Does Your Sales Process Achieve These 4 Outcomes?


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The sales process is the cornerstone to driving the highest levels of sales performance. There’s so much data supporting this, one would think discussing sales process should be a non issue—-every organization should continually be strengthening their process, sales people should be executing them with precision. Yet, this is far from the truth. Too many don’t have or don’t use the sales process. Still others have poorly developed processes that actually hinder results.

Take a look at your process. If it doesn’t achieve the following 4 outcomes, then you need to go back to the drawing board. If you don’t have a process–then you are missing these outcomes, so put a process in place!

1. Does your sales process improve your win rates? Dugghhh–yet so many seem designed to achieve the opposite. It’s simple, your sales process is modeled after the key activities you execute to win. The sales process is a collection of the best experience in your organization–the things you consistently do that cause you to win. Why wouldn’t we want to collect these, learn from them, and execute those things that cause us to win time after time?

2. Does your sales process compress your sales cycle? The sales process focuses on the critical activities you have to execute to win. It eliminates all waste, all unnecessary steps. It enables you to move through the process in the most efficient means possible.

3. Does your sales process maximize deal profitability? This is one of the underestimated, but most powerful aspects of a great sales process. One is it forces you to focus on your sweet spot–that is, those customers where you can create the greatest value. Second, the process forces you to focus on identifying what your customers value–then positioning your solution in the context of what customers value most. Without a process, developing, communicating and delivering compelling/differentiated value is just a shot in the dark–we know how that ends, you either lose or have to discount like crazy to win.

4. Does your sales process align you with your customer’s buying process? The buying and selling processes are distinct. Some would claim the buying process is all we need to work with–but the buying process is owned by the customer. There are things we as sales professionals have to do in our sales process which are independent of the customer buying process. But the sales process has to be closely aligned with the customer buying process–otherwise, we are working at cross purposes and wasting each other’s time.

As sales professionals we focus on outcomes–results. To be successful, we have to help our customers produce results and compelling outcomes. To fulfill our responsibilities within our own organizations, we have to produce results. The sales process is the cornerstone to doing this consistently, effectively, and efficiently.

If your sales process isn’t producing these 4 outcomes, then it’s a bad process–fix it! If your people aren’t using the sales process, then they aren’t maximizing their impact–fix it! If you aren’t reinforcing the use of the sales process in all your reviews and coaching, then you aren’t fulfilling your responsibility as a leader–fix it!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


  1. Hi Dave,
    Enjoyed this post. What type of sales process do you recommend for companies with large portfolios of products, services and solutions, each with its own buying processes, timelines, etc. I find it difficult to make different products fit into a single sales process as times. Curious on your thoughts.

  2. Josh, thanks for the nice comment! It’s a tough question with no “right” answer, but some thoughts or guidelines I tend to use:

    1. The organization should strive for the smallest number possible, with the ideal being 1. Having said that, if it becomes so generalized that it’s useless, clearly you need more.
    2. Related to 1, we do work with very large companies with very diversified portfolios and I am continually amazed that we can reduce the number of sales processes to a very small number.
    3. If you have different sales organizations selling different product lines, it’s pretty reasonable and easy to develop a process for each.
    4. We do see big differences between product base processes and services based processes. There tend to be some unique trigger activities in the latter. Likewise, federal/DOD/related processes are very different–driven by the gov’t procurement process.
    4. From a product/service/solution point of view, a good way of looking at it is the buying process. If it’s a transactional buy, the selling process is different and needs to be different than a complex solution buy.
    5. The selection of the process has less to do with the average sale value or the product/service/solution, but more to do with the type of decision process that customers go through in acquiring the solution. So you can bundle a whole bunch together in one process if they tend to go through a similar decision process.

    Would be glad to speak one on one if you have some specifics. Email me at dabrock at excellenc dot com.

    Thanks for the great question!


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