Three Ways Sales Management Can Execute the Sales Process

May 27, 2011 at 7:00 AM

WOW.  That is sometimes all I can say.  

We work daily with Sales VPs and Sales Management which adds clarity around the issues they face.  One of most common themes we hear about is the lack of execution ‘in the field’ on the sales process.  Sales VPs indicate that it is a core strategy which is necessary for sustainable and predictable revenue growth. 

Then why don’t sales people adopt the process?

42% of sales forces have a documented sales process.  And of those sales teams that do, less than 12% actually execute it in the field.  (Can I say it again…WOW) They use the process as forecasting tool, a compliance document, or a ‘check the box’, saying we have a sales process.  What about the fact that it should help the sales people sell more?

When I ask how the sales process was created, many CEOs, VP of Sales, and members of Sales Management indicate that “It came with the CRM”.

As my 11 year old daughter would say, “OMG”

This process should be mapped to the Buying Process.  It needs to be buyer centric.  It needs to be focused how a buyer thinks about purchasing.  It should have job aids that help Sales Management embed the process in the field.  It should allow for sales reps to use these aids to advance the sale.  And it needs to be embedded in the CRM as a culture and way of life.  Not a compliance tool or ‘bought’ with the CRM.

Three Ways for Sales Management to Execute:

1. Implement the use of Job Aids.  A job aid is defined as a tool which a sales rep and manager can use to advance the sale.  The most common job aid used is a document called an Opportunity Assessment.  This assessment gauges the strength of the opportunity through a series of questions depending on the stage of the process.  It allows for deep understanding of the sales process (to use the tool you have to use the sales process). Actual coaching and developing of sales people around this job aid can now happen with deep understanding.  Reinforcement can now be deeply embedded in their daily lives.

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2. Live your Life in the CRM.  Nothing happens without the CRM.  You can’t make a sale.  Or start an opportunity. Or log a call without the CRM. Make sure the sales process is deeply embedded in the CRM. Sales Management and sales people should LIVE in the tool.  By using the CRM daily with the sales process clearly stated, NOT using the process is avoided.  WOW (there I go again).  The process sticks.

3. Center the Sales Management Life on the Sales Process.  Successful companies that execute, center all coaching and developing on the process. Treat your sales reps as sales professionals.  Have a focus on deal strategy sessions. Adhere to the process and use the job aids.  Frame the conversations around advancing from one stage to the next.  Rinse and Repeat daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.  You will never stop talking about it.  And you should never, never give up …..Just like Winston Churchill.

Seems simple huh?   Only 12% of sales management actually adopt the process.  Make sure you are discussing this in your sales meetings and one on one's.

Live the life.  Dream big.  But get there using Job Aids in your CRM that reinforces the sales process daily.  Break out of the pack that has 38% shorter sales cycles, 31% better win rates and 22% less turnover. 

Can you do it?   

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Topics: Sales Process, Sales Management

Posted by Dan Perry

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