Most new salespeople are thrown in the deep end when it comes to sales induction.
“Here go out with Josephine, our best sales person and be like her.”
Most salespeople, in general, are given no articulated sales process which means there’s nothing specific to be coached or trained to or to follow.
In sales teams we often have the blind leading the blind when it comes to achieving sales best practice.
Because most businesses do not have an articulated sales process map(s) for their salespeople to follow. They treat selling as an action not as a profession with clearly defined standards.
It doesn’t have to be this way
What if we gave our new and seasoned salespeople an articulated sales process map that outlined each step of their sales activities ranging from Sales and Territory Planning, Prospecting and New Business Development, the Client Meeting, Proposals, Recommendations and Closing, Follow-up, Implementation, and Review?
What if we articulated the actions and behaviours necessary in each step? If we do that, we now have something to induct, train, and coach our salespeople to and our salespeople have something to refer to themselves for self-development and guidance.
And just to make it clear we are not talking about rigid tram track processes with no deviation like the very unhelpful scripted sales approaches that stifle any form of initiative and slowly ‘kill off’ the best salespeople.
We are talking about sales processes that operate like a race track; something that we can drive around and manoeuvre as we see best; something that gives us direction and guidance but allows us to make the moves that serve us and the client best.
Building Sales Process Maps
Before any induction, training or development takes place, it is critical to assess and map the current sales process(es) and identify the key steps and protocols needed to ensure a consistent and appropriate approach to sales leadership and selling across the sales teams and all people involved. Developing minimum standards of sales and sales leadership excellence, and implementing effective sales processes and leadership framework (based on current best practice) will help sales teams consistently sell better.
The draft sales process map and leadership framework is used as ‘evidence from the field’ from which the sales managers can make informed decisions about the minimum standards of excellence required from and for their sales teams. Once the sales process and sales leadership standards are agreed upon then we can create a specific sales learning and development plan for the sales team.