Do You Have a Sales Process?

Today I was speaking at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto and a CEO asked a question about sales process.  Most companies don’t have formal sales processes but some companies think they do but really have a list of milestones.  How can you tell whether you have a sales process or a number of milestones?  You can map them!

Draw a baseball diamond and, as seen in yellow in the image below:

1st Base is a first appointment.
2nd Base is when that opportunity becomes a prospect
3rd Base is when the opportunity is totally qualified
You present your needs and cost appropriate solution between 3rd and Home.
Home is when you score.

Next overlay your steps/milestones onto the baseball diamond according to where they would belong in this timeline – an evolution of an opportunity as it goes from suspect to prospect to qualified to closed. In the sample below, the sample company’s seven steps are shown in white.

Map 1

If, like so many companies, there is a gap between one or two bases, as shown above, you have milestones.  If each base path is filled with steps you probably have a process.

Most companies have a big gap between 1st and 3rd base, the areas where the actual selling takes place.  If that’s the case for you, that’s where development (shown in blue) needs to take place as seen in the next map.

Map 2