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How to Develop a Winning Sales Process

By eHow Business Editor
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The best salespeople sometimes make the worst employees. To them, details, paperwork and
sales managers are all things to be aoided. The reason: selling is a !onta!t sport, and "or the
su!!ess"ul salesperson, o""i!e time is non#selling time. Be!ause o" this, business owners and
sales management o"ten "ind sales to be out#o"#!ontrol and impossible to $uanti"y. %nly a good
sales pro!ess !an oer!ome the otherwise un!ertain and ill#de"ined nature o" sales.
&tep ':
(ssess your sales team. )ake sure you hae the right number o" salespeople, and that they are
personable, team players, and generally easy to work with. Ealuate their leel o" knowledge
about your business and industry. *" ne!essary, !onsider hiring new sales reps and inesting in
sales training "or your top produ!ers. Remember, it+s di""i!ult to determine whether a gien
salesperson is truly a!hieing at the highest leels. &ales per"orman!e is a "un!tion not only o"
the indiidual, but also o" the produ!t being sold, the assigned territory and general market
&tep ,:
*denti"y the releant sales steps. -ollow a "ew sales "rom the initial !onta!t through the su!!ess"ul
(or unsu!!ess"ul) deliery o" your produ!t or seri!e. .ist the important steps along the way, and
ealuate them "or their timeliness, e""i!ien!y, and e""e!tieness. *" you "ind redundant and
unne!essary steps, eliminate them. -or ea!h step that moes a sale "orward, identi"y the
posities o" your strongest salespeople and the negaties o" your weakest. /ow, !reate a sales
pro!ess map that+s easy to "ollow, and do!ument it as part o" your new sales pro!ess.
&tep 0:
Ensure that all re$uired steps are "ollowed. /ote that not eery sale will tra!k pre!isely with the
pro!ess outlined in &tep Two. *" a sales rep attends an initial appointment and walks away with an
order, you won+t ne!essarily !omplain be!ause three other steps were skipped. That+s a potential
trap, though: sometimes, those other steps are there be!ause they help ensure that the !ustomer
is satis"ied. (nd so, your sales reps must report their a!tiities during ea!h step, to aoid
timewasters and missed opportunities.
&tep 1:
Tra!k sales per"orman!e. Typi!ally, this means tra!king sales numbers by salesperson, !ustomer,
and produ!t or seri!e. )easuring whi!h salespeople are e""e!tie is ital to ensuring that the
!ompany+s pipeline o" new business remains "ull. 2nowing whi!h !ustomers and kinds o"
!ustomers are buying the most, and whi!h produ!ts and seri!es they+re buying, helps the
organi3ation deelop e""e!tie marketing plans. Tools "or tra!king sales !an range "rom a simple
spreadsheet to a "ull#blown !ustomer relationship management (4R)) appli!ation, depending on
the si3e and !omple5ity o" your business.
&tep 6:
)anage the pro!ess. *t would be a shame "or all this planning to go to waste, and so it+s your 7ob
as business owner or sales manager to read the a!tiity and sales reports. Remember, your best
sales reps will hate the pro!ess but "ollow it to the letter8no more and no less. *" you ignore their
e""orts in "ollowing the pro!ess, you+ll "ind that there+s no pro!ess le"t to "ollow.