- October 18, 2009
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
This is the 5th in my series of The 10 Kurlan Sales Competencies That are Key to Building a Sales Culture.
#5 – Get a Sales GPS
These days you wouldn’t think about getting into your car and driving to a new destination without typing the address into your car’s navigation system. Why? Several reasons:
- fear – you don’t want to get lost
- first impressions – you don’t want to be late
- stress – you don’t want to worry about it
- progress – you want to know how far away you are
- safety – you want to watch the road, not read directions
- control – you don’t want any surprises
- efficiency – your GPS knows the way to carry the sleigh
There are probably more but you get the gist of it. And selling is the same way. Each one of those 7 reasons for using a GPS applies to a sales cycle, so it makes sense that your sales force should have a sales GPS or a process.
My guest on last week’s episode of Meet the Sales Experts discussed the importance of having a process driven sales force. Yet, Objective Management Group’s statistics on assessing more than 450,000 salespeople and 8,500 sales forces shows that fewer than 15% of them have and/or use a sales process!
In an age where so many of us are talking about Sales 2.0, most businesses haven’t even adopted the simple Sales 0.0 best practice of having a sales process.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Most companies still see selling as something that the sales folks should intuitively know how to do but the statistics prove that not to be the case.
Even with companies that are well-known for their efficiencies, controls and processes; even in the divisions led by executives who had successful sales management careers; even when leaders told us that they had implemented sales processes; the evidence just isn’t there. The data still shows that even when companies believe they have introduced a sales process, the salespeople and the sales managers don’t use it. There are several possible reasons:
- They introduced an inefficient process that wasn’t intuitive, memorable or applicable
- The process could not be utilized in their business – it didn’t fit
- There was a lack of commitment to follow the process
- The company failed to integrate training and reinforcement on how to apply the process
- The trainer was ineffective and failed to make it easy and fun
There are 5 things that companies should be doing right now – whether it’s about sales process or excuse making – another topic we spent considerable time discussing on the show.
- Invest in your people
- Assess for strengths and weaknesses
- Develop your sales force and its capabilities
- Topgrade your sales force and get the right people in the right seats
- Position the sales force now to take advantage of the upturn that is coming