Perhaps you saw this too. Yesterday, a post appeared in my LinkedIn feed that talked about the power of sales process. The article was clearly written to support the author's technology application, which helps track sales KPI's; so they should know a little about the topic of sales process.
Towards the end of the article, they provided a sample of what an effective sales process should look like. The following text is exactly what they wrote:
If you don't have a sales process or aren’t sure what is meant by that, we can help. Start by thinking about your most successful clients. (Or, if you’re new, some of your team’s most successful clients.) What were the different steps that client went through before they became a client?
It might look something like:
Current Customer Referral
5 Steps? Yikes!
I expect clients to have skimpy, lame, thin sales processes but this was from someone attempting to demonstrate their expertise in sales process!
Their recommended process was basically: get a meeting, sell something and follow up for more. That's not a process, that's simply 3 outcomes.
In addition to initial contact, a solid, customized, formal, structured, staged, milestone-centric, optimized sales process should include all of the milestones that must be reached to get from that initial contact to the first sale. In my experience with sales process best practices, that would include between 4 and 6 stages, each having between 4 and 8 milestones for a total of somewhere between 16 and 24 milestones.
The video below is a fast, enjoyable walk-through of sales process and methodology.
Let's not forget that a solid, customized, formal, structured, staged, milestone-centric, optimized sales process should also have a predictive scorecard built in. Your win rates will go up and your sales cycle lengths will go down.
If you don't have these things in place, I'm sorry to say that your sales process sucks.
Join the discussion of this article on LinkedIn here.
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