In the last phase of editing “Mastering Your Sales Process”, I sent the manuscript out to several people I know and respect for their input. One comment surprised me. One of my reviewers told me that the sales process is not a process. I asked him to explain.
He told me that a process is something that is best applied to a non-human endeavor (such as manufacturing or chemistry). Human interactions are spontaneous and unpredictable. One can predict the temperature at which glass will melt, but not how a conversation with a prospect is going to play out.
I understand his point, but I disagree. To demonstrate my contention, I scripted an imaginary but quite predictable line of questions from a sales manager to a sales person about current opportunities. It correlated perfectly with the sales process outlined in the book:
1: So, what is in your pipeline? (Leads and Prospecting)
2: Is that opportunity qualified? (Qualification)
3: What can we sell them? (Needs Analysis)
4: Did you make them an offer? (Proposal)
5: Are the going to buy from us? (Objections & Negotiations, Closing)
In my experience, these are the typical questions that a sales manager asks a sales person. A sales person following the process described in the book will have answers to these questions. Better still, if the sales person and the sales manager develop their process together, and have systems in place to manage it, then the conversation becomes a part of the CRM process, and can be reviewed by management on a computer screen.
The sales process is indeed a process, and a useful one that that! I may not be able to predict outcomes, but by following the process, the sales person is in the best position to be successful with both his boss and with his prospect.
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!