Structure vs. Simplicity: Which Is Better for Your Sales Process?

Posted by Josh Paul on Dec 5, 2019 1:34:15 PM
Josh Paul

Optimizing your sales process

Sales managers don't have easy jobs. They need to keep their team motivated and performing throughout the year. One of the biggest tools they have at their disposal is their sales process. 

I’ve noticed that the most successful sales managers do the following:

  • Have an established sales process in place.
  • Get their team to follow this unified process.
  • Make sure each sales team member understands and uses all the tools available in their CRM. 

Unfortunately, two things can happen if you can't get your team to adopt your process and use the tools that you've invested in for them. 

  1. You don't have visibility into what's going on/wrong, so you can't diagnose and address the weak points in your sales process. 
  2. Your sales team is not following a consistent process and that leaves too much room for improvisation and guesswork. 

These two problems can spell sales disaster for your organization. 

In this blog post and video, I'm going to show you how to overcome one of the biggest challenges that sales managers face with CRM and sales process adoption.


A Sales Manager's Biggest Challenge

The two forces at work when designing and implementing your CRM and sales process are structure and simplicity

The Importance Of Structure In Your Sales Process

In this context, structure entails all of the steps that you want your sales reps to take and all of the data that you want them to collect. This includes all the steps necessary for their lead intelligence, as well as what information is needed by the sales management team. 

The Importance Of Simplicity In Your Sales Process

Simplicity relates to how easy it is for your sales team to stick to a process and adopt/use their CRM tools. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to perform at a higher velocity, touch more leads, and close more deals.

In my experience, I’ve seen a lot of sales managers create playbooks that are heavily leaning towards structure. This method usually doesn’t work for one simple reason. The more tasks that you give a sales rep, the fewer that they're going to be able to follow consistently. 

While I believe that structure is really important in mapping out an entire sales process that's unique to your specific business, it's the simplicity that drives adoption.

So how do you balance this equation as a sales executive? You need the structure and data in your CRM, but you also need your sales reps to be able to work leads at a high velocity, close deals, and most importantly - stick to your process.

sales process success

Sales Process Secret: Let the Simplicity Stem from Structure

The secret is you can (and must) have both. You want to make your sales process and your CRM as simple as possible for your salespeople. That means they aren’t going to need to touch too many fields, enter too much data, or adhere to too many steps. 

But then how is that structure going to manifest itself?

Ultimately, you’ll need to provide automation on the back end to build that structure. By creating a complex automation process behind the scenes tailored to your company’s specific lead management process, your sales reps will still experience a simple, easy-to-adopt process on the front end.

From a manager’s perspective, you’ll get all of the sales data and pipeline tracking information you need to make decisions, forecast revenue, and address problems. However, none of those details will be exposed to your sales reps. Don’t clutter their day and stunt their momentum with an over-engineered structure - regardless of how it important it is to your business. 

Remember, you can have it both ways!

As important as structure and data is to your role as a sale manager, it is equally as important to protect the simplicity and clarity that your sales team needs to perform at a high level.

And, as we discussed earlier, the simpler your lead management framework in your CRM is for the sales rep to follow, the more successful your sales team (and CRM adoption programs!) will be. 

Sales Process Takeaway

You can have both the simplicity that sales reps need and the structure that sales managers require all in one place. At Pipeline Ops, we implement very complex, business-specific sales automation in the HubSpot CRM, so that the process and toolset are incredible simple for clients’ sales reps to follow. By meeting both parties’ needs, you’ll effectively end the tug-of-war game of structure versus simplicity and allow these forces to successfully work together.

structure vs. simple sales process

The main solution is to bury the structure under the surface where sales reps can't see it, leaving them with the simplest process possible. And that simplicity will allow them to touch more leads, handle more deals, and close more deals - all without losing that personal touch. 

Meanwhile, your sales executive team will have confidence that their team is following the structure. They're also going to have the data that they need to make decisions, address weak points, and reward people who are following the process. 

New call-to-action


Topics: HubSpot, Sales, Lead Management, CRM Adoption