By Scott Gordon, The Chief Revenue Officer
Many of the companies I work with do not have a formalized sales process when I arrive. In fact, most do not know how to answer the question when I ask them if they have one. To be clear, many companies hold regular sales training, but these predominantly focus on role playing and closing techniques only and do not incorporate processes of any kind (see my previous blog on this topic).
In this blog, I will explore process as it relates to selling and why it’s important to manage the decision process behind every sale. Specifically, I will explore the concept of the ‘sales decision process’ or SDP.
What is a sales decision process? SDP is the series of defined steps or milestones that your sales team(s) follows with every prospect from initial contact through final decision. These steps often include some or all of the following sales activities:
A dialed in and formalized SDP combined with workflow software ensures salespeople are hitting defined milestones as deals progress through their respective pipelines by assigning them tasks with due dates, sending them reminders as appropriate, and tracking completion dates along the way. Managers are also provided sufficient insight to intervene and mentor those struggling to follow the process before they fall short of their individual revenue goals or make personnel changes as needed.
Most importantly, salespeople are given a roadmap, based on proven methodologies, to get from prospect to customer in the fastest possible way using the fewest number of steps. This helps managers better on-board new hires and get them on an accelerated production ramp.
A tighter, more defined sales process equates to faster sales cycles, lower costs of sale, less turnover, and a happier, more productive sales force.
In future blogs, I will delve into the various steps listed above to provide insights into how your organization can implement each as you move from a ‘free for all’ sales model to one based on a tightly defined SDP that will provide better forecast-ability and more predictably results.