Why Your Sales Process is Broken.

The idea of "having a process" is usually considered by business experts as the key to reproducible success.

In other words, if you want to be successful time after time after time, then you need a specific process that you can repeat time after time after time.

The inference is that without a process you flail around mindlessly without being productive, effective, or efficient.

And while that intellectual argument seems quite logical, it fails to account for the "magic" of the unknown -- the intangible talents you bring unknowingly to what you do.

The "wow" of you.

However, the argument that "no process" means "no success" is usually accurate -- especially when you are dealing with the highly complex science of revenue generation.

No other business process is more highly scrutinized than the sales process.

We train around it.  We strategize and plan around it.  We project and allocate budget around it.

Frankly, the sales process is the most pivotal part of any business.

And when it's broken, no is left unhurt.

Budgets get slashed.  Employees get fired.  Plans get curtailed.

It's miserable madness.

Management wants to know why it's broken.  And they want to know how to fix it (right now).

But maybe what seems to be broken isn't really broken at all.

Here's a few things you might not have considered:

  1. It's not really broken.  It's you who is broken. -- Most process problems are really people problems.  People make mistakes.  People have personal issues that creep into their professional lives.  They make bad, scared decisions because of past times when they got hurt.  Instead of "noodling" the 14 steps in your sales process, try sitting down with the members on your team and learning what is going on in their lives.  Are they OK?  Are they hurting?  You can't expect outrageous success in a complex craft like selling when your team is frantically focusing on issues they are too scared to tell you about.  Fix your people.
  2. It looks like it's broken, but it's just taking longer than you have patience. -- Quite a lot of time our projections for success are based on when we want to be successful -- not when it is likely to occur.  It takes time (sometimes lots and lots of time) for a dream and a great process to turn out to be successful.  There is no magic wand or "snap your fingers" process for turning what is extremely complex into a simple series of appointments on your company calendar.  Closing business is a lot harder than that.   Closing big deals takes longer than that.  Being antsy just blows up any progress you might have gained from a decent sales process.
  3. The process is broken because you aren't working the process. -- Having a process doesn't make you any bit more successful than not having a process.  The different is your dedication (rather, obsession) to the mind-blowing amounts of effort that it takes to make the process work.  Almost any process will work if you put in enough time and effort to work out the kinks and outlast your competitors. But no sales process will ever be anything close to a success if you aren't actually working your ass off.
  4. It's a selfish, short-term sale process and customers are tired of your nonsense. -- Just because you want to send out emails and have people click on links and buy your products without objection doesn't mean that that is going to occur.  Customers are tired of being another number in your lead list.  They are tired of you getting to control access to information, discounts, and how quickly you follow up with support.  Selfishness and short-term thinking destroy any good sales process.  And it can be hard to repair once the damage it done.

Broken sales process?

Maybe it is...

Maybe you need to fire, rehire, and scream a little louder that people need to get their act together.

Or, maybe you just need a different perspective.