Our approach to identifying a best-in-class sales process is a two-step approach. In our first step, we conduct thorough due diligence of current processes, systems, and measures used throughout an organization. We use this information to conduct interviews of top performers and key stakeholders. From these interviews, we develop a company-specific sales process that reflects a collection of best practices and validates our findings with key stakeholders.
In our second phase, we identify key activities in the process and develop a web-based survey that can be administered across a broader cross-section of the organization to determine the gap between current state and the best-practiced based process that was derived from stakeholder interviews. We can isolate the gaps organizationally, regionally, and individually, if appropriate. The results of the web-based diagnostic will inform decisions about training investment and will provide a clear picture of the change management path to deploy a consistent process system-wide.
The steps we follow include:
1. Data collection and compilation — In this step, we focus on four perspectives of information, including:
- Current Best Practices
- Strategic vision of future requirements
- Client buying patterns, behaviors, and cycles
- Industry Best Practices
2. Development of the company-specific sales process — We create the process that is unique to the organization and present it in an accountability-specific process format.
3. Validation is competed with line and leadership stakeholders in a workshop setting to finalize the methodology and transfer accountability to internal champions. We also identify KPIs (key performance indicators) which are the leading indicators in the process that managers will use to measure performance and coach to achieve process consistency.
4. Conduct a broader survey of the organization. A web-based diagnostic is developed and administered to a representative population of associates to determine gaps from current to future state, organizationally and regionally. Flexible reporting and data analysis will point us to targeted training investments and will isolate the “levers” of performance that your managers can use to manage to the process.
5. A second validation is conducted to report out findings from the diagnostic and deliver clear recommendations for process implementation, skills training, and measurement of adoption.
6. We Operationalize the process through identification of the elements of the talent lifecycle that it touches, including performance management, selection and hiring, development of a full skills training requirement profile, onboarding, integration with CRM, and branding and marketing of the process.
Defining a sales process should be done with an eye toward our seven guiding principles. In order to accelerate adoption and embed the process institutionally, it must be:
1. Repeatable — Not confined to salespeople who are above average — it must be accessible and user friendly for those in the middle of the performance curve — that 60% in the middle that will benefit the most from the implementation of the process, methodology, and skills to excel.
2. Scalable — Creating a universal language to streamline communication and coaching and accelerate onboarding during times of rapid growth by using a straightforward and repeatable process that scales as the organization grows.
3. Flexible — Adapts not only to your industry, but to you and your clients, and accounts for the structural and cultural nuances of the different global geographies.
4. Intuitive — No acronyms, gimmicks, or labels in our process — we call process steps what they are and eliminate ambiguity by defining outcomes clearly.
5. Aligned with the client — Our process, methodology, skills, and tools are the result of hundreds of best practice interviews with best-in-class companies globally and are constantly refined to be a reflection of the way the market is behaving today, not 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
6. Optimizes resources — By identifying cross-functional handshakes, eliminating redundancies, and reducing investment in unproductive tasks.
7. Designed to win — Our approach is practical and highly collaborative; not focused on manipulating the client, but instead, focused on identifying the most compelling needs for change, based in both future needs and current pain points.