We use many sales and marketing tools to increase the productivity of our team. We’re also constantly looking for opportunities to simplify our CRM to drive adoption. We recently streamlined the stage definitions of our Salesforce.com opportunity funnel to eliminate any ambiguity across our client services, sales development, business development and inbound marketing teams.
While this streamlining simplifies the stage selection process, the larger benefit is created by putting the team’s emphasis on gaining client/prospect commitment. And commitment can only be gained through empathy and alignment.
Instead of focusing on completing the 7-8 step checklist to progress to the next stage, the focus is on the gaining commitment signals given by the client/prospect to move forward.
Fathom uses 5 stages:
- Closed-Won (hopefully)
For our hard-core sales enthusiasts, our friend Jim Keenan has a great post about developing mutual commitment in a sales cycle. Jim states, “There is a certain level of work both the salesperson and the prospect must perform together for any sales cycle to be efficient and successful.”
You can also view this as simply laying the groundwork for a true partnership. Our best client engagements happen when there is deep mutual commitment/effort on both sides.