Most organizations invest heavily in packaged sales methodologies & training programs. Unfortunately, this investment of time and resources rarely translates into field adoption. Consider reframing the way you look at your organization’s sales process. Think of the sales process as an overarching operating system (OS) for all customer-based activities that your organization does. Sales process and an OS share strikingly similar qualities — both manage resources and streamline complexity.
Managing Resources. An operating system manages the computer hardware’s resources by making sure programs do the right things. Similarly, sales process manages the organization’s resources to streamline the selling cycle. A recent study by the Sales Management Association shows that high performing companies are more likely to use a sales process than low performing companies. Sales process can have a huge impact on sales and profit performance; in the study, firms reported 30% greater profits than those firms that do not consistently guide selling activity with a sales process. Just like OS streamlines computing by keeping individual programs from doing things that are harmful to overall productivity, sales process enables right behavior by keeping activities around opportunity management and supporting the pipeline on track with best practices.
When an organization does not have an integrated sales process; it’s like the frustrating experience of a computer freezing. The common reason computers freeze is because the operating system has not delegated resources properly. Two programs try to utilize the same resource at the same time, causing gridlock, and as a result neither program will be able to complete its objective. With an integrated sales process, organizations can streamline communication. For instance, aligning what Marketing and Sales do, so departments do not compete like those programs that caused your computer to freeze up. When once competing departments are on the same page, both Sales and Marketing executives can execute their activities together; that clarifies organizational roles, responsibility, and accountability. There is now a shared rhythm of how to plan and analyze where an organization is in its reporting cycles. With an integrated sales process, there’s a vehicle to get in front of customers that is more intentional, versus a reactionary response to the computer freezing.
Streamlining Complexity. Perhaps the most helpful aspect of a sales process or an OS is the functionality of streamlining complexity. An OS manages complexity so the user does not have to worry about computer hardware on a day-to-day basis. For organizations to get the most out of a sales process, it is integrated in the CRM and improves your organization’s selling cycle. Once routines are in place, sales process is not something you have to think about on a day-to-day basis, but it’s still flexible, like upgrading your computer’s hardware. Computer hardware does need to be updated periodically; the same holds true for sales processes. A sales process should be revised regularly to support where a company is today based on their strategy, growth, acquisitions, or product launch.
Sales process and OS are designed to increase overall productivity, interaction and user experience. If your sales team has a process playbook and methodology implemented to support them, you can easily distribute and communicate changes through the organization that you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have been able to do so effectively and easily. When sales process acts as an operating system, you ensure sustainable growth and scalability through consistent selling motions, tools, roles, and metrics.