What’s the first step in evaluating my sales process?

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If you think your sales process needs a facelift, take the first step in mapping and managing your sales process. Suppose you sent out a memo to your sales force and asked them, “Please describe the steps in our company’s sales process.” How many different perspectives, variations, and answers would you get back? In this age of increasing competition, team selling, and tele-managing, creating a unified yet unique message delivered to the marketplace by a sales force with a singular selling philosophy is imperative.

When you are committed to process improvement, you take the necessary time to critically analyze the range of selling methods you implement. Retain, refine, and repeat the practices that work and work well, consistently. Outlaw the ineffective ones and restrict to special occasions the outrageous methods that luckily worked one time on only one prospect. They may make interesting anecdotes at cocktail and retirement parties, but they do not belong as the backbone of a successful business model.

Most importantly, carefully analyze the way your best customers buy. What motivates them to make a decision to select you as a partner? Chronicle the timing of each step along the way to a signed purchase order. Studies have shown that, most of the time, salespeople are “finished” selling long before the customer is ready to make a buying decision. Ask yourself, “Are we selling successfully because of what we are doing or in spite of what we are doing?”

   —Your Personal Business Trainer

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