Is Your Sales Process Stopping Sales?

Sales, Sales Process, Sales Tips | Jan 23, 2020

Managing directors, sales directors, and financial directors love using statistical analysis to do everything from motivate to track sales professionals’ success. Standard metrics and key performance indicators are an important part of managing your sales team. But numbers and processes, while useful, should not make up the whole picture.

Without using insight to apply sales processes, your teams may feel as though they are being hampered by ‘form-filling’ exercises. The last thing you want for your staff is to demoralise them with procedures of which they don’t understand the value. All your sales processes should ultimately aid your team in making sales, not discourage them with unnecessary paperwork. Finance and Administrative departments, have their role but those requirements for ‘best practice’ must always be tempered with the reality of the sales staff’s day-to-day workflow. The best way to make sure your teams are compliant with regulations and also effective and productive is to communicate.

Many companies do not consult their sales professionals before making changes to how they are expected to work. Some only consult in a superficial manner and don’t take feedback seriously. Sales professionals are viewed as disposable commodities in a race to increase the company’s share price. The cycle of management communicating changes that then hamper productivity, creating the need for another round of procedural development, continues and takes more from your team’s morale than you’d imagine.

Consulting with your teams about customer relations management means when you decide to make an investment, your crew will not only have your back: they will be building something with you.

The endless creation of forms to be filled out on customer behaviour and marketing does not help to gain insight into your customer base. Customer relations management becomes a hindrance to productivity, not a tool as it is intended.

As soon as there is sand in the gears, the system starts to break down. Sales management will find difficulty in getting information from the team about their opportunities. Disgruntled staff members may feel they are employed to sell, not to be administrators and resent being micromanaged.

Managers must resist the temptation to run the company for the benefit of internal sales processes as opposed to addressing the needs of the customers and employees.

Processes are important, but they must add value to both the sales teams and the company. The key is to trust your sales team and remove obstacles to their productivity. Understand that your company has hired sales professionals with a certain level of expertise in their field and work with them.

Creating an environment addicted to imposing sales processes for sales process’s sake is particularly destructive. If sales teams believe that their ability to do the job is restricted with administrative tasks, their morale will be impacted. Salespeople do require motivating on an almost continual basis and they also need lots of feedback. If companies insist on demanding information and adherence to processes without offering feedback, they should not be surprised at the outcome, which will include reduced productivity, low morale, cynicism and high staff turnover throughout the sales and marketing function.

Companies should cultivate creativity and encourage individuality – rather than just talk about it. A process of constant improvement may not be the most fashionable management theory these days, but it does work. Rewarding team successes serves to increase morale and promotes high levels of staff retention. This open culture will come across to customers and strong, enduring business relationships will follow – yielding solid and conventional business performance.

Taking a closer look at your internal processes and ask yourself, “does this make sense for us?” If the answer is unclear, start again.

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