This is the third in my series on the crucial importance of Sales Process.
In the popular first article I compared various types of shoes to the many different versions of sales processes that we see at companies. In the equally popular second article, we discussed the benefits, both obvious and not so obvious, to a formal, customized, staged, milestone-centric sales process.
I know it sounds scary and difficult, but it’s not. We collaborate, retain the best of what you are already using, fill the gaps and focus on optimizing the sequence so that the process builds on itself.
After demonstrating various states of incomplete processes and touting the benefits of a complete one, it’s only natural that our next discussion focuses on what to do after you have asked a sales expert to build a perfect sales process for your company.
Step 1 – CRM Integration –
Depending on which CRM application you use, this can either be fairly easy, with little in the way of additional fees, or complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Either way, if you don’t integrate your perfect customized sales process into your imperfect CRM application, you wasted your time and money rolling out both of them.
Step 2 – Introduction to Sales Management –
Before you can introduce the new sales process to your salespeople, your sales managers must understand it, embrace it, own it, and be able to coach to it. That requires some training and coaching for your sales managers.
Step 3 – Introduction to the Salespeople –
It would be nice if you could simply introduce the new process with a power point and tout its benefits but that’s not realistic. To get your salespeople to open their minds to a new way of selling requires a formal, day-long kick-off, where the sales process is not only introduced, but brought to life and demonstrated through role-play.
Step 4 – Ongoing Training –
The sales process introduction must now be reinforced through on-going training with repetition and the opportunity to go wider and deeper on each milestone and stage. Your salespeople should be exposed to the type of conversations they must have to move from milestone to milestone and stage to stage to more effectively move opportunities through process and pipeline.
Step 5 – Consistent Coaching –
Sales managers must coach their salespeople to reinforce the strategies, tactics, competencies and methodology required for success.
Building a formal, customized sales process is only the beginning. It’s only then that your training and coaching have context, a common language and understanding that will drive sales excellence and results.