How’s your sales process working? Let me clarify. I don’t mean your sales system. If your sales training programs and sales coaching efforts are based on a comprehensive system (such as Action Selling), then you already have a roadmap for conducting every sales call (such as The 9 Acts of a Sale).

In a broader sense, however, whether you are conscious of it or not, you also have a sales process that accelerates your sales to the ultimate conclusion. This process is defined by the key steps or “milestones” which, in your particular company, lead from an initial call on a prospect to a completed sale.

How clear and understandable are those milestones to your salespeople? And how transparent is the sales process to your company’s operations, marketing, and service people?

Those questions are important, because having a firm grasp of your milestones helps you do things like figure out what’s in the sales pipeline, forecast revenue, and determine how well your current marketing efforts are working.

‘Our whole company is engaged…’

Team Solutions Inc., an industrial cleaning company with U.S. headquarters in Taylor, Mich., used Action Selling’s sales training courses to change the way it thinks about its sales process. The results have been…well, “eye-opening” would be a mild way to put it. Here is a report from Tom Rowland, vice president of business development for Team Solutions:

“Our entire company is now engaged in the sales process. In the course of the sales training programs and the sales coaching we received, we determined that our sales process consists of eight milestones. Four of them have become what we call Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

“KPIs serve several important functions,” Rowland continues. “They provide a structure to gauge movement in the sales process. They are used to evaluate and coach salespeople. They tell operational departments what to expect. They improve revenue-forecasting accuracy and increase management’s confidence in the sales pipeline. They deliver to marketing a more accurate idea of what’s working and where sales bottlenecks occur, allowing marketing to be more helpful.

“Our entire company benefits from a well-defined and orchestrated sales process. Understanding of the process permeates different departments and lets them function better as a team. Their meetings with customers are far more productive. And, of course, so are ours.”

Any sales training program will teach sales skills (although whether it focuses on genuinely critical sales skills is always an question worth asking). But unless your sales training courses also help you to map out your sales process by identifying the milestones that are critical to your particular company, you are missing out on a huge benefit.

For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling.  He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations.  Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).