What is a sales process or “sales system”?
A sales process or sometimes called a sales system, is a step by step process for your salespeople to follow that takes them through:
- defining the target customer
- defining where to find and connect with these prospective customers
- connecting with the prospect (usually over the phone or through networking events)
- employing a consultative sales tactics to qualify or disqualify the prospect
- getting disqualified prospects out of the funnel asap
- moving qualified prospects through the sales funnel
- closing the deal
- engagement and continued relationship building with goal to turn customers into evangelists
- ability to request introductions (referrals from clients)
So why is a sales system or sales process so important?
Well let me give you an example: 14 years ago I started my company. It was a freelance graphic design firm. So I went out and talked to business owners. The problem with this was I was 29 years old and knew nothing about “business.” That being said, it was really hard for me to sell to a successful business owner or CEO. So I quickly want back to what I knew at the time Advertising Agencies. So I defined my customer and went after them. I started calling every agency in the yellow pages. I had some luck and got a few regular agencies feeding me work. I felt pretty successful.
After a few years I realized I wanted more. I no longer wanted to be a freelance designer, I wanted to run my own Graphic Design Firm. Slowly but surely I started beating the street for “real clients” not agency work. I did a little bit of this for a while, but needed to keep the freelance work in order to support the design firm. This is partly due to the fact that I didn’t really understand how to sell “value,” “bigger projects,” or “retainer type relationships.” Why is that important? Well, because CASH IS KING! I rode the ups and downs for many years until I eventually got sick of the sales roller coaster. I knew I had to make a big change and I was pretty cocky because the freelance side of the business was creating a nice personal income and lifestyle for myself. I knew that getting my own clients is where I needed to be so I moved my business from Lancaster, PA to Fort Worth, TX. Anyhow to make a long story short, I basically started from scratch in TX. I burned the boat and knew the only way to survive was this start kicking ass and killing it like never before. I joined the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, I attended every single networking event I could, I joined a few leads groups over the years (one for 5 years) and got active in any business related event I could find in the community.
What happened was I died a long slow death for many years. Then I figured it was time to make a difference. I was sick of creating a decent income for ME and was ready to build a good revenue stream for MY BUSINESS. The issue I had all this time was I reinvented the wheel on each sales call/conversation I had. There was no rhyme or reason to my sales process. I had no system. Looking back, I realize how silly this is, but I didn’t know how to use, create or learn a sales system. I tried creating one from scratch, but since I knew nothing about sales, you can imagine how good this would be. So what I did was hired a sales company to give me a sales assessment to test my sales skills and then got the training to fix several of my sales issues. One of the biggest issue was not having a sales process to relay on. Once I put the step by step process in place I instantly started having sales conversations that were light years ahead of my previous sales experience. This probably happened within the first 3 to 6 months. Wow, things just started to click.
No because of this I truly see the value in sales, a sales process and the importance of doing ongoing sales prospecting and calls to keep the pipeline full.
Here is how a sales process helps your company:
- Predictability – when a sales person is trained on a system or process their success is much greater.
- Scalability – when a company uses a sales process, they are able to train each sales person to use the same tools allowing you to bring on new salespeople as much or as little as you need, all the while getting them quickly up to speed and on the same page as the rest of the sales team.
- Self-Correcting Framework – because a sales process is built in a step by step fashion, your sales people will soon learn where they are in the sales process. If they accidentally get excited and jump to the end, offer a presentation or try to close before they reached each step, they are able to take a step back and know exactly where they left off. Then they just pick up where they were before they jumped ahead.
- Management System – when it comes to running a sales team, it is important to know how everyone is doing. Being able to easily manage which salespeople are having problems and knowing what areas they are having problems in allows management to get these salespeople the training, help and support they need in order to overcome and shortfalls.
- Training – as we mentioned earlier having a documented sales process that every salesperson is using make it easier to train the new hires. This allows you to have a higher success rate for the sales team as a whole instead of having 20% of the salespeople bringing in 80% of the revenue.
- Measurability – as with any business process, if you are not able to measure your success, you aren’t able to manage it. Understanding the sales system is important, but being able to know how to makes things better or where the breakdown is, is of extreme importance. Typical companies putting a sales process in place and training all sales people to use this sales process effectively will lead to a 10 to 20% increase in sales growth within the first 6 to 12 months. A sales process will allow you to keep your fingers on the pulse at all times and know exactly what is going on with your sales team.
- Consistent Results – the best part of a sales process is the consistent results you get if you stick to the process every time. If each current salesperson performs 10 to 20% better and your new hires preform better right our of the gate, you can imagine what kind of growth this could accomplish.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to set up and get trained on a sales process, just give us a call 817-244-0990.