Consider the following situation.  You are the newly Chief Sales Officer for a company with a major need to jump start sales.   Everything seems broken, in need of attention or glaringly absent.  The sales team is all over the place, process is non-existent, lead gen isn’t happening anywhere and no one believes anything that comes out of  Congratulations!  That’s why they hired you.   So where do you start when everything needs fixing?  (As they say in Texas…)

One Word: Process

Here’s why process has to come first.  A well-defined, logical sales process fixes many of the ills that are impacting sales performance.  In fact, many of those problems are symptoms of no process.   Sales process makes so many important things clear to the sales team and every person and function that supports and interacts with them.  Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Targets reps on the right deals and discourages them from bad pursuits
  • Standardizes sales stages, probability percentages and makes pipelines believable.
  • Clarifies who owns lead creation and management and defines when leads become qualified.
  • Reduces proposal churn on deals that aren’t ready or are a bad fit.
  • Establishes trust with the executive team that the sales team is focused and engaged.
  • Energizes your top reps and frees them to focus on relationships and creating value for the prospect.
  • Sends a message to C players that performance shall be measured and standards upheld.
  • Win rates increase and no-decisions are reduced as only the best opportunities make it through the all the opportunity management stages.
  • Average win values increase because of better alignment between prospect needs and company solutions.

By now you’re asking how the singular act of implementing a sales process can promise all these results.  Don’t take our word for it!  Study after study from leading sales research firms such as CSO Insights, AberdeenGroup, Forrester, Marketing Sherpa/MECLABS and others provide detailed analysis on the impact sales process has on sales results.   Visit their sites and see for yourself!

Right now is the time to commit your self to formalizing a sales process by the start of 2012.