The Sales Process from Beginning to End
The first and most important aspect of Selling is to Plan the Sales Process. If you don’t define the way you, the Sales Professional, want the sales process to go, then you are already statistically behind your ability to close. Sales professionals that define the Sales Process and how it should be executed with a customer generally have a useful roadmap and some control over the sale and close. Sales people that don’t define the sales process are letting the Customer will define the process; leading to loss of control, unexpected twists and turns in the sales process, and a lower probability of a successful close!
So the focus here is how to lay out the Sales Process into pieces and always Know where you are in the process:
If you don’t define the Sales Process and confirm a plan and steps with your Prospect/Soon to be Customer, you will end up no clear path to closing the sales. Worse, you will have to continually changing path, defined haphazardly by the prospect and leading to uncertainty in your planning and scheduling. Why would any sane person prefer to Extra work along the way to the Close when a little planning can remove much of the chaos?
There are numerous aspects that are important to concept of this section: Making The Sale! The most important skill to focus on is Repetition, with a focus on making sure that what works is correctly and routinely applied to your key accounts.
Simply Stated: The Focus of Sales Professionals should be on Developing a Sales Process that can be repeated. While this sounds simple, it is a much harder skill to perfect that you might think. The main reason it is difficult to perfect is that, by their independent natures, Sales People generally don’t like process and prefer to “wing it”; that is prefer to reply on their perceived innate sales talents. As a result the majority of sales people make the same mistakes over and over without seeing the patterns of failure. In short, we as sales people just don’t learn quickly. If something works well for us one time, then we will continue to do it over and over again. If the great result we had the one time turns out to be a fluke, they will end up going down a bad path over and over again.
Therefore, the key advantage of having a proven Sales Process is the ability to document and learn. A key skill that Sales Professionals have mastered is the skill of Documenting Sales Process. Write down the steps that occurred and look for Patterns of Success and Patterns of Failure. If something worked one time in one sale it may be a breakthrough selling approach, but ONLY if is a set of steps or something you can Repeat in other accounts. By documenting, you will not need to relay on a faulty and excuse making memory. If you are not documenting and following proven sales steps, then you are really Guessing. Your focus has to be on Repetition of Key Steps that are proven to work over and over again.
Often, a Manager or Colleague can do a better job on Documenting someone else’s Success that they can their own. The Goal is to look for things that can be repeated in the Sales Process and that work. A technique or step that worked one time for a Sale does not a Pattern Make! Make sure you look at a set of steps that can be seen to be successful over and over again. If not, then you are doing some combination of Hoping and/or Guessing. Neither is part of a Success that will help you Consistently get to the end of game!