program that addresses the buyer’s specific expectations, where they are, in a way that is compelling.
What is Buyer Enablement and how does it work?
Buyer Enablement begins with alignment of the buyer evaluation process to the sales process. This first requires breaking sales engagement down into smaller pieces, across multiple teams and the various tools sellers use throughout the sales lifecycle. Everything needs to be aligned and attributed, which requires more than simply telling sellers how to execute. Sales transformation first needs to be defined from a buyer perspective. Then processes can be harmonized to improve visibility and collaboration, with a feedback loop to ensure maximum results.
The Role of Sales Process Analysis
Large sales organizations include field sales, inside sales, account management, business development, channel/partner development, lead development, sales development, services consulting, customer success, with sales engineering, solution architecture, sales enablement, subject matter experts, field marketing, sales learning & training, and more to support their teams. Each of these have their own processes, while remaining aligned to the core sales engagement process and stages. Although these are human activities being discussed, tools also have a role in driving sales success.
Automated process mining and mapping provides process analytics, analysis, insights, and resulting intelligence. All needed for process optimization and critical for the achievement of faster sales engagement issue resolution and process transformation. That helps sales organizations remove the constraints and barriers (non- and indirect selling time) to execute a more efficient and effective sales process, as well as ultimately deliver a higher level of value engagement with customers.
This agile way of thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate sales technologies, assets, and support to optimizing sales motion across the entire sales lifecycle. Process intelligence enables continuous adaptation and improvement through a better understanding of internal processes, visibility into flow of work, and improved predictability of outcomes. These can be achieved by collecting and analyzing metrics needed to evaluate leading indicators, not just lagging indicators.
Automation provides a fast and cost-efficient way to examine processes across the sales lifecycle, at every level.
Process mining provides a fast and accurate analysis of sales processes, across multiple or individual teams and functions. The event logs can be used to identify bottlenecks and issues affecting performance. Rather than wasting time on understanding processes, organizations can use their time to resolve issues.
Sales operations and management can see if their actual processes conform to established standards. And when there is non-conformance, reasons for deviations. Conformance trends can uncover best practices. For example, lead-to-close processes can take a long time. Examination of trends can uncover a more effective process (deviation) that will reduce sales cycle time. With process mining, sales organizations can discover if they are using appropriate strategies for increasing conversion rates.
Organizations can use process intelligence to better align and harmonize multiple sales functions across all stages of the sales lifecycle. For example, insights from process mining can be used to inform stakeholder strategies for realizing better synergies across functional teams.
Process logs can provide a view into group dynamics, useful for identifying relationships across the organization, teams and between individuals. Process discovery can reveal performance bottlenecks and gaps, and new best practices.
The Sales Process Intelligence Framework Basics
The Sales Process Intelligence Framework makes use of data maintained in selling systems (CRM and other sales tools) to support quantification and systematization of selling activities, by enabling the ability to discover, monitor, analyze, and improve end-to-end processes based on event logs. This establishes a connection between process models and methodologies and reality. This is accomplished by first defining an activity name for process steps. Then specific use cases provide guidance for grouping together instances of the same process. Finally, activities must be in a ordered structure.
Process Analysis Flexibility
Analysis can include multiple ways of evaluating sales motion and activity attribution for the resource performing the activity. Benchmarking is enabled by conducting a comparative analysis between historic data (event logs from the past) and current data. For example, target number of days for a sales stage (the goal) can be compared to data from last month and to current data. Deviations can trigger an event to evaluate the existing target and/or the process model itself. If a repeated deviant process execution pattern with better performance is uncovered, it might make sense to replace the current process model with the new pattern. Another example is a seller that does not conform to the sales process, with resulting negative outcomes. Specific training could be the output of that process analysis.
The Process Intelligence Framework helps determine the best version of formalized sales processes, with the added benefit of transformation of random acts of selling into repeatable, reliable sales engagement solutions based on real results and best practices.
Discover New Ways of Selling
The A-P Process Intelligence Methodology, based on the A-P Process Intelligence Framework, examines time and activities spent in sales lifecycle processes and stages to identify deviations and bottlenecks that impact sales motion, while uncovering new ways of selling that maximizes the performance of your sales team.
Improving Sales Maturity and Performance Excellence
The way we sell is evolving, and it is a constant challenge to keep ahead of changes that impact sales results. Buyer and market disruptions to popular selling methodologies and strategies are happening at lightning speed. How sellers manage their time is a significant factor impacting their success.
The insights from visibility into sales process dynamics ensures change happens quickly, with a relatively simple action plan, improving sales maturity and performance excellence, delivering better results.