"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never,
never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty..."
-Winston Churchill

Mar 302012

Is your sales process the problem?

I am absolutely amazed to discover how few companies have their sales process worked out in enough detail to guide salespeople through an effective sales call.

Over the past 30 years I have worked with numerous companies many with tens or even hundreds of millions in revenues.

Yet most have almost no documentation of their sales process. And salespeople have no understanding of even the internal best selling practices.

Listening to their sales calls you discover the primary means of getting through the sales process is by the seat of the pants.

You’ll observe salespeople simply wandering through their sales calls most of the time being lead by the prospect. You’ll hear salespeople missing prospect generated clues that should be generating critical questions.

You will also find that salespeople don’t ask for commitments let alone the order.


Very simply they don’t understand their sales process and how one gets from point “A” to point “B.”

You can listen for this quite simply — listen to a live call. See if the salesperson is “forcibly” directing the call and driving the prospect to an obvious objective. If it’s not obvious, they probably aren’t doing it and it is the sales process that needs your attention first.

Many companies hire outside training organizations to come in and teach selling techniques when the bigger problem is really their sales process.

They would find that cleaning up their own selling process would give them significant improvements in results, even without any telephone sales training.

Teaching sales skills to salespeople that don’t have a good understanding of their own sales process is almost a waste of time.

Without this knowledge they will incur great difficulty applying the new techniques properly. They may even have trouble knowing where to apply the techniques in the first place.

Before you purchase outside telephone sales training make sure you have a well detailed sales process that contains at least the method for getting to the sale, and hopefully the internal best selling practices.

Check out my site for more information on how to address these issues and please leave a comment.

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  One Response to “The Real Problem May Be Your Sales Process”

  1. Fantastic point and so on the money! I have been saying a very similar thing for years and we always try and view skills in relation to the sales process. As an example, I worked with a large engineering firm that paid for sales training and the focus was on closing technique role plays. The engineers almost did a mass walk out! When we unpacked their sales process we discovered that a large portion of their projects are awarded by tender where estimation evaluators review the tender documents. In essence the only reason a client meets the bidders is to establish their bona fides – they have bought the solution.
    Once we know this we were able to focus on that aspect of the process where they have some influence and they are winning job after job – and we didn’t even talk about handling objections etc.

    So great point. It should be kept a secret though because I make a lot of money focusing on this one aspect.

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