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Consistency is Key: Building a Sales Process Your AEs Will Actually Use

4 min read
Updated Aug. 25, 2021
Published Aug. 11, 2017

Between inconsistent pipeline management and difficult-to-track metrics, more and more modern sales leaders are putting standardized sales processes in place for their account executive teams. And the efficiencies gained from such effective sales processes can be huge.

By forming a consistent process, or cadence of actions, across the team, you provide a blueprint for your sales organization that removes all the guesswork. AEs don’t need to second guess whether they’ve talked to a contact before or what information they’ve previously sent. Forming a consistent process removes that guesswork.

So having a process in place seems like a no-brainer, right? The hard part is designing a process that AEs actually want to implement. You need to offer them a process that fits into their day-to-day and doesn’t hinder their ability to reach out to potential buyers.

As a sales leader, there are steps you can take to make sure that you deliver just the right process to your AEs. Here are three tips to creating AE cadences your team can seamlessly apply to achieve greater success.

Define the Stages of the Buying Cycle

When you are instituting a set process across your AE team, consider what you already have in place. Most account executives work out of opportunities in Salesforce. Those opportunities are then defined by their own opportunity stage. Some of these stages differ depending on your organization, but an account’s buying cycle progresses within the opportunity from qualified to close.

Your reps are familiar with their opportunity stages since their progress depends on them. Implementing a process that lines up with the stages and buying cycle your AEs are already used to will help them quickly acclimate to something like a cadence.

So create a Salesloft cadence for each opportunity stage. The series of steps within the cadence will help keep you on task and in communication with potential buyers. When they complete the cadence and move on to the next opportunity stage, use automation rules to move people into the appropriate cadence. This way your reps will keep progress moving forward until they reach “Closed Won.”

Align with All the Right Players

Once the series of stages are in motion, create the process that aligns with the right persona. Sales isn’t just about sending a series of touches to whoever within a sales organization; it’s about educating and engaging the right people throughout your sales process.

Gartner research found that an average of seven people are involved in sales decisions today. Your reps shouldn’t be reaching out to only one decision maker. They need to bring all the key players in from the initial conversations as part of the buying process.

Have your AEs map the hierarchy early on with everyone that needs to be involved from managers to VPs to additional stakeholders. Then fit each person to the cadence that aligns with their role’s persona. Each cadence should contain consistent steps with the appropriate content for that individual contact. So, for a VP you may want to share enlightening articles or best practices for your product. Move the contact along the process while offering valuable content along the way.

Build Team Cadences

A slew of cadences is great for maintaining a fluid sales process and engaging with specific buyers. But, let’s be honest, the idea of each AE creating their own cadences is overwhelming for managers and reps alike. You, the sales manager, may be concerned with what kinds of processes AEs implement. AEs fret over the amount of time building out the process takes in the first place.

Team cadences take the hassle of individual creation away in exchange for a repeatable process that is approved by the whole team. You can put together the cadences that are best suited for your reps based off stage and persona. Then reps can add the contacts they engage with as a means of keeping up consistent communication and efficiently work through their pipeline.

By implementing consistent sales processes for your AEs, you’re providing an orchestrated workflow that will drive momentum through your sales process. By working from preexisting stages, aligning with the right personas, and streamlining the process across your entire team, your efforts will positively impact pipeline and increase closed revenue.

Download a copy of the ebook today and take your account executive team into the modern sales era.