Do you remember the good old days? The summer sky was cloud free, there was snow at Christmas and to be a success in sales, you just had to get out there and sell, sell, sell. Remember? No, neither do I and it definitely rained a lot, especially at Christmas!
As we’ve become more and more sophisticated, we know there’s a lot more to business success than a shiny-shoed sales person sell, sell, selling.
Experience has shown me that successful sales is about systems and processes. A great sales person is not born with a mysterious ability to sell, a great sales person is taught skills and techniques and practises them. To achieve maximum success, they need to be part of a sales team that has a sustainable sales process. It’s the foundation on which a successful business is built.
So, where to begin? Start with a template showing the steps in your sales process, these probably include:
- lead generation
- first meeting
Note who is responsible for each part of the sale and make a list of the roles you have in your sales function.
If you don’t have any process in place, (and are pretty much just sending the team out to sell, sell, sell!) deconstruct the sales process of your most successful performers and use what they’re doing as your starting point. Once you have a draft process, analyse it to see if there are any unnecessary steps or if you’re losing business consistently at any stage. Change the process wherever it’s needed to tighten up any weaknesses and cut down on your sales leakage.
Devising a consistent sales process is your first step to improving your overall results. Every part of your process needs to be looked at to make sure all your sales team are maximising their opportunities. Ensure your qualification system is effective and suited to what you sell and the customers you’re dealing with. Training and coaching your team to use a suitable qualifying methodology will save you time and money. It will determine whether prospects are a good fit or not, where they are on their buying journey, and it will reduce the likelihood of using short cuts to hurry to close a sale because the team will be confident that the prospect is viable.
Consistency is more important than the methodology you choose. The one you select must be suited to your business, your products and services and how your sales staff operate. It doesn’t matter which one you use to gather qualifying criteria, but it does matter that every team member implements the method consistently, every time. Failure to qualify prospects and opportunities effectively, comes at an enormous cost to your company. Your resources will be squandered chasing sales that will never happen.
When your sales process is in place and you’re seeing consistent results, remember to review it regularly for continuous improvement. Engage the sales team in the review process, they’re in the best position to report early if any market changes require adjusting how you operate. Consistent sales success depends on sizing up opportunities and focussing on the ones with the greatest potential. A regularly reviewed sales process with the sales team fully briefed and on board will make sure you’re achieving consistent and sustainable results.
Need help with your sales process? www.salesenabla.com