Have you heard the old joke about the husband and wife on a cross country driving trip? The wife says “honey, I think we’re lost”. The husband replies, “yeah, I’m sure we are, but we are making great time!”
Are you lost in your sales career? Are you coming into work everyday and reacting to what is put in front of you or are you following a map to reach your destination?
These kinds of generalizations used to drive me crazy, until I realized what kind of a map was needed. For me, in my sales career, and for the salespeople I work with, that map is a process map – a map of the sales process.
There are so many sexy things to talk about in sales. Sales process is not one of them. Following a map also sounds a lot less sexy than Rambo charging into the woods ready to defend himself and later to take revenge, but in the end, things didn’t turn out so well for Rambo!
Sales is a bit of a mystery to those who don’t sell, and to most who do. What exactly are you supposed to do to generate business? Are you insulted by this question – you’re a top earner, you have been in sales for years, etc.
OK – try this one: If you needed to double revenue in the next 90 days, where would you start? If you can’t answer this in 60 seconds, then you need a better handle on your sales process. You might not come up with the perfect answer, but you really should know EXACTLY where to start looking.
- Where are your leads coming from, and how can you increase the quality and quantity
- What are you doing to get meetings to talk about new business, from both new AND from existing clients
- Are you really qualifying in a disciplined way before you get into the meaty part of the sales cycle? What exactly are the qualifying criteria you need to see before moving forward?
- What do you need to know before you present a solution, and how do you and the client both know that your information gathering is both cone and done in a complete way?
If you can’t answer these questions in a concrete way, you can do better.
Why does this matter (and why should you care?)
- Because when you take charge of your sales process, you will be happier on the job because you have a clear direction, and you know the you are driving towards it with every move you make.
- Becasue when you take charge of your sales process you make more sales with less effort, because you don’t waste time on the back end of the process with unqualified prospects.
- Because you won’t chase every possible sale that is in your pipeline for lack of better opportunities – because you will fill your pipeline too full to go after them all, which you shouldn’t – just the qualified ones
- Because you will sell more effectively in less time, allowing you time to spend your commissions on a gym member ship you will use, spending time with friends and loved ones, and enjoying all of the fruits of your labor.
Can you imagine – being a top earner at work and having a life? Now if that isn’t motivating, then work twice as hard and retire 10 years sooner, or never, but twice as rich as you can imagine.
Increased efficiency and effectiveness don’t have much sex appeal at all. But neither does driving around in circles, lost without a map. The benefits of driving towards a goal with precision and discipline can be as sexy as you make them, but you’ll get there with a map.
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!