Why Your Company’s Sales Process Is Important                      

From the keyboard of Doug Cowan  |  August, 2013.

Your company’s Sales Process defines a vital connection to your customers. It determines how they are handled by your sales force as they are found, developed, sold to, serviced, and nurtured for long term business. Your Sales Process has to bring value to your customers and it must positively differentiate you from your competition.

A well-defined and carried out Sales Process provides many significant benefits to your business. It allows your sales force to:

1.   Find new opportunities and prospective customers with greater efficiency.

2.  Earn increased business and loyalty from existing customers.

3.  Counteract competitive pressure and tactics better.

4.  Forecast business with improved confidence and accuracy.

5.  Build stronger and more profitable long term relationships with key, strategic customers.

6.  Defend your price more deliberately and successfully.

7.   Walk away from uncloseable or bad business.

When things are not going well, your Sales Process is the diagnostic tool you use to help find problems and fix them. It can also predict sales problems before they happen and tell you when you are headed into trouble. In addition, your Sales Process is a fundamental building block in the implementation of advanced tools like CRM applications, training programs, and sales force automation.

 

Ironically, for many companies, their Sales Process is generally ignored when things are going well and discounted during times of crisis. Management promotes it inconsistently and it becomes just one more set of day-to-day things to do. If it is documented, it is often out of date and not in step with current trends in customer buying patterns. Frequently, the sales channel is not held accountable to follow or adhere to it.

 

Here are four actions to take to make your Sales Process a winning asset for your company:

1.  Know the details and specifics of your Sales Process.

    a)  Commit the time, money and management focus necessary to understand and document your Sales  Process.

    b)  Keep it up-to-date and in step with your customer’s changing needs and buying habits.

2.  Train your sales force and/or agents in its use and make compliance mandatory.

     a)  All sales training should reinforce and be consistent with your Sales Process.

     b) Your CRM or reporting system should conform to it steps.

3.  Monitor and measure the Sales Process at all times.

     a)  Metrics from your Sales Process are just as important as your overall sales stats.

4.  Use the data to improve your sales results.

     a)  Use data from your Sales Process to positively change the behavior of sales staff.

     b)  Drive gains in sales productivity through improved performance.

 

These four steps will give firm direction to your sales force, increase accountability, and bring better sales results over time.

 

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