Basics of Sales: Use a Sales Process

One of the most crucial requirements for being a successful salesperson is to use a sales process. There are a number of different sales processes out there which all vary in complexity but, regardless, having any kind of repeatable process is essential for success. One reason is immediately apparent: success is consistent only when behaviors are consistent. A sales process is a set of behaviors and, when implemented consistently, will lead to consistent outcomes. Outside of its instrumental value in producing similar results, a sales process is the best way of efficiently selling and continuing to improve one’s sales techniques.

Efficiency does bolster the overall success of a sales offer and a great deal of sales efficiency falls down to using a sales process. First, it’s important to recognize why efficiency is important in sales. For one, whatever the product may be, buyers are always limited in their attention span, their time, their energy, and so on. These are precious resources to be managed, not wasted, by the salesperson. Buyers often become averse to buying as their attention dwindles and as other matters begin to require their attention. Thus, it is important for a salesperson to use the limited window of time that they have to their advantage. The building of rapport should be personable but not listless, the questioning of the buyer should yield crucial sales information but should not overwhelm or exhaust the buyer, and the offer should be impactful and succinct rather than diluted and drawn out. How is this accomplished? Focus. It comes from knowing what things to focus on, in what order that focus should be placed, and how long should be spent on these areas. This is accomplished through the use of a sales process. A sales process will order and elucidate the steps of the sale so that only an appropriate amount of time is spent on each part. The sales process helps to provide a focus and direction to the conversation which will quicken the process to help meet the aforementioned goals. Furthermore, a quicker process provides a greater ability to reach more prospective buyers and thus have more opportunities to make sales. In short, due to the focus and direction that a sales process provides, it leads to greater sales success as it keeps the prospective buyer more engaged and also facilitates a greater amount of sales opportunities.

Besides efficiency, a sales process breaks the sale conversations up into individual components to be analyzed and improved. Given that effectiveness is the goal of the salesperson, having in mind the individual parts to the sales process is critical as it allows one to focus on parts that aren’t working (or could be better) and to determine why. If the questioning of the prospective buyer seems not to be yielding useful information, this specific portion of the conversation can be zeroed in on to determine why it is not working as it should. Are there questions that would yield more information, such as open-ended questions about the product? Are there questions which more directly identify the prospective buyer’s needs? Are there better tones or methods of asking questions such that they encourage the buyer to share information? These are the kinds of analytical questions that can be asked after breaking the sales conversation up into a series of parts. In the same way that an automobile is to the mechanic a series of parts that produce an effective whole, so should the sales conversation be to the salesperson a series of parts that produce an effective sale. Overall, each individual part can be analyzed in terms of its effectiveness and can easily be modified or experimented with to see if better outcomes occur. This allows for the ability to identify sales difficulties and to modify the process for better practices, thus leading to a more effective sales process.

The use of a sales process, thus, is vital for any kind of success. It provides consistent results, makes for a sale that is more efficient, and allows for the continual improvement of the sales conversation. Success depends upon these factors. In addition to this, however, having a process will also allow for the practice of various parts of the conversation. The repetition of specifically focused sales elements will allow for the strengthening of those techniques, the discovery of better techniques, and an overall more natural flow in future conversations. If the aim is to be an effective salesperson, the use of a sales process is a precondition to that success.

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