What is the process you need to take customers through to produce a sale? What steps do you need to take and does your client know what these steps are and why they go through this process? Knowing this, both as a sales rep and as a customer, can be critical to your success.

What is your sales process?

Take out a piece of paper and write down all the steps you must take a customer through in order to complete a sale for your product or service. What are all the steps? Why do you need to take each step and what does this mean to the customer? What happens if you miss or skip a step? How do you communicate this to your clients?

More and more I am getting asked to help my clients understand their sales process. We create a process map and outline from the time a customer or prospect calls them until they invoice them; what are all the steps and who is responsible for each steps completion. This exercise is an eye opener for many. Too often organizations don’t know their process, don’t know who is responsible for each step and then wonder why the sales team spend so much time managing their business through the organization.

If no one knows the process then how does the customer trust that you will deliver what you said you would deliver? How does the sales rep trust that things will get done as promised? How does the organization know what the customer wants and trusts that the sales team has provided the appropriate information and detail? Sounds like no one trusts anyone without knowing what the sales process is!

There is teamwork required here. It does not matter how big or small your company is, there needs to be a documented process and who is doing what. My experience is that once everyone in your organization is clear on the process, then people begin trusting that orders will be fulfilled and managed as promised to the customer.

What about your customers?

Have you ever bought something personally or in business and you weren’t sure when you were going to get your product? And then when you don’t receive it have a customer experience that is frustrating and infuriating. Customers are expecting that you deliver what you promise on. If there is a problem, they expect that you will resolve the issue with little or no inconvenience to them. If there is an inconvenience, they are treated appropriately and compensated appropriately. And yet how often does this actually happen for customers?

For most sales people – referrals are how they grow and maintain their business. If you have a broken process, you spend more time managing customer expectations and your office than is worth the effort. You lose valuable selling time and are frustrated more than need be.

What makes a process successful?

First have one. Make sure it is documented and shared with the entire organization. It is no good if only sales know about the process. Sales is not a solo sport. Everyone must know the process, know their role, be held accountable and have ability to make things happen – or not. They have to be able to stop production because something is wrong. They have to know that they need to do to correct an issue and know that they make a difference and have an important role to play.

How are you communicating this process to your customers? Make sure they know there is a process. Make sure they know why each step is important and what it means if they skip or miss a step. If they know your process then it allows them to trust that the process will deliver to them what they ordered and that if there is an issue it will be resolved.

The process needs to be monitored and there needs to be an overall owner of the process. It may be the VP of Sales, it may be a manager, and it may be a Project Manager. There must be someone who can police, manage and make the appropriate changes as needed. If there is no owner then the process will be manipulated and managed by who ever yells the loudest.
Now that you have your sales process in place – what are you going to do with that extra time!!!

Sayers Says…

Write down all the steps in your sales process? Who owns the process? What role does each of your teammates play and what is their responsibility? Do your customers know the process and why it is important to their delivery and order fulfillment?

What is your sales process?

Author's Bio: 

Bill Sayers speaks, coaches, leads education sessions and provides management consulting services to a variety of companies. Bill has been praised for his leadership, common-sense approach and ability to inspire sales people to new levels of success. His easy manner and strong public-speaking skills make him an engaging facilitator. Bill connects with senior executives and sales professionals alike, as he shares his real-life experiences and provides the appropriate tools and strategies for success in today’s business world.

Bill’s book Funnels & Forecasts – The Great Game of Sales is available on Amazon. Sayers Says: "This second edition was important for me. It has allowed me to have my book and its message sent out to a global audience. The feedback from readers has been that the book is an easy read and that there are lots of common sense advice and tools to help sales people be more successful in their sales game. Funnels and Forecasts - The Great Game of Sales will help sales people in their quest to improve their game."

He has been a professor at George Brown College teaching Personal Selling Skills to the Sports and Event Marketing Graduate Program, and is on the faculty of Canadian Professional Sales Association and Canadian Management Centre.

To receive our free “How are you Playing The Game” Scorecard and a 45 minute one-on-one session with Bill Sayers, email: info@TheSayersGroup.com or visit: http://www.TheSayersGroup.com .