Should you Unify your Sales Processes? | Salestrong

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Should you Unify your Sales Processes?

Unifying sales processes

Unifying sales processes is a significant investment in both time and money, so you need to be confident that the investment will deliver the results you’re looking for. Whether you have one sales team, or a number of sales teams operating across different brands and businesses, unifying your sales people towards one common set of practices can bring significant advantages.

More often than not, the reason sales people/teams are not unified is because of differences in how opportunities are progressed and who the target customer base is. Whilst your sales people/teams may have very different customers, differing deal sizes, varying lengths of sales cycles and different ways of submitting proposals (quotes versus tender, for example) it is still possible to align them to one common set of sales practices.

Understanding the benefits of unifying sales practices will help you make an informed decision as to whether it’s the right decision for you.

Why Unify Sales

Align Sales Behaviours with Organisational Strategy

Setting strategy is relatively easy. Executing that strategy is a lot more challenging. In order to achieve your strategic priorities, you MUST align the goals and behaviours of your sales people with those priorities, which allows no room for a team of sales people all working to different agendas. If your sales people/teams are not all working towards the same strategic goals, quite simply, you cannot possibly hope to achieve them. Unifying your sales practices gives you the perfect opportunity to place your strategic goals front and centre.

Set Expectations

Unifying your sales practices sets a clear precedent to your sales people; it shows them that what they do and, critically, how they do it are important and clearly defines your expectations on them. Shining a light on expectations brings with it the inevitable benefit of increasing focus on those behaviours and an adherence to sales processes and allows you to more easily capture and address gaps in capability.

Remove Doubt and Ambiguity

When everybody’s doing their own thing, or there’s more than one sales process in place, your sales people can lack clarity on exactly what they should be doing. This can manifest itself in a number of different ways, for example; missed opportunities, poor negotiation skills or lower closure rates. It can also create conflict and disengagement, as individuals become frustrated by the behaviours of their team mates.

Creating one unified sales process enables your sales managers to more easily hold sales people to account and to coach them more effectively in the desired sales processes.

Create a Culture of Sales Excellence

Shifting the attitudes and mindsets of sales people can be one of the toughest challenges for a sales leader, particularly when the team are experienced and feel that they know the job inside out. What’s more, if you want that shift in mindset and behaviour to be a permanent one, you’ll need to create a culture in which those are the norm.

Just asking experienced, long-serving sales people to change the way they sell is unlikely to be enough. Only by unifying your sales process and putting all the required steps in place to execute and support the changes can you create a culture in which sales excellence is expected and realised – a culture in which best practice is shared and celebrated, sales people are supported to hit targets and achieve goals and sales managers have greater confidence and clarity in driving sales performance.

Drive Sales Results

Let’s be honest, this is the ultimate goal for any change made to sales strategy, teams and processes. As we’ve laid out above, unifying your sales process provides a clear structure for your sales people and, critically, for your sales managers because, if sales managers are to hold sales people to account and to coach their teams, they need a framework of core competencies from which they can benchmark and drive sales performance. (For more on coaching sales people, see ‘Do Sales People Really Need Coaching?‘)

If the process of unifying sales processes is well thought-out and executed, it follows that sales results will increase but, be warned; it is in this execution that we find the difference between success and failure. In order to achieve the desired results, you must ensure you have the right people in place and that those people have the right tools and skills required to execute the changes. You’ll need to have an effective sales compensation plan in place that encourages your sales people to work together  and your sales manager/s will need to lead, reinforce and coach the changes and so they will need the skills and capability to do this. Unifying sales processes enables you to take a closer look at each of those components and ensure they’re all working with, and not against, each other.

 

In Conclusion

Of course it would be easier to let your sales people continue to do what they’ve always done, after all, change requires a time and, more than likely a financial, investment but, as Einstein famously said ” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Quite simply, if you want to see greater results, you’re going to need to make some changes.

If you’d like to talk to Salestrong about how we can help you unify your sales process, give us a call on 01778 382733 or drop us a line at info@salestrong.co.uk.

 

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