“Why the %$#@ is this taking so long!!”

Ever feel like that when you were standing in a slow-moving line at a fast-food restaurant? It is supposed to be fast, right?  When things aren’t going as fast as they should, sometimes you need to go to the root of the problem to discover why.  This happens at McDonald’s, just like it can in your sales process.

I was standing in line at McDonald’s the other day (yes, I eat there – along with several billion others, most of whom don’t admit it – but that’s another story….).  I go to this particular McDonald’s a few times a month for breakfast, so I knew that the two people working the cash registers were managers.  I could also see that there was a pretty big backlog of customers – not just long lines, but lots of people who had already placed orders were waiting around for their food.

After watching for a while – I had the time, right – it became clear that the people preparing the food were not moving at the normal McSpeed, and a backlog was happening as a result.  The normally cheery, or at least neutral managers were visibly frustrated.  Customers were too.  It was kind of ugly – I just wanted my McMuffin and coffee…..

The front end of the customer service process at McDonald’s was not working as well as it should.  The rest of the steps that line up behind that suffered.  Those working the cash registers were frustrated, getting grief from customers, and spending significant percentages of their time running trays of food to people who had waited so long that they were asked to sit for table delivery.

Customers were frustrated, by the slower than normal pace of the lines, and the length of time they had to wait at the cash registers with crowds of people all waiting for their food.

Now there are certainly bigger tragedies in life than this, but the point is worth making.  Processes have steps.  As I have posted before, all of the steps are important – you can’t leave out steps or prioritize some over others.  The full process needs to get done for the results to be properly achieved.

However, the funny thing about the front end of the process is that it has a ripple effect through the rest of the steps.

If the front part is not done right, the following steps suffer.

In sales, if you don’t get good leads and prospect effectively, you won’t have enough people to work with on the rest of the process.

If you don’t qualify well, you will end up wasting time on prospects that are inevitably going to give you objections related to things you could have uncovered during the qualifying step.

If you don’t do needs analysis well, you will not propose the right solution, or address a need compelling enough to warrant a fast and positive decision.

Proposals, objections, and closing are all much easier to do when the stuff that comes before them is done well.

And when they slap those bacon and egg muffins together faster, everyone gets to their seats faster, and the managers are much happier…

So if you want that happy ending – to your breakfast or to your sales month or quarter – pay attention to the early steps in your process, and set up a smoother ride to the finish.

….and now back to my McCoffee….

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi, I’m David Masover. With nearly three decades of B2B sales experience, I work as a private practice Sales Force Development Consultant. I help company leaders understand the root causes of sales issues that keep revenue from growing as fast as it could, and to fix those problems through work with reps, managers, systems, processes, strategies, and tools. You can learn more about me and my work and/or get in touch with me here at my web site www.davidmasover.com/contact/ or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/masover/