This is a question I get asked a lot. Is there value in having a sales process?

The question comes from companies of all sizes.

When I’m asked this question, I immediately ask the person if they have a sales process in place now.  Typical answer is yes, but then when I challenge them on what the process is, the excuses begin to flow.

With 14 years of sales consulting experience, I can clearly state it is impossible for a company to be high-performing, regardless of their size, without having a sales process in place that each member of the sales team follows.

Yes, a company can achieve sales success without a sales process, but rarely will this success last longer than a few years…or be as great as it could be if there was a sales process in place.  For an organization to achieve their profit and sales potential, they must have a sales process.

Challenge of course is in defining the sales process.  Merely having a sales process will not by itself allow you to maximize profit.

The sales process must fit your industry, business plan, organization, and customer base.  This means to truly put in place a sales process, you first have to assess what your current position is.

Let’s turn this now to a perspective about how a sales process helps the individual salesperson.  The best way to describe it is with two words — discipline and accountability.  If you break apart what a sales process does, it is nothing more than these two items — discipline and accountability.

Sounds simple enough, right? Yet to the individual salesperson, this is the difference between success and failure and, more importantly, the difference between a high-level of success and floundering mediocrity.

Finally, let me add one more piece to the perspective as to why a sales process works.  Plain and simple, the phones don’t ring enough anymore.  There was a time when many industries were operating at near maximum capacity and the ability to execute a marketing campaign was all that was necessary to ensure sell through of production.

This is no longer the case, and even if it was, the case that you need to just sell through available supply is not going to maximize profit.

Is a marketing program required for sales to be successful?  I say, yes, and the only way the marketing campaign will be optimized is if the sales force is working with a sales process.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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