It's difficult to argue that sales is the lifeblood of any organization. How well and how often your business makes a sale, ultimately determines its success. The proper management of the sales team and the sales process is critical.
Hiring sales professionals that are highly motivated and intelligent people with strong communication skills is just a part of the sales success equation. Without a well thought out, documented sales process that includes frequent measurement and accountability, you will never realize your organization's sales potential. Even worse, you will unnecessarily burn through a hundred thousand dollars or more of cash flow before you realize you have hired the wrong salesperson.
Did you know approximately 30% of the time the winner of a sales opportunity is determined before the official selection process starts? Another 45% of the time customers have already made up their minds about who they were going to buy from halfway through the selection process. That means 75% of the time customers make their decision halfway through the selection process…..that’s right 75%!! Therefore, it’s critical your organization’s product or service is in the lead selection at the midpoint of the sales process. To ensure this, your sales team needs to embrace and execute an engagement methodology. In addition, your sales management needs to drive expectations and frequent accountability. Just like your organization's product or unique service offering, a well thought out sales process and selling system can be a competitive differentiator that will help you win and win a lot!
One of the biggest mistake’s salespeople often make is ............. outrunning the prospect.
You’ve heard the cliché, sales is a contact sport. This means you must not only have to connect with the prospect to establish strong rapport and trust; you must also stay in lock-step with them as you move together through the sales process. One of the biggest mistake’s salespeople often make is “outrunning the prospect”. In order to drive towards a successful close, you must walk hand in hand with the prospect. Each step of the process requires some commitment on the part of both parties to move forward. This way you stay synchronized with the prospect and expectations are managed.
A strong sales methodology is based on the principle of a “process partnership”. Be very clear and upfront regarding your sales process, so the prospect understands right from the start the steps needed to move them toward the goal of a successful engagement. By obtaining an oral agreement early in your sales process (an upfront contract), the prospect is giving you a verbal commitment that they value your proposition and the prospect can visualize a good fit. For sales professionals who are constantly pursuing new opportunities and closing deals, time is their most valuable asset. It’s important to have a sales culture that celebrates the disqualification of a prospect just like they do when they qualify a prospect.
Taking the time and making investments that create a well thought out, documented sales process will provide your organization with a strong foundation for a selling methodology, selling principles, and sales goals. In addition, it will provide your sales team members with a selling approach that will help them quickly qualify opportunities, manage the prospect correctly, and close minimally 70% of the proposals submitted. This is a win, win, right?!
When executed correctly, your sales team becomes more efficient with their time, obtains a deep understanding of the prospects pain points, builds a stronger relationship with the prospect, and separates your organization from your competitors. It’s a win for your organization because your organization will:
- Have stronger sales oversight
- A measurable repeatable process with accountability
- Eliminate "Story Telling"
- Shorten sales cycles
- Improve the accuracy of your qualified pipeline
- Improve the accuracy of your revenue projections
- Reduce selling expense, and
- Increase sales
Happy hunting and good selling!