I find it useful to remember, everyone lives by selling something.
Robert Louis Stevenson
We never lead with product; we lead with need.
My creativity strikes at the heart of sales – it’s focused on building relationships, improving presentations, and closing a sale.
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
In the rapidly changing landscape of business, competition is stiff. Customers are more sophisticated and demanding in the face of better available options. A sales opportunity can become clouded or loose momentum with the constant requirements on the part of businesses to add more customers, crunch the sales numbers, and boost profits.
To achieve aggressive revenue targets and meet customer needs businesses have to make organized and systematic approaches. Sales form a formidable part of such approaches. Robust sales along with other factors such as: better products or services, attention grabbing advertising, and reliable customer service help businesses successfully in attracting and retaining customers, generating more revenue, and pushing profit levels higher.
A better product or service may not necessarily translate into higher revenues. How the product or service is launched in a specific market can determine revenue. Selling is widely regarded as an art form. Those born with innate talents for a career in sales can succeed, but success can be elusive for the most seasoned sales professional if they do not follow a process. Academicians however, stress that a sales genius may have inborn talents for the trade, but with adequate training any average interested person can turn out to be an outstanding salesman. The topic still remains as the Holy Grail. However, each business has its own sales force using a unique selling model. And all successful businesses have some common sales methods.
Underscoring the Importance of a Sales Process
Having touched upon the weight of sales in business processes it will be necessary to note that robust selling is based on a sturdy and effective sales process. If you are saying, “we do not have the time to work on the process, we have numbers to meet” – your approach may not be right and you might want to reconsider it. To reach the destination, the path should be right and the journey should be enjoyable. Many salespeople are so caught up with the numbers (targets and quotas) that they do not enjoy the process. They do not realize that if the process is correct and executed properly that will take care of the numbers. In fact, true and successful sales professionals work the process thoroughly and enjoy each phase of the exciting sales process that finally ends with stellar sales figures. Being process driven is the mantra. The results will follow naturally.
A sales process is not a panacea, but many organizations are increasingly realizing that it’s an indispensable tool that no business can do without. Having a sales methodology in place by firms increased to 84% in 2007 from 42% in 2004 (Source: CSO Insight). Analysis of all successful businesses shows that they all adhere to and execute against a well-defined sales process. Though the exact structure and methodology of operation of their sales processes may differ, they all serve the purpose of boosting sales. An effective sales process is the strong edifice on which the entire structure of sales stands. A weak and ineffective sales process will produce poor sales results and hamper growth as a strong and effective sales process can boost sales and help to increase margins. It is imperative for businesses to have a fail-safe, well-defined and solid sales process in place.
Sales process and sales staff complement each other to take a company to the desired level of growth. One cannot work without the other. A persuasive and experienced sales staff may not be able to perform at its optimum level when the sales process of a company is not efficient. But when the combinations are right the results can be astounding.
About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.
Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching
Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)