This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).
From Chapter 3 – Doing the Right Things: Is it the right sales process?
We already defined our sales process as universal and demonstrated how it is indeed so.
We have also customized it to meet the individual needs of each salesperson.
Furthermore, we have built it within a framework that can be used consistently across the entire organization.
In spite of this, you may be asking yourself a question that I often get: Is the sales process that we just described the right sales process?
This question at this stage of the conversation always baffles me. It seems self-evident that if the sales process is universal, customized, and consistent, then we have gone a long way towards making it “right.” But in the spirit of answering objections, let’s dig a little deeper.
What might be behind the “is it right” question is “Will it be useful?”
Useful usually means that it fits the sales methodology of the salespeople in the organization and that it can be used to help manage their sales.
Since we have defined and demonstrated that the sales process fits all sales efforts and models, then it should be clear that it would indeed fit the sales methodology of any sales organization. There may be other steps to include for some special kind of selling situation, although I have yet to discover any sales practice that does not conform to this model. In the event that you think yours does, dig deeper to see if what you think is an addition really fits into one of these sections.
For example, people often talk about “relationship-building” or “after-sales support” as things they do that don’t fit into this model.
With respect to relationship-building, if our existing customers are a strong source of new business, then from the perspective of the sales process (which exists as a model to follow towards a new piece of business from a new or existing customer), sustaining relationships with existing clients is being done to secure the possibility of entering future new conversations about developing future new pieces of business. From this perspective, relationship-building becomes a part of lead generation, when the lead source is existing clients.
So that seems to fit.
What about “after-sales service?” The sales process as it has been defined here is about getting a new piece of business from a new or existing customer. Things that happen after the sale should either be considered as something that will lead to a new sale (relationship management) or product delivery.
Product delivery means that after a salesperson has sold something, the company needs to deliver it. That delivery may be a onetime event or an ongoing process that includes service. The salesperson may or may not be involved in this, and it may or may not be wise for the salesperson to be involved, but to the extent that this is not relationship management it is not directly related to getting a new piece of business. So it really doesn’t belong in the sales process.
Now I’ve been asking these questions for a long time, and I have not heard much else that falls into these categories, but I am an open-minded guy. If you feel you have a part of your sales process that does not fit into this category, let me know. You can reach me through my web site at www.davidmasover.com.
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!