SPIF Tip 25: When can you consider that your sales process is developed enough?


25Any process could be

“developed enough”if it is achieving the desired objectives.

Unfortunately, although our desires are limitless, our resources and capacities are not. That’s why we almost always want things to improve. When people say things like “We need a process,” or “We need to follow the process,” they mean they want things to improve.

In reality, a process already exists, even if it consists of a bunch of people inefficiently doing things their own way. If their work aims at a common result, it is a process, whether they understand or document it, or not. The real issue is how to create improvement?

Most people – and most companies – fail to create improvement. That’s because they think processes are about imposing someone’s ideas on the group. It doesn’t matter if they are an outside expert’s, or our own. Other people’s ideas create immune reactions. This approach is the opposite of what is required.

It is true that an outsider or a leader may already know what change will create improvement. Yet, gaining cooperation from other people requires getting them on the same page first. The individuals involved usually need help achieving agreement on the problems they are trying to solve. They naturally come at things from their own selfish perspectives. It can take a bit of work and discussion (especially in sales processes).

Yet, reconciling each individual’s perceptions and assumptions achieves a broader and deeper perspective. The new shared foundation is stronger than any individual can create. It paves the way for creating an even more important consensus. The individuals must decide what changes might create improvement. And, they must identify measures of how they will know if improvement happens.

As someone once said (I wish I knew who!), “Those who create the plan won’t battle the plan.” And, this kind of internal alignment makes businesses more efficient. In this way, process improvement enables companies to grow their capacities and resources faster.

So, why would they ever want to stop developing it?


Michael Webb

Michael Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants to create a data-driven alternative to the slogans and shallow impact offered by typical sales training, sales consulting, and CRM companies. Michael helped organize and delivered the keynote speeches for the first conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to marketing and sales. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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