Job Aids for Sales Process

The impact of these missing Job Aids is substantial — elongated sales cycles, lowered win rates, low margin transactions, unbundled deals, and increased customer attrition. In summary – a real mess.

 

The good news is there is something that can be done about it and done quickly, no matter what sort of sales process you have in play at the moment.

 

What is a sales process Job Aid?

Any sales process worth its salt has Job Aids. Job Aids are the tools, templates, presentations, sales collateral, and assessment guides used by sales reps and management to help close deals. The purpose of a Job Aid is to facilitate the prospect’s/customer’s buying journey such that they reach a defined ‘exit criteria’ for a given phase in the sales process. Each exit criteria indicates a buyer has progressed in their decision-making process towards a purchase.

 

This article called “Why a Sales Process” by Krita Moore lists Job Aids by phase, showing the important concept that a Job Aid has to be deployed at a certain point in a sales campaign.

 

This focus on enabling the buyer’s psychology is a key facet of a good Job Aid. Job Aid designers often use Blooms’ taxonomy – to ensure they accurately match a Job Aid to the right point in buyer’s evolution, from Awareness to Consideration to Preference to Intent.

 

Blooms taxonomy of Job Aids resized 600

 

The whole concept of Job Aids was first popularized by Keith Eads in his book ‘The New Solution Selling’. In his book, Eads emphasizes that sellers need the “right tool , applied in the right way, at the right time”. This captures the essence of how a good sales process should deploy its Job Aids – identify the tools, templates, and helpmeets that the sales team can use consistently to advance a sale.

 

Types of Job Aids

There are internal Job Aids (those use typically between a sales rep and their manager or by the whole sales team). Internal Job Aids never make it to the customer or prospect. An example of this is a Call Plan.

 

There are also external Job Aids which are viewed by the customer/prospect. These often reflect input from the Marketing department, who ensures that look & feel, content, and messaging all represent the company/solution in the most compelling fashion. An example of an external Job Aid is a Sponsor Letter.

 

What to do Next?

If you are a sales professional using a sales process without a complete set of tailored Job Aids, the question is, “what should I do about it?” Here is a quick Get Well Plan to consider:

 

1. Identify all the current ‘official’ Job Aids in use (if any)

 

2. Conduct an inventory of all informal Job Aids being used by the more successful sales executives in the company

3. Determine what phases in the sales cycle are the ones where most of the deals are getting stuck

4. Look at the attached list of common Job Aids and see which ones might enable that phase in the sales process

5. Start building new Job Aids, one at a time, to facilitate the buyer’s journey

6. Deploy each Job Aid inside of the CRM system so that sales reps can get to it easily and there is only one ‘gold copy’ of the Job Aid

 

*SBI 2010 sales process survey

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Drapeau

Makes data and analysis come alive so clients can understand the “what” and “why” and design solutions that fit the environment.
Learn more about Mike Drapeau >

Once the leader of SBI Delivery, Mike is now head of the firm’s internal talent development, so he has had the fortune to help some amazing sales and marketing leaders. He starts by earning their trust. Much of this comes from his deep base of experience. With more than 25 years in sales, sales management, pre-sales and sales operations, he’s never met a challenge he didn’t like. And with backgrounds in sales leadership, marketing, and sales operations, he shuns the idea of being a desk jockey and relishes the idea of living in the field.

 

Mike maintains, develops, and leverages SBI’s library of emerging best practices for sales and marketing, which leads to evidence-based solutions, custom-fit to each client. Maniacally focused on execution, Mike does not believe in giving clients fancy deliverables with no operational details. He knows that field adoption is key. After all, if behavior doesn’t change, the lift doesn’t come. Likewise, if those closest to the field adopt the solution, the client wins.

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