Recently I was on Interstate 90, the MassPike, driving home from the airport in a wind-driven rainstorm. It was so bad I couldn't see the white lines that divide the three lanes nor could I see the Jersey barriers dividing the eastbound from the westbound traffic.
It was almost as scary as the plane's rocky decent from 30,000 feet in gale-force winds last night or driving in a blizzard!
The inability to see where I was and where I was going is what most salespeople experience when they sell. Most salespeople don't have a formal, structured, milestone-centric sales process to follow so they can't possibly know where they are, and where they need to go.
Consider the following alarming statistics from Objective Management Group's evaluations and assessments of 1,924,131 salespeople with regard to sales process:
As you can see, only 45% of all salespeople are strong, and only 27% of the bottom 50% are strong. The top 5% are 850% stronger than the bottom 10%.
Veteran salespeople should be - and are - nearly twice as strong as newer salespeople.
Going back to my opening paragraphs, 55% of all salespeople fail to see where they are and where they are going during their sales calls, meetings, and sales cycles. And since most companies do not have their sales processes properly integrated into their CRM applications, navigation is difficult even when there is a process. And equally frustrating is that most existing processes are missing key stages and key milestones, and are not properly sequenced so that the process can build on itself.
Lighting and reflectors on the highway allow you to navigate with confidence, move more quickly, and maintain more control. Shining the light on sales process will accomplish the same thing.
PS: Please check out the Membrain Baseline Selling Edition that comes with my process and methodology pre-configured, including sales enablement resources and training videos. It's key to start helping your salespeople to consistently to a good job on every opportunity and start selling more consultatively.
Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best selling author, successful entrepreneur and sales development industry pioneer. The founder and CEO of the Objective Management Group, Inc., the leading developer of sales assessment tools, headquartered in Westboro, Massachusetts. He is also the CEO of Kurlan & Associates, Inc., a leading sales force development firm. He has 3 decades of experience in all facets of sales development, including consulting, training, coaching, selection, strategy, systems, processes, and metrics.