According to legendary quality expert W. Edwards Deming, there is one critical, but often overlooked, a factor upon which success in almost any business endeavor depends.
The ability of your sales team to meet and exceed your revenue targets will be determined largely by your awareness, or lack of awareness, of this one thing. It amazes me how many companies neglect it entirely, focusing instead on individuals and performance issues while the real problem goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Obviously, it is vital for you to understand this important component and learn how to manage it properly so that you can unlock the full potential of your sales organization.
What’s Your Selling Process
According to Dr. Deming, the critical component is your system or process. For the purposes of our discussion, we’ll be focusing on the process that has to do with generating sales–your selling process. In my experience it doesn’t matter how talented, educated, or experienced your salespeople are, or how hard they work at it, there remains a very large gap between the actual results they will produce and the results they could have produced had someone been paying attention to process. In today’s ultra competitive business environment, where the margin between winning and losing is so slight, I am surprised at how many companies continue to ignore an area that holds such potential for drastic increases in productivity and bottom line results.
It’s easy to say that your salespeople could be producing better results. It’s not so easy to actually demonstrate it and then formulate a workable plan to do something about it. Most managers would agree there’s always room for improvement. The challenge lies in knowing where to look in order to find the weaknesses in the selling process that are holding your people back. It’s hard to stop the bleeding when you can’t find the cut–or worse yet–when you don’t even know there’s a cut. Most companies don’t even know where to start. In that sense, it’s easier to manage people than to engineer process improvement. It’s always easier to treat the symptom than to actually diagnose and treat the underlying cause. The result is a selling environment where the true reasons for most mistakes and failures go unaddressed and are blamed on people instead. Companies who operate this way often find themselves grappling with the same basic problems year after year with the only change being the people doing the grappling. It’s an ineffective and expensive proposition, certainly much more so than teaching your sales managers how to apply the principles of Sales Process Management.
Sales Process Management
Sales Process Management (SPM) promises to do more than just identify and improve the weaknesses in your selling process. Another major benefit you will enjoy when you make the commitment to SPM is seeing the best practices in your selling process identified and duplicated across your entire organization. I’ve heard many leaders talk about implementing best practices but have seen very few of them actually manage to consistently achieve it.
As a company, we have a lead organization through a successful discovery of their internal sales benchmarks to highlight strengths and weaknesses. We have measured organizations sales objectives and best practices to define the gaps between actual and potential performance and like all of us who need to see results financially looked at what companies left behind in profits by not evaluating systems and process leading to the accomplishment of consistency in sales achievements. The results in (SPM) implementation in every turn have been outstanding, in uncovering your organizational full potential. It starts with exploring combined with action and someone to champion the way.