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Why A Customized Sales Process Is Like Buying Shoes

by Dave Kurlan

2 minute read

    The science says that companies that add a formal, customized sales process and hold their salespeople accountable to following that sales process will increase their revenue by an average of almost 20%.  More on that in a moment, but first, let’s talk shoes.

    My wife loves shoes – she has dozens of pairs for every possible occasion and outfit.  My son loves sneakers – he not only needs pairs of size 11’s for basketball, turf, baseball, and running, he needs them in various colors to match his many sports uniforms and he outgrows them every other month! I have always managed to get by with a brown and black pair of dress shoes, a pair of sneakers, a pair of dock shoes, and a pair of sandals.  My mental review of shoes got me thinking about how well various shoes compare with the sales processes that companies have shared with me prior to creating a new process for them.

    In my experience, I have seen customized sales processes in the following forms of shoes:

    Sandals – they have some steps but there are so many holes that you can’t really call it a process

    Deck Shoes – their process tends to take on water because too frequently the opportunities that they believe will close end up sinking.

    Sneakers – their process features a demo which they run to way too frequently and much too quickly.

    Loafers – from a distance it appears to be a process but when you look closely, it isn’t ready for formal selling to the C-Suite

    Dress Shoes – a formal, custom, staged, visual, milestone-centric sales process that is both comprehensive and predictive, while at the same time, easy enough for all salespeople to follow.

    Unfortunately, the only sales processes I have seen that fall into the dress shoe category are those that we have created and optimized for our clients.

    You wouldn’t attend a gala in deck shoes, you wouldn’t dine in a special-occasion restaurant wearing sneakers, and you wouldn’t attend a wedding reception in sandals.  If your target audience is management or higher, the sales cycle takes more than a week, you’re not selling an online subscription, there is competition, and every sale is important, then you must have the customized sales process equivalent to dress shoes!

    If you want your salespeople to sell value and not on price, they must be able to sell consultatively, and a consultative approach requires a consultative process.  The question is, which process?

    I put this short video together to give you a sense of how sales processes differ, how some are not processes but actually methodologies, and how some are much more complete than others.

    Let’s get back to the science and ask a question.

    If most companies don’t have the proper customized sales process in place, and sales process alone can increase revenue by almost 20%, then why do companies believe that what they have is good enough?

    I hate to generalize, but it goes something like this.  The CEO has faith in the Sales Leader and has no idea whether the existing process is great, good, fair or useless.  The Sales Leader believes for certain that it is good or great and communicates that to the CEO.  Why does this happen?

    Because sales leaders have large egos and many of them suffer from one or more of the following three self-limiting beliefs:

    1. DIY (do it yourself) – They believe they must do it themselves because that’s what they were hired to do.
    2. KIA (know-it-all) – They know everything therefore there isn’t any way that their process could be improved.
    3. SOW (sign of weakness) – They believe it is a sign of weakness if they go outside the company for help in the area of sales process.

    Get your sales process formalized, optimized, and visualized and let it help your salespeople to supercharge the company’s ability to grow revenue today!

    If you want to learn more about this topic, Growth Institute offers a short online course. It provides more detailed instruction on how your customized sales process can and should be built.

    Click here to learn more.

    Dave Kurlan

    Dave Kurlan

    Dave Kurlan es un orador de alto nivel, autor de best-sellers, presentador de programas de radio, emprendedor exitoso y pionero de la industria de desarrollo de ventas.

    Dave es el fundador y CEO de Objective Management Group, Inc. (OMG), la empresa líder en evaluaciones de candidatos de ventas y evaluaciones de fuerza de ventas, donde obtuvo el reconocimiento a “la mejor herramienta de evaluación de ventas para 2011-2015”.

    También es CEO de Kurlan & Associates, Inc., una firma de consultoría internacional especializada en desarrollo de fuerza de ventas, y nominada en tres ocasiones al Inc 5000.

    Ha escrito dos libros, incluido el best seller Baseline Selling: Cómo convertirse en vendedor superestrella mediante el uso de lo que ya sabe sobre el juego de béisbol.

    Contribuyó con muchos otros autores como Stepping Stones, Deepak Chopra y Jack Canfield.

    Su popular blog Entendiendo la Fuerza de Ventas, fue nombrado el Blog de Ventas y Mercadotecnia más importante para 2011-2015 y fue incluido en el salón de la fama de ventas y mercadotecnia en 2012. También fue nombrado entre los 50 más influyentes en ventas por 4 años seguidos.

    Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best selling author, radio show host, successful entrepreneur and sales development industry pioneer.

    Dave is the founder and CEO of Objective Management Group, Inc. (OMG), the leader in sales candidate assessments and sales force evaluations, and named the Top Sales Assessment Tool for 2011-2015.

    He is also CEO of Kurlan & Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm specializing in sales force development, and named three times to the Inc 5000.

    He has written two books, including the best-seller Baseline Selling – How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball.

    He contributed with many others authors, including Stepping Stones, with co-authors Deepak Chopra and Jack Canfield.

    His popular Blog, Understanding the Sales Force, was named the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for 2011-2015, and he was inducted into the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in 2012. Dave has also been named to the Top 50 Sales Influencers for 2012-2015.

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