SBI’s recent study uncovered that companies implementing a consistent and effective sales process close on average 42% more business than organizations that don’t.
Think about it: what could you do in your business if you started closing 42% more prospects tomorrow?
How would your personal life benefit?
Imagine if your entire sales team increased their production by 42%? I can hear you pounding the keys of you calculator from here.
Please note – before we start looking at bigger houses and nicer cars – I must warn you of a few things…
It’s about what works for you.
Designing a sales process is unique to every business. In my seminars, often instruct taking only what works for you and leave the rest. I don’t expect you to eat every apple that falls from the tree.
Consider what specialty you’re in. A sales process works differently in different sales climates. Big B2B deals are going to work more closely to a detailed plan, whereas some ticket trans actual deals may not need such a conglomerate system.
Are you ready? The eight things that almost every sales process needs are as follows:
- Focusing on What Works
The most effective sales processes are not some thought up mumbo jumbo theories. They’re step-by-step, methodical approaches that focus on concrete evidence. Plainly put – they focus on what works – be it from your top-level producers or from industry-wide best practices.
- Implementing Guide Wires, NOT Log Chains
The most effective sales processes also must act as guide wires, not log chains. They must offer the salesperson a frame of reference and guidance, but not be restricting in a way that the salesperson feels he’s hooked to a log chain like a junkyard dog. This is why I am a HUGE proponent against salespeople using scripts. They must be able to LAR (Listen, Analyze, Respond).
- Making Darwin Proud
The perfect sales process should have a dash of evolution. Remember– if your salespeople are not in a state of constant evolvement in response to their latest education, how are they going to make what I call “in flight changes”?
- Focusing on the End Goal
Possibly the most important, yet most often forgotten in the development stage, is keeping the end goal in mind. That is, closing ‘the deal.’ Make sure your process is client-oriented. Focus on the buying process and the key closers for a client to buy.
- Eradicating Hurdles
And while we’re on the subject of focusing on the buyer, one of the key objectives of your sales process must be to systematically eliminate any hurdles that your client could encounter. We want our PSO (Product, Offering, or Service) to be enticing, engaging, and persuasive to “our kind” of prospects.
- Planting a K.I.S.S.
Everyone knows the acronym KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). So why do we loose track of it when developing? While implementing “process,” we tend to over complicate matters. Simply having everyone follow a handful of best practices produces the majority of benefits. Mies van der Rohe was right.
- Accountability Through Coaching
It’s a commonplace truism that most sales training becomes the “flavor of the month.” Your salespeople forget (or ignore) the training within a few weeks and flock back to their bad habits. Practice, practice, practice until the process becomes instilled in their minds; this is the critical responsibility of the frontline sales manager. If you haven’t got the time, will or capability for continuous coaching to hold your team or yourself accountable, institutionalizing any sales process will have subpar results at best. Therefore, a solution may be looking externally for help.
- A Significant Commitment
Hopefully by now, you’ve realized that implementing a sales process is a little more than simply outlining it in a MS Word Doc. Take care of it with diligence and care. It’s your friend. If having an operative sales process really can have such a large impact as SBI suggests (and my own familiarity confirms), then surely, the time and energy is worthwhile.