Recently, a Sales Director asked us for some advice about improving sales volumes, margin, and customer retention. They were just ahead of target and it was felt that the improvement programme we proposed wasn’t “optimal”.
We asked, “What are your thoughts on how the sales process should be properly used?”
She answered they had a robust sales process and the sales managers were really good at coaching, mentoring and supporting their sales people.
First and foremost, we applaud this Sales Director for using a sales process. Without a process, sales people would probably “wing” every deal – and the sales leader would have no mechanism to gauge, manage or optimise performance on a consistent basis.
That said, if what she was saying was an accurate description of what was happening … there shouldn’t be much improvement to be had.
We suggested that we conduct some in-depth, strictly private and confidential diagnostic interviews with the team and some “riding shotgun” exercises (i.e. going on actual appointments, sitting in on Zoom Meetings, listening to telephone calls with them with actual customers) to focus on what happens in practice.
What we discovered proved to be priceless insights for the Sales Director to use to optimise the performance and results (even though it was a little painful for her).
Whilst almost all the salespeople interviewed knew the sales process and the sales techniques like the back of their hand … the issue was that in not one, single client interaction that we observed did they follow this sales process, or use these techniques!
When we asked why, the most common answer given was, “Because the process doesn’t work in the real world!”
This is a great example of one of the biggest barriers to business-critical change being implemented and embedded …
It’s not in the systems, processes, resources or pricing policy … it’s in the mindsets and attitudes of the sales people involved.
You can have the best sales processes and techniques in the world but it won’t make any difference at all unless the sales people’s attitudes and mindsets aren’t first changed, deeply and fundamentally, to wholeheartedly believe that these processes and techniques work.
We, at Sewells, know how to fundamentally and permanently change mindsets and attitudes… which is why the improvements we help clients produce are second to none in terms of scale and sustainability.
- As a result of our work with an organisation in the car retail sector they had seen sales increase by 20%, in a market up by 4% with no new models coming through
- Another organisation in the manufacturing industry had seen a massive 148% increase in sales
- Another organisation in an 80 person engineering company had increased profits by £600,000 … after breaking even in previous years
If you’d like to find out more about the advantages of us reviewing your current sales process and techniques (or, how to actually introduce a sales process and techniques) to significantly drive up profitable sales, then please get in touch.