Your company has done something right, that’s for sure. The business is a big deal, a big enough deal that you don’t just have one enterprise sales team—you probably have several. They may each focus on a different target market or are selling different products and services.
Admit it. As long as your teams meet quota, you’re not too concerned with exactly how they do it. They’re bringing in revenue and that’s really all you need them to do, right?
That’s actually a disaster waiting to happen. It’s accepting the bare minimum as the best you can do.
You might disagree with me. You may say you don’t just accept quotas, you increase them, drive your salespeople to continually go above and beyond, and that often there’s a few folks that blow quota right out of the water.
That’s a problem, too.
You’re completely dependent on the performance of individual salespeople. “Tell me something I don’t know,” you may be thinking. But hear me out.
It means your selling system can’t scale the same way the rest of your business does. Growth requires you to hire additional people. Or invest heavily in training activities that your salespeople won’t retain for very long. This is far from ideal for a company that wants to scale up. It can become a major waste of time and money, especially when you consider the cost of salesforce turnover.
So what’s the solution?
A sales process. A documented, effective sales process that allows you to start identifying where and how your sales team can improve.
Seems too simple? What’s the point, anyway? Your sales team isn’t necessarily going to stick to it. They all probably have their own individual sales style that they think works the best.
If you have a sales process and no one bothers to stick to it, that’s a pretty good sign that your “official” sales process is in trouble. If only your poorest performers use the sales process, yet they remain poor performers, that’s another sign your sales process needs help. Now.
How do you create a sales process that works? One that your sales people will use without draconian measures that force them into compliance?
You encourage them to be a part of the creation, implementation, and improvement of the process. Even your lonest-wolf salespeople are likely to embrace a sales process they had a hand in creating. And your company gets the benefits from a consistent process used across the entire department.
The biggest benefit is the ability to improve it. Once that sales process is in place, that’s where you’ll start to figure out how you can get better.
Is there a particular point in your own process that seems to take significantly longer than the rest? Do you see a pile up of prospects at a single step of your process? Is it when it’s time to close? Are you getting lots of leads, but few that make it through your entire process?
These are all undesirable results that can be improved by adapting and updating your sales process. On the other hand, unless a sales process is adhered to, you’re not likely to see the breakthrough results.
About: Robert Pryor is a Lean Selling author and community builder as well as a CEO, speaker, and educator on cutting-edge sales processes. His new book is Lean Selling: How to Slash Your Sales Cycle and Drive Profitable, Predictable Revenue Growth by Giving Buyers What They Really Want. Follow by joining the LinkedIn Group “Lean Selling” or on Twitter @LeanSelling.
You can learn more about Lean Selling and the concepts behind it by signing up for my free 12-week series, Lean Learnings, below: