This past week I’ve had three conversations with people regarding sales process.
Each time the person was asking me about the sales process they use and whether or not it’s effective.
Each time in talking with the other person, they shared with me how they had not been using the sales process very long. When I challenged them more, they also admitted they had not even been following it.
How can we expect to understand if anything works if we don’t give it time to work?
I’ll argue with anyone that the vast majority of sales processes can and will work if the salesperson is focused in using them. Discipline is the problem, not the sales process.
Take a look at the process you’re using for prospecting or any other phase of your selling process and ask yourself how committed you are to using it diligently. Top performing salespeople are focused and disciplined. In fact, being focused and disciplined is the foundation of achieving anything successfully.
Before you make one move to change how you sell, step back and be serious with yourself in reviewing how focused you’ve been. Yes, there are times when adjustments need to be made, but making a change purely for the sake of making a change is not going to get you much.
A key measurement you need to use is by first determining what is the length of time it takes to move somebody through your sales process. If your sales process is 3 months, then it’s going to take you at least 6 months of focused effort to determine if the process you’re using is not correct.
My preference is to measure it for 9 months, as this is 3x times the average. I feel it takes time for any salesperson, no matter how good they might feel they are, to really understand and be able to maximize a process.
Throwing a sales process out and changing directions in less time than it takes to move a customer through the process is stupid.
Here’s my take away: Calm down, don’t panic and be patient by getting focused. If after you’ve done that you’re not seeing results, then go ahead and make changes. Make sure, though, that any changes you make you do so with the ability to accurately measure.
Your gut feel might be a good indicator, but the ability to have facts backing up your gut feel is even better.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.