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 the process executed consistently and effectively?

Once you have a well-developed process that is mass-customized, bought into, and used to form the structure of the CRM, and which helps automatically generate aggregated data about the activities of salespeople as they pursue new pieces of business, sales management becomes easy.

Like the sales process itself, the magic doesn’t happen at the close. When the stuff that happens before the close happens correctly, the close practically takes care of itself.

In the case of sales management, the critical success elements that usually get skipped over or given too little attention are the parts about making sure you have the right people and that you have the right process. When you do, the task of automating it and ensuring proper usage are much easier.

What happens more typically is that management decides what data it needs, then buys a CRM that should generate it, then imposes it on the sales team.

This is completely backwards.

If the sales team does not see the CRM as something that helps it do the job, it won’t use it.

If the CRM doesn’t follow a sales process that actually is used, it won’t report the right information.

If your salespeople don’t have the right attributes and skills, they won’t be selling, and the CRM won’t tell you this because no one is using it consistently.

What a waste of time and money. Don’t feel bad. Almost every sales organization makes this kind of mistake at least once, some more than once. At least now you have a different way of approaching the goal.

CHAPTER 3 CONCLUSION

When you do have:

  • the right salespeople;
  • the right sales process;
  • a CRM that helps your salespeople be more productive;
  • and which gives you insight about the activities of your salespeople

…then it becomes painfully easy to see what is being done by whom and how effective it is. Your sales management job just became much less subjective and much easier.

This is very simple stuff. It is by no means easy; it will take a lot of work to get there, but the principles are easy. If you keep them in mind as you develop your path to the goals you want to reach as a sales organization, you will be much more likely to reach them.

Steven Covey suggests that projects should be undertaken with the end in mind. Otherwise, it’s like being lost but consoling yourself that you are making good time.

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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