One thing that separates mediocre sales teams from those that consistently meet or exceed their revenue goals is the sales process. Teams that have a sales process and stick to it will likely earn more sales than the sales teams that are left to go about their own way of getting to a meeting or a demo. Salesforce data says teams with a sales playbook are 33% more likely to be high performers. Still, 40% of sales teams don’t have one. As organizations settle into a full-blown recession period, the sales process will matter more to teams that want to make it through to the other side.
Why Does A Well-defined Sales Process Work?
Some sales managers shy away from instilling a sales process for their teams because they don’t want their team to sound scripted on the phone. They fear that if they give salespeople a written guide for what to say then their people won’t use critical thinking or inject their own personality into the conversation. Some sales managers assume their sales executives already know how to create opportunities. After all, isn’t that why they got the job?
This kind of thinking is a little short-sighted because even seasoned sales executives can benefit from having a researched, well-planned sales process to fall back on. And actually, having and owning a sales process is in the client’s best interest as much as it is for your salespeople.
Control The Conversation: Control The Outcome
If a sales rep doesn’t direct the conversation, the prospect will institute their own process which removes the rep’s chances of securing a sale significantly. They quickly lose the opportunity to build value. The prospect starts asking uniform questions, leading the salesperson down a convoluted path that ends in the prospect bringing other players to the table. And before you know it, your rep is competing against other providers that have their own specific offerings. The prospect gets confused and has to become an expert about all of the other offerings and yours (which is impossible). Consequently, the decision comes down to price.
Alternatively, if the salesperson adheres to their sales process, they can maintain control of the conversation and ensure the meeting addresses all of the prospect’s needs as well as their questions in a way they can understand and trust. The salesperson is able to gather the information they need to identify the prospect’s needs and concerns, which helps them more accurately recommend and speak to the solutions the company offers.
The sales process gives the seller and the prospect an opportunity to truly learn from one another. The prospect will come to understand the value the seller brings if they were to go with their strategy and solution for solving their problem.
A great sales process can prevent the salesperson’s biggest fear: getting downgraded to a commodity seller or just another vendor. It’s much harder to engage and meet with a prospective buyer if in the prospect’s mind, the salesperson falls into the vendor bucket. Busy decision-makers do, however, make time for a trustworthy consultant.
The sales process empowers reps to quickly position themselves as an authority and someone the potential buyer can trust. When a prospect attempts to derail the conversation, a practiced sales rep will politely educate the client on the reason for the process and continue following it. They’ll explain that discovery is important for really bringing them the correct solution and accurate pricing. Salespeople present to different types of buyers with different backgrounds and personalities. So they will, of course, have to adapt and acquiesce at certain points because no sales meeting is the same. An effective sales process helps salespeople get back on track when a prospect’s questions or communication style attempts to take them down a rabbit hole. The salesperson commands respect when they stand up for their process and wins the role of consultant in the prospect’s eyes. The prospect sees that the salesperson isn’t just there to please and desperately sell anything the prospect will buy. Instead, the rep is truly invested in providing the best possible solution.
Empower Salespeople To Serve With TaskHuman
TaskHuman’s sales coaches can be a huge asset for sales managers that are implementing sales processes in their teams. They offer many years of experience in putting together sales playbooks and can help sales managers avoid mistakes. Many of the sales coaches available through TaskHuman have playbook templates for specific industries which they can share. The templates can provide a backdrop for sales managers to customize their sales process, making sure it’s formed with an accurate strategy that helps salespeople win in their roles.
The sales coaches offered through TaskHuman’s 1:1 coaching platform can help salespeople become agile in the use of their sales process. Over time, it’s natural for salespeople to deviate if they don’t work on maintaining their technique. TaskHuman’s sales coaches can meet regularly with sales reps to role play and strengthen their skills at a time that works in the sales professional’s schedule.
What would your sales team look like if everyone on the team used a well-defined sales process? Salespeople would build rapport, accomplish thorough discovery, and only engage in presentation or proposal work when specific requirements are met (I.E. The decision-makers are present. There’s a budget. There’s a timeline to buy. etc…). Your salespeople are listening as opposed to talking. They’re able to address needs accurately and articulate why their product is the very best option for their prospect. And best of all, they can effectively establish their position as a trusted expert whose prospects will comfortably refer to others.
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