In my book, “Mastering Your Sales Process”, I suggest a new way to structure and execute the sales process towards the goals of increase efficiency and effectiveness. This includes new ways of generating leads, specific time commitments and methods for prospecting, new methods for qualification, needs analysis, proposal writing, objections and closing.

One of the things I often here from salespeople is that their day is already so full they don’t have time to try anything new. If you choose to take this perspective, then realize that by doing so, you are choosing NOT to improve. It is said that the true definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again while expecting different results. Growth is change, and proactive, self-directed change will require some modification of your routine. Sure something great might happen by chance that will improve your commission checks, but hope is not a strategy.

So what can we do? We want to grow; we need to change; but we are busy. It can seem like a problem.

While it may be true that you are busy now (a time quantity issue), there are probably things you do and ways you do them that are not as efficient and/or effective as some alternatives (a time quality issue). The trick is to identify which things are not working as well as they could, and how to replace them. The goal is not to work more, but to work more effectively.

As is implied by the focus of my book, the solution lines in a more disciplined approach to your sales process. Think through each step, consider new methods and find the most effective way to execute through experimentation. There is no way out but through!

What often happens is that people read a book or meet a mentor and decide to change everything at once based on some new knowledge. While this can sometimes work, it is usually better to take things one step at a time. Unless you are starting with a clean slate, you will need to adjust over time or risk burnout. How can we do that?

The thing that works best for me and what I suggest to my clients is to first scope out the entire program: What are all of the changes that need to be tried. In the example of the sales process, you might want to design a plan for each step, then list out the specific action items that need to be done for each step and in order for you to implement the complete new sales process strategy.

If the list is large, then prioritize it, and address one piece at a time.

Stephen Covey tells a story about “big rocks” in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. The short version is this: If you want to fill a large container with various sized rocks, from melon sized to pea gravel, then you better start with the big rocks first, or you will never fit them in.

The big rocks in the story correlate to the highest priority items on your list of things to change in order to implement your new strategy. The “pea gravel” is all of the tasks that you have on your schedule already. This is not to say that those tasks are not important, but if you want to make proactive, self-directed change, then schedule your big rocks at the start of each week like meetings. The pea gravel will always be there to fill in the gaps. If you make the big rocks a priority, you will work on them and work towards positive change and growth in your sales practice. If you don’t prioritize your big rocks, you will never fit them in, as your days, weeks, months and years remain full of pea gravel, and the same kinds of results that you have always experienced.

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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