This is the fifth article I’ve written about increasing sales and profits by improving your sales process. It’s based on years of helping CEOs build bigger and better businesses. We’ve looked at the importance of a formal sales process, how to map out your current process, and testing and improving the process. The series starts here: Sales: Improve Your Process; Improve Your Bottom Line.
In the last article on improving your sales process, I wrote about Testing and Improving the results you’re getting. This means breaking down your process into individual tasks and challenging the results you get from each task by trying something different.
For example, let’s say you have a live demo as part of your sales process and currently 50% of the people who experience the live demo end up buying. Moving that percentage higher not only increases your revenue, it also lowers your overall cost of sales. So you test different aspects of the demo to see if you can get more people to buy.
me you find a winner based on improved results, that new winner becomes your new control – the one to beat.
But improving the sales process doesn’t do much good if your sales team fails to use the new and improved version. I know, duh; but my experience shows you need to pay attention to how these improvements get implemented.
Sometimes implementing a change in the sales process is as easy as replacing an email template. At other times it can be more complicated – especially when it involves changing people or behavior.
I’ve found it’s easier to implement a change when the people who have to do the changing are involved in the testing. This allows them to take some ownership of the modified process. After all, they helped determine the new process delivers better results.
Having a written process that gets updated with each new “winner” helps.
It’s also important to be sure everyone is well aware of the change in process and the appropriate people know they are expected to implement it. There’s a tendency here to announce a change and expect everyone to jump to it. That rarely works with people. You’ll get a better result by specifying what – exactly – needs to be done and who is expected to do it.
But the best thing of all to do is to instill a sense of constant improvement in your sales team. Make a game of it. Getting better is part of their jobs, but it can still be fun.
Next article will talk about the last step: Repeat it.