Sales Process Development

Productivity can be increased by 20% by developing a unique sales process, to achieve precision, focus and consistency.

Developing the sales process

What we are trying to achieve is both effectiveness and efficiency. My simple formula for success:

Effectiveness x Efficiency = Sales. We have dealt with effectiveness in the selling skills training, we now consider efficiency.

To sustain a high-performance sales culture will require that the three elements of the sales process, skill methodology, and performance management be taken into consideration – each one has a special role to play, and real change can only be achieved if all three elements are optimised and integrated as part of your everyday sales environment. With the correct processes in place, we can take ordinary people, place them in that structure, teach them the processes by which we know that they can succeed, and manage them to extraordinary results.

Efficiency, or doing more, can be driven through the development of your unique sales process. It is a set of discrete, progressive phases that describe what to do with a customer to move him from first contact to first sale and on through successive phases of resale and cross-sale. Milestones, predictive of sales success, will be carefully selected to drive each phase of the sales cycle and provide precision, focus and consistency. Sellers are now able to advance through the sales cycle with the least amount of time, effort, and material as possible This will increase the individual’s productivity and set efficiency benchmarks for coaching

Note: Without an agreed sales process, sellers will default to their own process. Now you have multiple processes.  Besides being unproductive, multiple processes are almost impossible 

Executive intervention will collaborate with the management team to develop the:

  • unique sales process phases and the milestones within the phases
  • tools and job aids to support strategic milestones:

Planning: Prospect volume calculator, Ideal customer profile template, customer contact cycle worksheet

Prospecting: Opening statement template, Telephone message template, Prospecting worksheet

Prospect qualification: Design the qualification template.

Needs Analysis: Design the needs analysis template, Design the total cost of ownership calculation.

Presenting: Design the tailored proposal/presentation

Negotiating: Negotiation preparation template, Typical objections template

Closing: Designing closing statements and questions

Account Management: The business plan and customer retention template

Sellers are notorious for delivering highly inaccurate sales forecasts, as without a support process they will use “gut feel” to estimate a probability for closing the sale. Furthermore, each seller applies their own brand of gut feel to their prospects. No consistency within the team adds to further inaccuracies! So, an official documented sales process will be the prerequisite to determining the sales forecasting system.

The high-level phases of the sales process must first be developed. Then agreed milestones, are required to effectively advance the sale through all phases of the sales cycle. Each company will differ when setting the parameters for their unique process.

We can now allocate closing probabilities to each phase. Each milestone is carefully considered as each one must be predictive of success. In other words, having completed a particular milestone, this must be in alignment with the buyer’s buying process, and advance the sale closer to completion. If the entire national sales force is following this sales process, you will have achieved:

  • A best practice for increased productivity
  • A consistent approach to forecasting. This is a more scientific strategy, removing the seller gut feel, and increasing accuracy.
  • Benchmarks for seller coaching