Depending on the source, either Ben Franklin or prominent, 1970s author, Alan Lakein, famously said that failure to plan was planning to fail. They were both right. To build a healthy sales team, you need a plan, a sales methodology or process that fits. A common theme we hear from many companies is that everyone does it “their own way”. While this can work in early-stage companies, a clear sales process must be honed, replicated, and executed by the whole team.
Every sales team is unique. How do you choose the right sales process to ensure the success of your team?
There are plenty of cookie-cutter plans out there. To make the right choice and develop a sales process that grows your revenue, you need to focus on the basics:
- Know your sales representatives – “Did you know that at a typical firm 13% of the sales staff generates 87% of the revenue?” (Forbes.com, Brenda Stoltz). The right process will allow your stars to do what they do best and will focus on improving those who’ve got more to offer. Use metrics to evaluate your team, and develop a process that capitalizes on their strengths.
- Know your market – The basics of every marketing course stress how important it is to know your audience. A name, address, and phone number doesn’t cut it. You’ve done some homework, but do you also research industry trends, and do you understand their implications? You have to know as much as possible about them before making contact – being able to personalize your message is paramount.
- Build a Plan that Works – Defining your sales process requires you to document actions that produce your desired effect, and then implementing those as a standard game plan to follow. The National Association of Sales Professionals recommends a best-practices approach that results in the following: predictable outcomes, repeatable activities, tangible outcomes, and relevance to others.
Build the foundation of a healthy sales team using a well-defined sales process. Whatever process you implement will include the key steps from prospecting to qualifying to closing. To increase the effectiveness of your plan, make sure it suits your team and your industry demands.
Do your homework ahead of time. Crunch the numbers and identify the salespeople with the biggest opportunities to grow. For expert help in identifying and refining a process that gets the most out of your sales team, contact SEG for a free 30-minute consultation.