There is no magic sales process that will work for each and every company. The sales process you choose to implement into your sales organization will need to be based on internal factors and considerations.
However, no matter how hard you try, it's still possible that, at the end of the day, your sales process is failing. You don't want to admit it to yourself. You want to ignore that it's even a possibility. But if you want to get your sale team back on track and start planning for your future, you need to accept that your sales process might just be the reason why your numbers are declining and you're not meeting your sales targets.
Here are three reasons why a sales process might be failing you.
1. It's Static.
You may have spent thousands of hours and dollars researching and implementing the very best sales process for your team. With so much time and money committed to your sales process, it's understandable that you're attached to it. You don't want to change it. However, this can be detrimental-it can be the reason it's failing. You should be flexible when it comes to your process. Remember, it isn't set in stone!
New techniques and trends pop up constantly, and your process needs to take into account all this new knowledge and information in order for it to work at its best. You shouldn't be hesitant to switch up your process in order to include new techniques.
Additionally, you shouldn't be scared to eliminate some parts if you've found that they're causing more harm than good. If you're constantly having to deal with messes based on one particular aspect of your process-no matter how highly recommended it was by experts-you need to cut it out. You're not doing your business any good. You need to realize that not all tactics will work for your particular sales team, so take the cues they're giving you to adjust your sales process whenever necessary.
2. It's Only Focused on the Selling Phase.
Sure, extra emphasis should be placed on the selling phase. But you can't focus solely on this part of the process. The steps that come before and after it are just as important. It doesn't matter how awesome your sales process is if you're not putting any attention to generating quality leads and you're not allowing for relationship nurturing to get you to the selling stage.
What's more, your reps aren't finished with the customer once the sale is complete. They should be following through from the invoice to delivery and beyond. They should be following up in order to build long-term relationships. They should be answering any customer service questions and resolving any issues that might occur after the sale. They need to be there from start to finish. If your process only focused on the sale, it's probably failing you.
3. It's Not Being Followed.
You could have a million-dollar sales process in your hands. But if your reps aren't following it, stage by stage, it's going to be useless. Your entire sales force needs to be held accountable for following your sales process.
It can be difficult to totally change the way you've been selling for years though. So, start slow during your implementation process. Change a few techniques at a time, let your reps get used to it, and then change some more. Doing a complete overhaul right off the bat can lead to resentment, frustration, and rebellion. Stubborn reps might simply refuse to change their selling style.
Instead of disciplining reps who constantly refuse to use the process, in order to show them and the rest of the team just how important it is, first start by explaining the benefits of its use. Make them truly understand what your new sales process has to offer and why you're implementing it.