Question: Has your Sales Organisation created a formal and documented Sales Engagement Process for every phase in the sales cycle, and do your sales executives consistently follow the same pre-defined steps in a Sales Engagement Process in their customer engagements?
According to our research at ThinkSales Global, only 45% of Sales Organisations have created a formal and documented Sales Engagement Process for every phase in the sales cycle.
In addition, 23.3% of companies rate their confidence as Outstanding that their sales executives consistently follow the same pre-defined steps in a Sales Engagement Process in their customer engagements.
The ‘lack of sales engagement process’ problem
Without a formal or dynamic sales engagement process, it is difficult for sales executives to make their targets, and there is research to back this up.
According to CSO Insights’ Sales Management Optimization Study, organisations gravitate to one of four types of sales processes:
- Level 1: Random: Each sales executive is left to do their own thing
- Level 2: Informal: Sales executives are encouraged, but not required to use a specific sales approach
- Level 3: Formal: Sales executives are trained on a sales process that managers require them to use
- Level 4: Dynamic: Systems are in place to continually monitor the usage of a formal sales process and detect changes in the sales ecosystem so that managers can take proactive action to exploit opportunities and minimise risks.
Survey participants were then asked to share their company’s philosophy on adherence to a sales process.
The Random Process had the lowest percentage of sales executives making target at 46.5% (this is less than half the sales force making their numbers). This was followed by 46.6% of sales executives making target under and Informal Process, 59.8% making target who followed a Formal Process and 72.2% making target who followed a Dynamic Process.
Imagine the impact on your sales revenue if 25% more of your sales executives were reaching their targets?
There’s an additional factor to consider as well: In an informal or poorly implemented system, sales managers with 8 people in their team end up managing 8 different processes. This radically impacts forecasting abilities as well as time management and coaching effectiveness.
Management guru W. Edwards Deming says it best: “A bad system will beat a good person every time.”
We assume that great people will be able to circumvent a bad system – that the person will beat the system, but what happens when you multiply that head-count? What if you are the manager having to track progress and manage activities without a uniform system or process of operation?
If a manufacturing factory environment had no standard process or system it would descend into chaos. The sales arena is no different.
Without formal sales processes and measurements in place, the reality is that a sales manager has little visibility into a sales force’s activities and even less control over them, quickly resulting in sales teams where less than half of the sales executives are making their numbers.
Build a sales engagement process that drives performance
A formal sales engagement process creates a ‘best practice’ unified approach to selling within a role that results in more deals won and more sizeable deals won in less time.
Sales leader’s toolkit
Sales engagement process design
As you brief your sales managers to build and formalise your sales process, keep the following key points top of mind:
- Understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to building sales processes
- Every organisation is made up of sales teams with different selling roles
- Determine and document the unique activities driving towards the unique goals of each role
- Match Sales Activities that are role-specific to Sales Processes that are role-specific
- Do not implement a blanket process across the company
- Ask this key question before you begin: Which process is right for this specific role within my sales force?
Assess the health of your sales organisation
Creating a formal and documented Sales Engagement Process for every phase in the sales cycle and ensuring that sales executives consistently follow the same pre-defined steps are two of 322 measures of a world-class Sales Organisation.
How does your Sales Organisation stack up? Find out by taking the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.
This first-of-its-kind 360-degree gap analysis report enables your Sales Leadership team to assess its strengths and detect weaknesses and impediments to revenue growth across the five pillars of a high performing sales organisation:
- Competitive Strategy
- Customer Engagement
- Sales Talent
- Sales Management
- Sales Enablement
Click here for more information on the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™