Ask a sales leader what a key reason for their success is, and they’re bound to say that one of the things is having a sales process every member of the team is focused on executing.
As critical as a sales process can be in building sales for your team, it can quietly work against you.
Below are 5 questions every sales manager must be asking themselves about their sales process:
1. Are you being deceived by averages?
Benchmarking numbers is a key thing sales managers do, and a natural outcome of benchmarking numbers is determining what the average is. Problem is the average doesn’t tell the most accurate story.
As a sales leader, your role should be to focus on the outliers — the numbers at both ends of the spectrum. It’s these numbers and the things behind them that are going to lead you to real insights about your sales team and the sales process.
2. Is the overall time it takes to close a sale decreasing?
This one is simple. If the overall time it takes to close a sale is not decreasing, then something is wrong.
Taking into consideration how customers are choosing to enter into the buying cycle closer to the point in time when they want to buy means only one thing: The time it takes to close must be getting shorter. If it’s not, something is amiss.
3. What is the difference between what your salespeople are sharing with their customers and what the customer could find out on the Internet?
Answering this question is going to take some digging, as well as asking your salespeople and going on sales calls with them. What are they saying? What are they talking about? If they’re merely sharing what someone could find on the internet, then you have to ask yourself, “What is the shelf life of the salesperson?”
The value of a salesperson is what they bring to the customer, and this means bringing to them insights and questions a customer is not going to find via another source.
4. What part of the sales process could be better handled by someone outside of sales?
Is your sales process a victim of tradition? Unfortunately, too many of them are, and as a result, so too are the results.
A part of continuously challenging the sales process used by your team is finding those things or activities someone else could be handling. It’s amazing what happens when a process or activity historically done by one group is moved to another group or person.
Yes, some discord may arise, but the strong leader will minimize it, and from it will come amazing improvements that improve the sales process.
5. Are you as the sales manager spending your time monitoring results or impacting results?
Sales managers spend too much time doing nothing other than completing reports. This means their perspective is nothing more than conclusions drawn from reports.
The real value of insights is when the sales manager is acting as a sales leader in the field, helping to develop their salespeople and customers. This is the impact the sales leader is paid to have.
There you have it — Five questions every sales leader must be asking themselves on a regular basis.
Why? It’s simple! You can continuously upgrade your sales process to take advantage of shifts in the marketplace or you can wait until the results are not there to realize it’s time to change.
It’s your choice.
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.