Formalizing the sales process may seem an obvious step, yet we at The Growth Engine see so many operations suffering from a “disconnect” between what selling organization think should happen in the sales process versus what actually happens. This not only results in huge amounts of lost opportunities, it can also negatively impact the operations team and ultimately,
customer experience. Often, client facing teams such as Sales deviate from the formal sales plan because of incomplete understanding and appreciation of how the plan can empower them to deliver results. This type of disconnect happens because the process for moving prospects from Lead & Demand Generation through to Deployment lacks clarity, it’s simply not formalized.
If we consider the big picture of Sales Execution, the process hinges on consistency, standardization, professionalism and branded value. The formalization of this in-depth process guarantees these are actualized at every step of implementation.
Consistency. It may sound easy, but achieving consistency in the total sales cycle is quite challenging. It takes time to fully understand and work within complex sales structure. On top of that, there often are a lot of stakeholders and considerations involved at all stages of the cycle. Having in-depth understanding and experience about how sales and marketing work, we at The Growth Engine collaborates with organizations and takes systematic approach to formalize processes with all these critical factors taken into account. The formalization guarantees that any step taken by sales and support teams works from the same playbook. With all stakeholders aligned, the value proposition works at the center of all efforts thereby allowing you to better demonstrate the integral value-add offered to your customers from day one, continuing to prove this on every step of the buyer journey. This allows for a smoother transition of leads to sales. The Growth Engine partners with you to help you establish each step of your sales process – creating the playbook for your sales teams and blueprint for your organization’s success.
Standardization. Formalization of the sales process addresses "standards" - what we will and won't do in any given circumstance. It goes without saying how widely this can vary significantly across products and services; and all the more these standards should be specifically defined based on your business. Having these in place and properly understood actually makes it easy for the teams involved in the sales transaction to respond appropriately at various stages of the sales cycle.
Professionalism. Formalizing your organization’s expected standard of “professionalism” is also vital – this dictates your credibility, your brand. Your customer’s experience with you dictates their perception of your organization. When establishing the ground rules here, focus on their expectations.
To illustrate: A customer calls to request a demo of your product. What is your standard turnaround time in responding to the request? What is the process for setting an appointment? Is your support team consistently able to promptly and properly attend to these requests? How do we respond to a customer who misses the appointment? Does the person holding the demo possess all the necessary skills to effectively present the product to the satisfaction of your customers? The standards of professionalism you adopt focuses on what impression you give, the identity you build long term and what impact you have on the customer.
Regardless of the customer, product / service or your competition, all buyers want to have relationships with selling organizations that add value to their objectives. As a provider of a product / service, it is critical to establish formalized guidelines that ensure all our people, process, standards and strategy work synergistically to clearly demonstrate that our products and services deliver that added value to our customers. The days of "no parameters," "adhoc messaging," and "lucky Sales People" in the long run simply proved that even the best products and services become unsustainable without established guidelines in place. The entire sales and support process must be guided by a formalized process in order to develop trust across the sales cycle and nurture the desire for a buyer organization to work with a seller’s organization.