SPI观点：The New Buyer – Process Still Matters
Say the words “sales process” to a seller and you might get a face like this in return…
Your sales organization abides by a sales process whether it has been defined or not. An “Ad Hoc” sales organization still has a certain flow and rhythm to it. So it’s not a matter of do we or don’t we have a sales process? But rather does our current approach help us reach the financial goals we have set forth as a company?
There is an epidemic amongst sales management, specifically in the SMB market to shy away from sales process and look to hire more experience. The thinking is if I hire seasoned vets then there won’t be need for a sales process (hand holding) because these folks are PROFESSIONALS! Any of you who have been through Solution Selling® training might remember the concept of the 80/20 Rule. This rule states that 20% of all sales people are what we define as “Eagles”, they are intuitive and typically have the experience/savvy to move deals along naturally. While the other 80% we refer to as “Journeypeople” these folks can make sales presentations and deliver value propositions but they tend to need some guidance along the way (process) to be successful. So SPI looked at what tools and actions were making these “Eagles” so effective in their approach and then put some structure or process around those findings.
At its most basic level, creating and following a sales process does ensure that everyone is following a best practices approach to sales. It also creates a method, particularly if a CRM or other reporting tool is utilized, for sales people to organize themselves, and for management to track and measure activity.
When B2B companies ignore sales process, here’s what they’re really choosing to live without: data. Data to inform any number of strategic and tactical decisions, to identify trends, to help us answer questions like:
Where are we in the sales cycle?
What do we need to do in order to move a deal forward?
What’s in the pipeline and what else is on its way in?
How predictable are our forecasts?
Where can the sales cycle be shortened?
What key players within an opportunity are we not engaged with in order to win more deals?
What skill gaps need to be addressed across the sales organization?
Top-performing sales engines utilize well-structured and repeatable sales processes. Not to baby-sit, though it’s true process helps each of us stay focused and disciplined. Rather, it’s because the process provides key data that elevates the performance of the sales person and the entire organization. If you can’t answer the questions above, it’s time to start thinking process.