With all tools and resources available to sales organizations, sustainable success still starts with a strong framework and foundation, or what is commonly referred to as a “sales process”.
And be sure: This does not mean layers of consult speak accompanied by endless graphs, which leads to mostly confusion.
• Desired outcomes
• Required resources
• Time Allocations
Sure, the overall objective is to win a customer and revenue. But break each sale into stages and set clear objectives for each stage, such as: qualify/fit, budget, clients’ understanding the need to change.
Which specifics things need to be executed to achieve objectives, like meet with specific people; do a plant tour, counter objections.
A means of gauging and knowing how well you achieve your objectives. In most instances, b2b sales usually take more than one interaction, as a result you need to ensue you have a preplanned the next step for each encounter. It helps to have a primary, secondary or even tertiary step. Achieving these will help you move towards your objective, or allow you to disqualify an opportunity based on objective factors.
This and the two below go hand in hand in specifying things a sales person will need to win such as technical resources, data and access to the correct people.
This alternate to time management ensures you have allocated enough time to high-value activities.
Specialized expertise, standardized messaging and information sheets as well as well described rebuttals
A good sales process is a road map for success that reflects your sale. It includes metrics, evolves with market conditions and, ideally, aligns with your customers’ buying process. It takes effort to establish and evolve, but the benefits are numerous, continuous and almost immediate.
When most successful, a good process outlines the key considerations you need to in place for a winning proposal:
• The right decision makers
• Funding/Budget/ demonstrated ROI
• Competitive landscape
• Time lines
• Clearly defined mutual expectations of buyer and seller
• Based on industry specifics, there are more, successful testing, etc.
Without this, in place, your reps may propose too early, too often and win fewer contracts. This costs you time, money, resources and racks up missed opportunities, a terrible result for manufacturers in competitive markets.
Metrics and critical milestones add predictability and more objective and accurate revenues forecasts.
Some enlightened manufacturers are extending visibility to their key suppliers, allowing them to leverage more benefits from a vendor managed inventory program.
Alignment with your buyer’s process is a key benefit. It eliminates risking a deal by your sales reps getting ahead of the buyer, trying to close while the buyer is still defining requirements. Sharing your sales process with your buyer will also encourage them to share their buying process and increase sales.
These are only a few of the benefits you can realize with a dynamic sales process. There are more, but you need to take the first step of defining, documenting and rolling out a process to you sales team.
Tibor Shanto is a recognized speaker, author, and sales trainer. He is a principal at Renbor Sales Solutions Inc. Tibor can be reached at [email protected]