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A Dirty Little Secret: Why You Really Don’t Need a Sales Process

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A Dirty Little Secret:
Why You Really Don’t Need a Sales Process

By Michael Webb

Years ago, I learned a dirty secret of the sales training business:  few salespeople actually implement most of the sales training they receive.

Then, I learned a dirty secret of the Six Sigma business: few people actually implement most of the training they receive.

Further, I learned that most consulting was this way: Companies in both the Six Sigma and the sales training business offered field coaching. This helped a little, but not a lot. Owners of CRM software companies told me their biggest challenge getting salespeople to actually use the software.  The primary complaint of lead generation firms was that their client’s sales teams would not—or could not—follow up on the leads they received.  And yet a primary compliant of the sales teams I worked with was they had not enough qualified leads.

What the heck is going on here?

I thought the answer was lack of process thinking. So, when I started working with clients on my own, I made up my mind not to be a training company or a traditional consulting business.  I would collaborate with a company’s leaders to help them define a sales process based on their environment. We would research the customers, align the client’s work to the Customer’s Journey, and establish measures, the whole nine yards. Everyone involved in finding, winning, and keeping would be aligned at last!

Unfortunately, another dirty little secret was revealed, not once, but several times: The participants in the workshops were enthusiastic. Changes were made while my team worked with them. Results improved. Yet after we left the scene, few companies continued to improve.

That’s when I realized my clients didn’t really need a sales process.  They needed a way to improve the sales process, and this is something entirely different.

Have you seen this happen in your business? With your clients?

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