Many years ago, and for many years, when salespeople were recruited into the sales team of a business they would be schooled in ‘how we sell around here’.
New salespeople regardless of their experience would be introduced to the business’s sales plan, target markets and customer segments, the product range, the current sales processes, tools and templates, and so on. Sales managers would put these new recruits through their paces making sure that they knew how to sell.
Now, I admit some of the sales processes these recruits were schooled in where not always ideal or even ethical, but the principle remains the same, they were all schooled in ‘the way we sell around here’.
Fast forward to today and we find a different story in many businesses and countries. No longer are most salespeople shown how the business sells and goes to market.
Instead there seems to be a growing trend, here and in the USA at least, that it is assumed that salespeople know how to sell already.
However, with this assumption comes all manner of sales process versions in each sales team – formal and informal. In addition, the business’ sales process itself isn’t usually mapped making it even trickier for everyone to get real traction and consistency of sales effort.
Coaching becomes near impossible and confusion reigns supreme. To make matters worse customers, if they see more than one salesperson, could be forgiven for thinking that they were dealing with a completely different company each time they meet different salespeople.
How can we get real traction as a sales team if we are all doing different things often at different levels of capability?
Imagine playing a team sport where everyone had their own rules, their own techniques, their own resources and so on? Madness in the extreme.
We see this every day in too many businesses.
Imagine, instead, if every person in each sales team had access to the right sales process for their strategy, the right tools, templates and resources as well as effective sales coaching, training and ongoing development.
What a difference this would make to sales success.
Want better sales results? Endorse a consistent sales process across your sales team
If any business wants better sales results one of the first things we must do is map the right sales process that will deliver the sales strategy we planned for and then train and coach our salespeople to a minimum standard of excellence commensurate with that sales process.
Research here and overseas has shown that having a consistent sales process that salespeople can apply and be held accountable to, alone will help improve sales results by around 20%.
Remember everybody lives by selling something.