When I ask how sales are made I often hear things like, “I don’t know we just make sales calls.” If this sounds like your company, you have problems, you just haven’t seen them yet.
Do you feel like your company’s sales are a feast or famine situation?
Without a formalized sales process there’s a very good chance this is your situation……Some months you have more business than you can handle and some months you wonder how you’re going to meet payroll.
Having a sales process will help you take the dips out of your cash flow. With a great sales process you might even be able to start accurately forecasting how much business your company will create. I know that’s something I’m in favor of, how about you?
Without a sales process everything is a one off.
Without a sales process every sale is an adventure in the unknown. Your sales staff has to figure out what to do and how to approach every potential customer. The biggest problem with this is your salespeople have to figure out what the best next step is.
If you have a sales process you’ve had the chance to test to see what works best. You can then start to keep what works and stop doing what doesn’t work.
A great sales process is a system. If your sales people have confidence in the process they’re likely to be more enthusiastic about your product. This enthusiasm will translate into more business with less effort.
A sales process lets you see what you can expect in future sales.
If you have a real sales process (known as a pipeline) you’ll eventually know that when a prospect reaches a particular part in your sales process there will be a known percentage of success. When you get to this point you’ll start to be able to accurately forecast how your cash flow will be in the future.
Way too often I’ve run across companies that have no idea what their backlog in business is or what they can expect over the next three months for business. This is a difficult way to run your business, one I’m hoping you’re not facing.
A sales process will make life easier for your sales people.
If your sales process has systems in place it will make it easier for your sales team to be successful. When people know what to do next, their enthusiasm for what they’re doing increases.
We all like to know what to do next. We all like to be good at what we do. When you ask your salespeople to make it up as they go along, it’s going to be hard for them to be good at the steps that create business for your company.
Be nice to your salespeople and give them a path to run on. They’ll thank you for it.
A sales process will make life more difficult at first for you and your sales staff.
Didn’t you just tell me that having a process will make life easier for my sales team? Yes, and eventually it will get easier, but first you have to start working on a change process in your company. And we all know how much people who work for us enjoy change.
Let’s be clear that when you’re putting a sales process in your company you’re asking your sales team to do things differently. You’re going to have to do a lot of coaching, listening and follow up to get a sales system established.
The good news is that once you do this both you and your sales people will be much happier. Be brave, put up with a little pain today for great results tomorrow.
Having a true sales process is about creating a sustainable business.
One of my mantras is to help the people I work with understand the two things that make a sustainable business. One of those things is a recurring revenue stream in your company.
Recurring revenue makes your business infinitely easier to run. Sometimes a business has a difficult time seeing how they’re going to create recurring revenue. The easiest way to do this is to establish a sales process that has been time tested and works.
If you do this and adopt it to your business your business will have more value today and sometime in the future you’ll find others will want to own your business. Doesn’t that sound like a great place to be?
Why don’t you let me know what you think in the comments below?