You can be leading the best sales team in the world, but if your Sales Process is flawed, it would be like having a bunch of Micheal Jordans and making them all play with their ankles cuffed. 

There is always a lot of focus on the sales teams and how they behave and perform, yet most companies rarely update, modernise, or otherwise improve sales processes. In fact, according to statistics from Datadwell, a staggering 81% of Sales and Marketing teams don’t frequently audit their sales process. 

If your sales team is your army, the process is their weapons. Imagine trying to win a war with guns from the 60’. 

Top Executives create extraordinary processes, and they perform phenomenally well, exactly like the sales pitch your reps put together. However, time is ruthless. In the space of one year, everything could have changed; look at March 2020. Would your pre-COVID pitch work two weeks later?

Similarly, your sales process should be regularly reviewed and updated/optimised. By the time your reps are complaining about the process, you’ve lost a few customers already; if not some of your people.

In sales, there is a constant struggle for success, and the competitors are always at your throat, ready to take a piece of your market share. Domination begs for a top-notch process.

Sales is not rocket science. However, it can be just as tricky without the right tools in your hands. Below you will find some simple tips on developing a cutting-edge sales process.

 

1. Keep it Simple, Silly.

I’m a big fan of this quote from Kelly Johnson. He was an actual Rocket Scientist, by the way. 

Would you be able to clearly explain your funnel to your mum (a.k.a. The Mum Test)? If you don’t, you’ve got some work to do. This especially applies if you work in a big corp, customers and employees come to you to get the best.

Some parts of the process are more exciting and essential than others. Personally, I’m a big fan of prospecting and negotiating (unlike most salespeople) and much less of the post-sales administrative work (like most salespeople). It is crucial to you attune with both your sales team and customers to find out how to make the process smoother. 

One less email, one less entry in the CRM, one less call, your best competitors are constantly trying to make everyone’s lives simpler; make sure you’re keeping up with them.

2. Don’t hesitate to automate.

In the 21st century, we can automate many boring, repetitive parts of our jobs. We’re lucky as it will be quite some time until AI will be able to make sales (if ever) instead of humans. However, we definitely can outsource some activities to automation tools; for example, follow-ups on your teams and analysis of the KPIs.  You could spend the saved time doing the more strategic parts of your job, helping you secure your dominance in your market space. 

Sales may not be Rocket Science, but it can rely on science to perform better. For example, implementing a new CRM may seem time-consuming and expensive; the question is, can you afford not to?

It took Edison 1,000 attempts to create the lightbulb, and he was pretty clever. Chances are that even if you’re a sales genius, your process isn’t perfect, and that’s ok. What is not okay is you not realising this and trying to improve it.

3. Get feedback and audit your sales process.

Again, Sales is not Rocket Science, but like science, it requires trial and error to get to the ideal result. Often an outside point of view can help you see cracks that are just not visible to your naked eye. Obviously, I am selling myself to be that person, but it can also be an ex-colleague or mentor that you trust. 

You should also run internal and external surveys to gather as much data as possible. You can even set up a competition among our team for whoever comes up with the best idea.

Can your process be straightforward and also functional? Of course, simple doesn’t mean basic. Often an improved process will help your salespeople not only convert more sales but also increase their motivation as they will know you’re doing your best to help them.

4. Set up the next sales process review now.

As you can see, I’m not giving you revolutionary advice, but often the simplest advice is the best. One of the reasons consultants make so much money is because the clients don’t implement the proposed changes for the long term. If you cannot ensure an upgrade is long-lasting, starting the improvement process doesn’t even make sense.

Essentially, make the auditing and optimisation of your sales process part of your process. 

Starting a new initiative is always the most challenging part, therefore, make sure you’re keeping up the momentum by setting up and making all parties aware that there will be a follow-up coming. I’d personally recommend a review at least once per year, but you can tweak the process on an ad hoc basis by looking at the performance (or lack thereof).

As the head of your sales team, your sales process reflects your leadership; the more robust the sales process, the more likely you are to dominate your marketplace and have your team respect you. 

As humans, we shy away from pain, so more often than not, initiating change will be painful and won’t make you many friends. A strong leader does what is needed, not what is popular.

You will be one step closer to controlling your market if you own your process.

I hope you found this article useful; the sales process audit is one of our most popular services. I believe that it is more important to look at a process before even considering looking at your team. Book us for an initial consultation below to start taking control of your sales process.

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