When your game plan stops working, it’s up to the coach to return the team to success. Your sales force is no different. You are winning deals but not as fast as years prior. Deal size is not growing as expected. As a sales leader, you know the importance of field execution. A big part of execution is how the team uses the sales process. The process is adopted, but the results are not evident. If that’s the case, then chances are the buyer has evolved and you need to adapt. Give your team a new game plan to succeed.
You are asking yourself, “Is Our Sales Process Good Enough?” This post will help you answer this question. As a guide, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Sales Process phase on page 279 of the PDF.
Why sales process is important? Standard one-size-fits-all sales methodologies no longer work. The competitors can license the same sales methodologies from the same vendors you can, so there is no competitive advantage to be had by adopting the latest sales methodology from the sales training industry. To increase deal sizes, improve win rates and shorten sales cycles, you need to adopt a custom, proprietary sales process/methodology.
Sales Process execution is one of the top execution gaps in a sales force. The sales force is trying harder to execute and not seeing a return. While execution matters, if you have a dated process, you will not generate a result. Add to that, the impact on your reps. ‘A’ players stop running a process just to check the box. It needs to reflect reality and help them make the number in less time.
Your Team’s Challenge
You are running one sales process. Yet, you sell multiple products to multiple buyers. These buyers have become more advanced. They have different buying processes. They view their problems in a different way. So it seems like common sense that you would deploy a different sales process. So why don’t you? There are many reasons:
- You have had a hard enough time getting the current process to be executed.
- Your sales ops team can’t be expected to have multiple sales processes in the CRM.
- Training reps on more than one process is time consuming and hard.
What options do you have?
- Bury your head in the sand and keep running a play that doesn’t work.
- Embrace the fact buyers have changed. You need to respond with a modern sales process. If you are willing to explore #2, keep reading.
VP of Sales that have fixed this problem have realized the shift that has happened. They have recognized they now sell to an informed buyer. This informed buyer is equipped with information and tools at their fingertips. The informed buyer is evolving rapidly. If you don’t constantly update your sales process, there will always be friction with the buyer. As a result, deals stall, shrink or fall out of the pipeline. These are deals you should be winning.
Your Solution – Modernized Sales Process
The sales leaders that have answered the question “Is our Sales Process good enough” have gone to an Agile Sales Process. Agile is an approach borrowed from software development. Imagine rolling out a new product and never testing it. Agile is built on the same philosophy. It is focused on speed and flexibility. The focus is on the transfer of knowledge and adapting to a rapidly changing buyer environment. You must build your sales process for change not a static moment in time. It is focused on customers and built by the team. Here is how:
- Buying Process Map – You have to understand how your customer makes a purchase decision. It is customized to the market segment, product and buying persona. Your goal is to come up with a working prototype.
- Field Testing – The prototype is tested in the field by sales people. The output of testing is proof of what works and feedback on what doesn’t.
- Leadership Validation and Testing – The prototype is presented to sales leaders who test it and provide feedback. Front-Line Sales leaders are the key to adoption. They need to contribute to the process so ownership begins to transfer to them. .
- General Release – You are now ready to release it to the field. Adoption rates will be high because members of the sales force have proof it works. Leadership has also blessed it.
- Adoption– You now run your adoption plan. This involves activities like big deal reviews and rep led training. You would use and weekly win/loss reviews via customer interviews. Monthly sessions to discuss changes in key buyer persona behavior is a norm. In doing so, you are constantly updating and modifying the process to respond to market changes.
The sales team now views sales process as a system that is always changing. They are expecting modifications from V1 to V2 to V3 as the buyer changes. They become more nimble and more adaptive to change.
What Should You Do Now?
Download the Is My Sales Sales Process Good Enough Assessment. You will receive three benefits.
- Identify your sales process gaps.
- Prioritize which gaps will have the largest impact in making the number.
- Steps to modernize your sales process and improve results next quarter.
Download the Is My Sales Process Good Enough Assessment tool to evaluate how good your sales process is.
- Results in half the time.
- Your success rate doubles due to early rep utilization.
- You drive adoption via field testing, leadership validation and a train the trainer approach.
- You win more head to head deals. The competitors using yesterday’s sales process cannot compete.
Give your sales force an adaptive sales process aligned to the buyer. In our judgment, a multi-sales process is the better way to go. It better equips sales reps and fosters continuous improvement. And it leads to greater revenue gains over time. For these reasons, we think it’s well worth the effort. To go deeper, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Sales Process phase on pages 279 – 281 of the PDF workbook.
Photo Source: Luis Blanco, WikiMedia Commons