Sales processes and sales strategies are important parts of selling. A sales process follows from sales strategy. A successful operation does not just come about naturally; it is something that requires planning and intense consideration from both customers and companies. And yet, many companies don’t put sufficient work into creating their strategies, leaving their processes weak and unsuccessful. John Flannery, interviewed by John Golden, discusses how to create a solid sales strategy and successful sales process.
In this expert sales interview, explore sales processes, and:
- The three critical elements of a sales strategy
- Why knowing your customer is important
- The importance of defining your stages
- How sales training is incorporated
Three Key Sales Strategy Elements:
There are three critical elements that all sales strategies should have. First, the strategy should take into account who the customers are. Even for existing companies that already have a target customer, this is something that should be revisited as the market and the sales world change over time. Second, explore the markets that your company competes in. And third, have a concrete idea of the value that your company, product, and service and bring to the customers in that specific market. Having a solid understanding of these three things are crucial. After you have them, you can move towards the tactical execution with the sales process, but the strategy is the necessary stem with which the process can branch off of.
Know your customer:
Once you have your sales strategy down, there are several components to a sales process that are important to integrate. First, understand how and why people are buying from you. How do they go through and make purchasing decisions? How will they acquire products or services? Before selling, we have to understand what’s happening on the customer or prospect’s side of things.
Define the stages:
Define what happens in each step of the sales process. What are the things that the seller should be doing in each of these stages? And, are we genuinely advancing to each step in the process, or are we just elongating the current phase? Part of defining the stage means understanding the exit. The exit has to be agreed upon by both the salesperson and the prospect or customer. “We need to get an agreement that we are moving forward,” said Flannery. “Moving forward is based on the definitions within those stages.” If the stages are not adequately defined, it is difficult to move forward in the sales process.
The importance of training: One crucial part of developing a well-working sales process is to ensure regular practice is happening. You could have a perfect process, but the salespeople still need the skills to execute it correctly. To do this, align the skills of the salespeople with what happens in each of the previously defined sales stages. And, it should be noted that a seller will only improve at the rate of their weakest skill. To improve sale’s skillsets, the sales manager and the VP of sales provide insight into each seller’s weak links. Then, they can coach the sellers through their weaknesses, allowing them to be more successful in many areas.
About Our Host
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.
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