|     5 min read

How to Structure a Sales Workflow that Closes Deals Faster

Pablo Penades

Mar 04, 2024

We all look forward to those deals that close in the blink of an eye. The ones that zoom to the end of your sales pipeline, almost like magic.

Of course, there’s no such thing as sales sorcery. But when you set up your sales workflow to maximize efficiency, the speed at which your leads turn into customers can feel like magic.

A well-structured sales workflow gives your sales representatives a clear path to closing more deals—faster. And these changes don’t have to be drastic. Something as simple as having leads schedule meetings online can save time and improve the experience for everyone involved.

However, that’s only the beginning. There are countless ways to streamline your sales workflow—and we’re sharing them with you.

What is a sales workflow?

First, a definition (because we love those, right?): A sales workflow is a systematic process that guides leads through their sales journey, from first contact to deal closure. A smooth sales workflow should seamlessly funnel leads through your sales pipeline.

Unfortunately, some sales teams experience workflow disruptions thanks to manual data entry, siloed tech stacks, never-ending tabs, and so on.

The good news? Tech solutions, like Dooly, can streamline your sales workflow significantly. Just check out this case study, where Dooly slashed Intercom sales reps’ time on Salesforce by 50%.

Every sales team has a sales workflow—but only the best have a frictionless one (and makes you question if sales sorcery is actually possible.).

How can teams benefit from a low-friction sales workflow?

While taking the friction out of your sales workflow requires time and effort, it’s worth it. A streamlined workflow can offer the following benefits:

  • Lower mental friction – When it comes to customer relations, sales reps have enough to focus on. The last thing they need is a cumbersome workflow that takes energy and attention away from higher-value tasks.
  • Less task switching – When your tools are seamlessly integrated and you automate key processes, your sales reps can avoid unnecessary interruptions, stay immersed in their work, and be more productive.
  • More selling time – Sales teams with streamlined workflows spend more time on revenue-generating activities—and less time on manual data entry or admin work. Not only will deals close faster, but there’ll be more of them.
  • Better data quality and hygiene – A cleaner workflow gives you cleaner data, which can vastly improve your forecasting accuracy.
  • Simplified performance management – An optimized workflow doesn’t just benefit sales reps—it also supports managers. When leaders have a clearer view of individual deal health and overall strategy, they can easily stay on top of team performance and offer guidance when necessary.

11 crucial steps for a successful sales workflow

So, how can you set up a successful sales workflow and reap the benefits listed above?

Here are a few guiding principles to get you started:

  • Reduce friction points – Purposefully integrate processes into your sales reps workflows to help with adoption. Continuously monitor your sales workflow for inefficiencies and resolve them promptly.
  • Add intentional friction – As it turns out, strategic friction can be useful. Something that stops your sales reps in their tracks can remind them to complete steps they may otherwise forget.

With these foundations in mind, let’s look at 11 practical steps you can take to enhance your sales workflow.

1. Define clear objectives

Before you implement any optimization tactics, you want to start by clarifying your goals. Goals that adhere to the SMART acronym typically yield the best results.
If you need a refresher, SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Also, don’t forget to align these goals with your company’s overarching objectives.

As you move into the implementation phase of your optimization process, you can check in with these SMART goals and monitor your progress.

2. Understand your target audience

Next, it’s time to conduct internal data analysis and market research about your target customers. You can use this data to craft detailed buyer personas and reference them as you set your sales strategies going forward.

3. Employ a customer-centric approach

At every stage of your sales workflow, keep your customers’ needs top of mind. By prioritizing their experience, you can build positive relationships throughout the entire sales process.

4. Establish a structured sales process

Your sales process is one of the most important elements to optimize. Start by defining its steps and identifying areas of inconsistency. From there, seek solutions that can resolve these issues once and for all—Dooly’s Playbooks and Templates are some noteworthy examples.

These solutions, paired with ongoing training, can make your sales process more efficient and ensure your sales representatives don’t forget key steps.

5. Don’t overcomplicate your CRM

As the centralized location for your customer data, your CRM is an invaluable tool. However, it can become chaotic and disorganized if you don’t take preventative measures.

By integrating tools that bolster your CRM’s organization and automation, like Dooly’s Notes, you can enhance your sales workflow’s efficiency.

6. Define lead qualification

With your CRM in order, it’s time to develop a lead-scoring system. You want all CRM users to be able to quickly identify which leads fall within the following categories:

  • Qualified
  • Unqualified
  • Gray area

With this kind of system in place, your sales team can allocate its time and attention to quality leads with the highest intent first

7. Empower sales teams with training

The value of ongoing training can’t be overstated. Sales teams who keep up with regular training sessions are much more likely to stay updated on industry trends, product offerings, and effective sales techniques in general.

Training is especially important if your processes are changing due to salesflow restructuring, so don’t skip this step!

8. Implement automation for efficiency

Automation can be an efficiency game changer. By reducing your sales reps’ manual workloads, you can free up their time to focus on revenue-generating activities.

Luckily, several Dooly solutions feature automation, including Notes, Templates, and Deal Vitals.

9. Host regular performance reviews

The more you connect with your team, the better your sales process will be. After all, your reps are on the front lines, and their insights can help you further optimize your processes.

So, consider holding frequent deal reviews—meetings between leaders and reps that investigate the health of in-progress deals. These reviews can single out inefficiencies in your workflow before they impact your sales.

You can also host performance reviews—evaluations of a sales rep’s overall effectiveness. Consistent performance reviews give you a chance to:

  • Check-in with your sales reps
  • Celebrate successes
  • Highlight trends in performance
  • Identify areas for improvement

You can even use these reviews to request feedback on any sales workflow changes you’re testing. Use Dooly’s DealSpace to have focused and productive deal reviews.

10. Foster flexibility

The sales landscape is constantly evolving. For this reason, you should take steps to ensure that your sales workflows (and your reps) can adapt to changing market conditions on a dime.

Especially as you begin to optimize your workflows, don’t get too attached to any changes. They may change again soon.

11. Cultivate collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer success

Lastly, don’t forget to make sure your strategies align with your sales, marketing, and customer success teams. By harmonizing messaging and customer handovers, you can ensure a cohesive customer journey from start to finish.

Streamline your sales workflow with Dooly

If you follow these steps and streamline your sales workflow, the only thing that should slow a prospect down is their own hesitations. And those? You already know how to address them.

Now, all that’s left to do is work some magic on your existing workflow.

How Dooly can help

The developers at Dooly understand the value of smooth sales workflows. That’s why they’ve created a suite of sales management software solutions to help sales reps operate at their best.

These tools can help your sales team save time, standardize key processes, boost customer retention, and grow your revenue. Don’t believe us? Just check out these case studies.

To find out how Dooly can level up your sales workflows, schedule a demo today.

Join the thousands of top-performing AEs who use Dooly every day to stay more organized, instantly update their pipeline, and spend more time selling instead of mindless admin work. Try Dooly free, no credit card required. Or, Request a demo to speak with a Dooly product expert right now.

Pablo Penades

I’m Pablo, a SaaS marketer fueled by human connections. I excel in inspiring teamwork and creativity to tackle complex challenges. My "Get Stuff Done" approach is my superpower, alongside a curiosity that drives me to explore, build, and learn in tech. Find me at conferences, playing guitar, or in front of a chess board.