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 (part 2)?

The question of how the sales process can be used and useful to manage sales from the management perspective has to do with metrics. Can metrics be derived from this sales process that can be used to help manage the salespeople and the sales force. The answer is yes. This will be covered in the next chapter.

What else might be behind the “is it right” question is the idea of whether or not the sales process is complete.

Most frequently, the “is it complete” question refers to the established client base as a source of business. People say “I don’t need to do all of this, because I get all of my business from existing clients.” Let’s dig into that.

When you get business from an existing client, that may mean that you come to work and an order is just waiting for you. Isn’t it great when that happens? Of course it is, and you should be congratulated for that, but you should not count on that always being the case.

More often, you will need to contact your existing clients once in a while to check in, see how things are going and what’s new, and explore opportunities to do more business. As I hope you can see by now, this selling behavior follows the same process you might use with a new prospect.

  • Lead source: Existing clients
  • Prospecting method: Contact them every once in a while
  • Qualification: You already know who is the decision-maker, but you should find out if there is a need and budget for something new
  • Needs analysis: If there is a need and a budget, you will want to flesh out the need to make sure that you propose the best solution
  • Presenting the solution: In some way you will suggest a product or service and a price
  • Objections and negotiations: Even existing clients sometimes have questions, comments, or concerns about your offer and/or your price
  • Closing the deal: You do need a signature, or a purchase order, etc.

So as you can see, our process is right for new and existing sources of potential business. It also seems to be both useful and complete. In this way, and as described above, it does seem right for most any sales situation that might be pursued.

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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!

-David