If everyone on the rugby team had a different system and they all did things their own way, would the team mates and coaches or even the fans, understand what was happening? Would anyone have a clear picture of the outcome?
Successful implementation of a common sales process within a sales-driven organisation requires some work. Those companies who have a specific system for dealing with sales, help the process at all levels. The sales person knows and easily communicates where a sale is in that process. The management and inside staff understand; and the prospect knows as well.
Implementing a sales system requires the following steps:
Step #1: 100% Management buy-in.
No selling system will succeed unless your front-line managers are 100% committed to, are able to support and reinforce its implementation. The key leadership needs to define what a selling system should involve. The due diligence of investigating the sales models available cannot be taken lightly. If you are going to invest your company’s time and money in a sales system, it must fit your company culture (or the culture you’d like to create).
When you decide that you will no longer allow mediocre standards, you send a signal that your company aspires to being the best at what you do. The selling system is going to reflect that you have set new standards for performance. You’ll quickly find out who buys into the philosophy. Some may not, but that’s another issue.
A key to successful Sales Force Transformation is a conceptual shift on the part of first level managers from reactive - "what are you going to do to close this quarter?" to proactive - coaching all phases of the process, debriefing sales calls, strategizing deals, making good bid/no bid decisions.
Step #2: Sales buy-in.
Most sales training fails because it’s the corporate flavour of the month. Many business training programs consist of “read this book,” or attend this two-day training session. There are two absolute facts about this. First, there is nothing wrong with the material and the information from these sources. Fact two is, nobody learns, retains and uses information this way. If we did, we would all have our MBAs in six months.
Look at professional training in various fields. A welder or electrician spends a minimum of a year learning their craft, pilots must log hundreds of hours in the air before they get their license and so on. By and large, we give sales people a briefcase and say: you are one. It’s an insult to the profession of sales and to our clients but it is also not going to help you or your salesperson hit target.
Typically, good people with ambition and goals will accept help. They also know when the effort to help is not there. Unfortunately, sometimes our people will follow our lead. They will buy-in to what they observe. If their observation is that the company does not believe in developing them through life-long learning, you shouldn’t expect that they will have that belief themselves.
Step #3: Support and reinforcement.
Even the bestselling system, delivered by the most entertaining and persuasive trainer, will be a distant memory within a few weeks if the effort is not ongoing. It’s fine that your sales people know what to do - but to do it under pressure, in buyer/seller situations requires that reps graduate from knowledge to mastery. Having achieved initial buy-in at all levels, it’s important that they have the availability to continue the learning and support process. Selling is a high-rejection business. It takes continued upgrades in techniques, boosting of positive attitude and continued encouragement of productive behaviour from a system that includes training, coaching and mentoring to achieve both personal and professional goals.
Free Guide to Being a More Successful Manager
What do you do to improve the outcomes of your performance when you’re conducting those sales meetings, providing the coaching, and delivering the training? In other words, what do you do to become a more effective sales manager? Most sales managers would answer, “Not much.”
In this report you will learn:
So, what can you do to improve your performance and be a better manager, mentor, and motivator?