Can we agree that having a well defined sales process is a good thing? that its a good idea to have one?
I mean, if you’re in the manufacturing business, you’re going to have a pretty specific process defined for manufacturing each product right? That’s how
you ensure consistent quality, costs, etc.
The same is true with your sales process. If you want to ensure consistent results, be able to efficiently bring new people into your team and make them
successful and be able to confidently make improvements, you need to know what the process is.
I know you know this. How many times have you heard, “I made 50 calls today boss!” and immediately wondered what that really means? Or “I’ve got 3 really
big deals in the works this month” and the only way for you to really know how strong they are is to spend 30 minutes picking your sales person’s brain
to understand the specifics of each opportunity.
A sales process let’s you measure and manage sales without being involved in every deal. I don’t know about you but,
I don’t want to have to walk the halls making sure people are on the phone. I don’t have time to keep up to speed on every deal. But, you’ve got to
inspect what you expect right?
So, let’s break down a simple way to get a basic process defined. To me, this is like peeling back an onion, put the basic high level system in place and
then start getting more specific over time as things become more clear.
Here’s what I can promise you…
If you do this, you will be able to hire sales people and make them successful. You’ll know when sales people are off track early when there is still time
to do something about it. You will be able to foresee sales in the future and feel confident that you’re somewhere close to reality.
Every sales process have these basic elements:
Yours will be slightly different and you’ll want to add detail where you can when you can but, the key here is keeping it simple and getting something
in place is the priority, not engineering the perfect system that contemplates every possible scenario.
If you have a lot of inbound leads, then the identify and engage steps are non-existent. If your sales people do a lot of networking or cold calling and
generating their own leads, then getting those steps clear is crucial. The top of the funnel is almost always where things go wrong.
So, good news! All you have to do is start tracking the activity happening at each step in the process.
- Identify – how many cold calls did we make?
- Engage – how many actual conversations did we have?
- Qualify – how many of those fit our requirements and are in a position to make the purchase
- Identify Pain – how many of the qualified prospects were we able to identify a specific problem we can fix for them?
- and so on… Remember, not all of these steps have to apply to you. Don’t measure what doesn’t matter.
You may need to have different processes for different products or depending on where the lead came from.
That’s really it. You just have to get your sales people to start telling you how many of each of these things happens, consistently and accurately. That
means you need two things:
To set up the CRM to make it easy for them to log their activity the way you want it
To get the sales team on board to doing it
Now imagine what will happen when you can have a sales meeting and have this conversation: “Bob made 50 cold calls and qualified 10 prospects this week
and Sally made 60 cold calls and qualified 8 prospects.”
That’s the point of doing this! Now you can set very specific expectations for each sales person. Now you can figure out that 25% of your trade show
leads are qualified while only 10% of the leads from your website are qualified.