Partners in Performance Blog

Can You Define Your Repeatable Sales Process?


sales process Small (2)If I were to ask you to specifically define your sales process and tell me why it works to produce sales results, what would you say? My hunch is you would struggle with your answer.

That’s because one of the most all too common mistakes made by sales people from all industries and professions is their lack of a disciplined, intentional sales process that stacks up against well established best practices.

How can it be that organizations understand the importance of having disciplined systems for their operations, engineering, manufacturing, project management or consulting processes and yet don’t apply the same discipline to their sales process? Sales is the life blood of every business!

One of the premises of Strategic Selling by Miller Heimann is that “You can only succeed in sales today if you know what you are doing and why it works.”

When interviewing hundreds of successful sales people both good and outstanding, they asked the question “Why are you so successful? What sets you apart from the others in your branch whose sales are consistently below yours?” Not one in a hundred was able to identify the real reason for his or her success. They talked about luck, connections or hard work.

However a tiny fraction of outstanding performers understood it was their methodology or process. That was the real clue to why they were the elite.

Sales Process Defined

A sales process is a step by step, disciplined process that is consistent, repeatable and coachable. But what is it?

One of the challenges is that the words ‘sales process’ gets tossed around as if everyone has the same understanding of what it means. That’s a scary assumption given how important it is for sales success. For those of who are sales trainers and coaches, ‘sales process’ skills are common sense. But common sense is not common practice.

For many people, ‘sales process’ is a bit of a mystery. They may understand pieces of it such as asking questions, handling objections or closing by asking for the business. But they don’t have all of it. They don’t have a model for a cohesive, step-by-step process to guide them through each and every sales meeting regardless of where they are in the selling cycle.

For example, Intentional Selling is a 6-step sales process. Every step is clearly defined and intentional. Each step serves a distinct purpose. If you skip a step you do so at your peril because the next step builds on the previous one.

It’s like building a house. You start with the foundation, and then proceed to the framing; from there it’s the electrical and plumbing, then the drywall, etc. There is a sequence that you have to follow because each step depends on the previous one being completed properly. When building a house you can’t proceed to the next step until the inspector comes and approves the one you just finished.

Sales Process Skills: The Difference between WHAT and HOW

With your sales process, it’s important that you follow the right sequence. The six steps in the Intentional Selling process are outlined here:

Intentional-Selling-Sales-Process

But it’s not only the sequence that is critical. There is a big difference between knowing WHAT your sales process looks like and HOW you do it. You can know that it’s critical to do electrical and plumbing work before you put up your dry wall. But knowing how to do the electrical and plumbing and why it’s important is a different story.

If you truly want sales success, do the work to get really excellent at the HOW’s of each step in the sales process. When you integrate best practices selling behaviours into each step of your sales process the benefits are enormous:

  • You have a repeatable methodology so your meeting success is more consistent.
  • Best practices are repeatable and coachable (either by self coaching, peer coaching or Manager coaching).
  • You show up organized, efficient and professional.
  • You show up with confidence because you can trust your process.
  • Your routine sets you free to focus your attention on your client.
  • You differentiate yourself with your disciplined, client focused methodology 
  • Sales results are no longer hit and miss; you more consistently get the green light to move the action forward to the next stage
  • You shorten your selling cycle.
  • And you get the sale.

 Over the next several blog posts I will drill down into each step of the Intentional Selling six step process and give you tons of practical tips and examples to show you how to execute each step with excellence.




This entry was posted by Tanja Parsley on August 14, 2014 in Intentional Selling™, Sales Process, Sales Skills. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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