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Strong Sales Process Steps to Hold Accountability

Sales Management

On this episode, Founder of Membrain.com George Brontén asks: "How do you hold the sales team accountable for executing your sales process?" 

Salespeople are often outcome-oriented and tend to skip part of the prescribed sales process. A process designed to give them the highest probability of winning. In this video, we talk about three sales process steps you can do to create accountability.

 

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Video Transcript

That's a great question. I acknowledge it's not easy. Salespeople are often very outcome-oriented and there's a temptation to skip aspects of the sales process.
 
In actuality, that works to their detriment. Companies typically have a well thought through sales process, and when properly executed, that gives you the highest probability of winning.
 
Here are three things you can do to create accountability around your sales process.
 
The fist one is making sure that the sales process is well-documented. It shouldn't be taken for granted that people know the sales process. It should be documented. It should be visible, easily accessible, and communicated on a regular basis. Perhaps during sales meetings or during orientation.
 
Also, if you think about an example of that might be in call planning. So, if call planning is a part of your sales process. You want to make sure that sales people are in fact conducting the research they need to do upfront.
 
Who's the customer they're calling on? What business are they in? What are some of the key events that are taking place within that company? What kind of background and experience does the individual that they're meeting with have?
 
Then using what they've learned in that research to develop specific call objectives saying, "If in fact this call is successful, this is the type of outcome I would expect from my customer."
 
The second area that you can work on to improve accountability around the sales process adherence is training and making sure that the sales process isn't only understood, but that specific skills that are part of that sales process are learned and can be applied on a regular basis.
 
Another example would be if identifying needs is a key skill area, you'd want to make sure that they're actually proficient in terms of the questions they're asking, using active listening skills, and really understanding what the customer's needs are.
 
There's sometimes a temptation, particularly from veteran sales people thinking they already what the customer's needs are. There's two risks there. First of all, they may not be right. Second of all, even if they are right, it's better when the customer articulates their own needs. This way the sales person can tie back the value to what they hear from the customer.
 
The third area that's important to adherence to a sales process is ongoing coaching. The best coaching happens through actual observation.
 
Let's say you're going out on a sales call and you're observing someone. You're seeing the sales person is trying to close way too early and what they should be doing is getting feedback from the customer.
 
Here you want to make sure that they're asking for feedback on an ongoing basis so that objections don't build up during the sales process, and then are they using your model?—the model they have been trained on to address those objections.
 
In summary, three things you can do to build good execution around your sales process: (1) make sure it's well-documented, understood, and communicated, (2) make sure that you're providing training so that everyone understands not only the process but how to apply specific skills that relate to your process, and then (3) ongoing coaching to make sure that, from a real-world application standpoint, they're using those skills and not skipping steps during the process.

SRG Insights is a Q&A video series where we answer your questions on the topics of sales, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. Featuring sales experts with over 25 years of sales and sales management experience.  

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About Norman Behar

Norman Behar is Chairman and Managing Director of the Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He has over 25 years of senior sales management experience, and is recognized as a thought leader in the sales training industry. His blog posts and whitepapers are frequently featured in leading sales enablement publications including ATD, TrainingIndustry.com, and Selling Power.