Simplify Sales and Wow Customers!
Do you work in sales, sales management, sales support, or senior leadership who’s responsible for significant sales results? If so, you can quickly say the number of steps in your sales process and easily access the businesses’ Sales Process Map, right? Surely you have your Customer Experience Touch Points Map (Customer journey) ready to go. Your innovation process to make these continually more awesome is spot on, right? Odds are slim you answered yes to any of this.
In the past few decades, I built companies thriving on sales processes using Renaissance Methodology, Theory of Accelerance, Modes-to-Market Analysis, Wow-Customer-Experience, and a pure unadulterated focus on building custom Revenue Engines. The Revenue Engines consist of 8 to 14 components that are customized for companies in various industries. The Revenue Engines are all about people, processes, and tools to sell significantly more and wow customers. All this methodology is engrossed in what I call Consistent-Repeatable-Processes (C-R-P) to achieve 4 mission-critical business development metrics daily. Consider these your guiding light to building the right sales processes. Refer to them as your, 4 Scared Sales Process Metrics;
1. Identify more qualified buyers and control them in a CRM 2. Touch more qualified buyers via multiple Modes-to-Market 3. Sell/present with best practices governed by concerted sales management 4. Follow up timely via multiple Modes-to-Market to close more deals
The 4 Sacred Sales Process Metrics validate the steps and tools in your business development and innovation process while keeping things simple. Easier said than done. Every step must be justified, sequenced, and measured to alleviate clutter and confusion. The key is “less is more!” The trick is defining less and balancing the right amount and types of steps. Thus, over 90% of companies go wrong with the balance. Simplicity balanced with the right steps in your sales process is extremely challenging because we as people are not drawn into simple even though we say we are. Our brains deceive us into making things more complicated than necessary. Simplicity gets lost and complexity ruins sales, marketing and operations, because their success is deeply intertwined. Often processes put them at odds against each other. Customers suffer and deals are lost. Sound familiar?
Consider the unprecedented success of Google’s search page and Apple’s iPhone. Both were developed by technology from others before their time and both capitalized at the right place and time. All because they layered simplicity into their offering in ways that catapulted their success. While portals like Alta Vista and Yahoo kept adding more features and phone manufacturers like Nokia and Blackberry kept adding more functionality, both Google and Apple discovered how to create simplicity. That ability to drill down to only the essentials is genius. Like I said, “less is more,” and that is exactly what your sales process needs to thrive. Use these 3 guiding principals to simplify your sales process, make it innovative, and awesome for your employees and customers.
- Identify mission-critical metrics and apply the Theory of Accelerance.
The key is to reverse engineer the steps to the sales process by focusing on your people’s mission-critical metrics. For every seller, sales support, sales manager, marketer, and anyone in the peripheral of business development who impacts the process, you need to establish 5 to 10 individual mission-critical measurements that affect the 4 Scared Sales Process Metrics. Then assign all of these people to teams and establish 5 to 10 mission-critical metrics for each team. Keep everyone focused on the 4 Scared Sales Process Metrics. I.E. how many sales meetings each week does a person set, attend, and what is the fall out rate? What is the breakdown from initial/new sales meetings compared to follow up meetings held? What is the value of RFPs generated in a week versus the value of closed deals, and what is the win percent? The combination of individual and team metrics establishes a positive sociological and psychological mental drive. You can use similar metrics for the team as you do with individuals. Once these metrics are in place then it is time to install the big screens in every facility, office or store to broadcast the results. Also, create e-reports that go out weekly to all those involved in the process and activate dashboards. A competitive nature to meet more buyers and wow more customers on both the individual and team level will be born and the company reaps revenue.
- Instill CRM protocols & marketing platform integration with automation.
Sellers fight tooth and nail to not use contact record management systems (CRM) and leaders only want reports from CRMs so they do not know how to use them. Plus, your organization like most are built into silos so marketing, sales support, sales, operations, customer service, and management conflict with the sales processes. These are some of the reasons leaders find CRMs to be confusing. Meanwhile, CRM administrators charge up to $200.00 an hour and an in-house CRM employee easily costs six-figures. This all results in broken rules of engagement and zero marketing platform integration or malfunctioning integration. Plus, automating contact with buyers via the CRM and a marketing platform becomes impossible. The chances to deploy multiple Modes-to-Market disintegrates. Combine all this with integrating email, bid systems, and prospect data sources to the CRM and you have a real cluster-F! The solution is having one of the rare experienced business development scientists who can guide and construct the CRM to perform with the metrics for marketing, sales, sales support, operations, and management. Ultimately, you need a Revenue Engine that separates these different internal teams, yet vests them together with the 4 Sacred Sales Process Metrics. This is as close to magic as you can get for empowering your people, processes, and innovation.
- Map the sales process and synergize it with your customer experience map.
Removing complexity from selling while balancing the right steps to close more deals requires surrendering to the simplicity of the 4 Sacred Sales Metrics. To do this effectively the process building must coincide with what I call, Wow-Customer-Centric-Experiences. You must map both the sales and customer experience sequences side by side. This involves every channel that prospects and customers progress through your marketing, sales, operations and delivery cycle. Customer experience could start with your website or web presence like social media or could evolve through referrals, cold calls, email campaigns, events, webinars or any of the vast number of Modes-to-Market. Additionally, the experience in your office or store is key to wow customer experience. Attention to detail and a commitment to making each interaction special with your people, processes, and tools are paramount. After mapping every customer experience step you can create best practices to sales presentations, follow up, and be positioned to understand how to coach and calibrate the people, processes, and tools to wow the market so you close more deals. The key is to minimize the complexity of course. It is achievable as long as you focus on the touchpoints, business development metrics, win/loss analysis, and voice of customers/prospects. This results in rave reviews from customers, immense respect from prospects, more referrals, and bigger revenue.
Knowing what your sales process is now and what it should be is not an option. It is mandatory to thrive as opposed to just survive. Improving salespeople, processes, and tools to evolve into a deal winning machine is symbiotic to your prospect/customer experience touchpoints. Allow the power of simplicity to overcome the allure and deceptiveness of complexity. Reduce your sales process to the essential and most practical metrics that drive your team’s success. A word of caution, your people will resist being handcuffed to mission-critical tasks. They will smile and nod as if they accept the accountability but many will secretly try to sabotage systems that lift their kimono and bear their work ethic and commitment to best practices in front of their peers and leaders.
Always be listening to the market and considering their voices for calibrating your people and processes. The result will be the shortest and most powerful sequence of steps in your sales process. Everything that does not fit into mission-critical metrics can be alleviated. Accomplish this and you are on your way to customizing your company’s Revenue Engine. The next objective is to create Consistent-Repeatable-Processes to sustain this money-making machine. As explain to leaders and sellers around the world, “This is advanced sales science.”