This is a Guest blog post from Sales and Sales Management expert Chris Tully.
We’re just about halfway through the year and are coming out of an eventful prior 18 months. Finally, we’re seeing enough consistency in the market to take swift and effective action to move forward with a good amount of confidence… something many of us have been lacking for a while. When thinking about how to finish strong in 2021 and the best way to prepare for break-out growth in 2022, ask yourself: “what do I have to do to make sure that where I’m going now brings short-term results and positions us to make a huge difference long-term?” In my role, I find that sifting through all the parts and pieces of the Sales Organization can be overwhelming for Owners and Sales Leaders, leaving some not knowing how to make heads or tails out of it all. While several areas of your Sales Function may need to be retooled or realigned to match the evolving economy, I’ve found that it’s crucial to begin evaluating the potential for adjustment at the heart: The Sales Process, or as I like to say, “the nucleus that feeds the whole.”
Given the considerable changes these past many months, whatever current Sales Process you had established previously is likely not reflective of new demand. This is due to drastic shifts in the evolving economy, such as how buyers buy and assemble themselves, communication method adjustments, changes in customers’ organization structures, impact to market trends, etc. Beyond these external changes, quite possibly your business has also gone through internal strategic changes relating to your target buyer and customer base. Have you taken time to think about the impact of all these shifts?
Time and time again, I’ve witnessed it necessary to have a successful or proven process to drive sales success, similarly to process-driven models in other departments. I like to say that hypothetically, this means if you drop a new member into your Sales Team and have them follow the roadmap you laid out, they are able to deliver the same consistent results as other team members. You can dial in this type of repeatable measure of success when you take the time to “look under the covers,” so to say, by evaluating and fine tuning your Sales Process.
However, before you take action on retooling your Sales Process, first let’s work through a couple of self-administered strength tests to determine if you’re working upon a solid foundation. I’ve noted two vital components to consider when determining the effectiveness or completeness of your current Sales Process.
STRENGTH TEST 1 Does your current Sales Process account for the best practice elements outlined in my building block model, and have your salespeople been properly trained on how to navigate the roadmap you’ve given them?
Maybe you think that your process is successful and doesn’t need to be rebuilt. That’s great! But, I encourage you to verify this assumption given that the majority of 2,000+ Owners and Sales Leaders revealed that their Sales Process didn’t include the clarity necessary to drive desired results.
|THOUGHT PROVOKING TRIVIA What percentage of small to mid-sized businesses don’t know what needs to occur at each stage of the sales cycle? a. 54% b. 61% c. 73% d. 86% Find out the answer at the end of my blog.|
I welcome you to leverage me as a sounding board to learn if there is merit in you investing resources to test the strength of your critically important Sales Process.
STRENGTH TEST 2 Do you see strong evidence that your Sales Process is producing desired results? A comprehensive response may take some investigation on your part. Below, I recommend specific research areas to conduct your due diligence in answering the previous question:
- Is the Sales Process documented with clarity?
- Is the Owner or Sales Leader engaged with the salespeople often enough to observe the Sales Process in real-world selling situations?
- Is the Sales Pipeline showing good movement?
- Are the salespeople performing consistently?
- Does the Sales Team regularly achieve forecast accuracy?
- Are closed deals meeting profitability targets?
I’ll discuss tuning your pipeline and leveraging technology to provide better conversion rate visibility in a future blog. It’s essential to understand that by comparing your Sales Process confidence to the results it’s generating and taking subsequent action now, you’ll be positioning yourself to finish strong in 2021. Even more impactful, you’ll also be setting yourself up for a record-breaking 2022 and beyond!
|THOUGHT PROVOKING TRIVIA ANSWER 86% of small to mid-sized business owners reported that they don’t know exactly what needs to occur during sale cycle stages. * So, how confident are you that your Sales Process is actually delivering the desired results? I can help. Schedule a time to chat. *Data compiled from 2,355 Owners and Sales Leaders that took Sales Xceleration Sales Agility Assessment® through December 2021.|
About the Author I am a part of a sub-group of Sales Xceleration Advisors dedicated to pooling our knowledge and expertise to generate insights, tips, and tools to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue. We are seasoned Executive Sales Leaders that have guided B2B businesses ranging from start-up to Fortune 500. I welcome any special requests you may have for future writing topics.
Chris is the President of Sales Growth Advisors LLC, a sales consulting firm focused on increasing revenue growth and improving profitability. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.