Don’t let your sales process grow cold. A regular examination of the steps, purpose, and activities will ensure it works to provide your team the path of least resistance to maximum sales. It should be ingrained in your sales culture and regularly examined to be sure it’s maintaining its value to the sales team.
Here are 7 questions to ask yourself about your sales process to be sure it’s meeting your needs:
- Does it align with your customers’ buying habits?
How your customers buy is as important as when, or why they will buy. Your sales process should be able accommodate their buying methods. Some examples are: RFP process, committee vs single decision-maker, budget process, approval process, etc.
- Is it flexible enough to accommodate both long and short sales cycles?
A good sales process should expand and contract like an accordion to accommodate quick decision-makers as well as lengthy committee-driven purchase cycles.
- Is it customized or an off-the-shelf, “one size fits all” sales process?
Don’t force your salespeople to make a mental leap when attempting to apply the sales process. They should never ask the question, “How does this apply to me”? It should be a seamless match to their daily activities.
- Does it encourage value-focused interactions with your customers?
Reducing a sales call to product-focused feature and benefit discussions is an indicator that the sales process (or the training) needs an upgrade. Salespeople are more likely to meet sales goals when they can navigate the process with a prospect uncovering their perceptions of value along the way.
- Is it too complex or too simplistic for sales reps to use?
The sales process should be easy to understand after the initial training and easy to use after a period of reinforcement. It must also be robust enough to handle the more complex sales opportunities – purchase committees, team selling, etc.
- Do sales managers embrace it as the best way to coach their team?
Adoption comes from reinforcement. Your sales managers should view it as the best platform for evaluating and course-correcting sales behaviors. If not, you need to know why.
- Is it adaptable into your CRM system?
Many CRM systems come preloaded with a sales process, qualifiers, pipeline managements, etc. The labels, definitions and steps may not align with your sales process. Be sure your sales process can get assimilated into your CRM. Otherwise, the sales reps get mixed messages when updating accounts.
All sales processes are not the same, nor should they be – even in the same company. The sales process used in a call center based on one-call closings should look very different than one designed to sell big-ticket items in a global marketplace. Ensuring that your team adheres to a continuously-maintained sales process that’s appropriate to your team’s situation, will help you and your team drive consistent, winning performance.