The word “process” makes many salespeople and even some sales managers cringe. The independent, self-starting types often fear that process inhibits creativity and authenticity. Good luck with that thinking.
I’ve learned, in working with thousands of salespeople, that the best ones subscribe to a defined selling system or process. And when you have a system, you can create checklists. Checklists are valuable selling tools that insure you don’t skip steps of the selling process.
You can create checklists for various aspects of the sales process. For example, when I’m helping a rep that is stuck in dealing with a prospect, the first question I ask is, “Does this prospect deserve to be in your sales pipeline?” Time to bring out the sales checklist to see if this prospect fits the salesperson’s ideal client profile.
- Size of the organization – too small or too large?
- Philosophy – is the prospect treating you as a vendor or a partner?
- Pain – is it big enough to invest time, money and resources to fix?
- Access to decision makers – open or closed?
- Negotiated work or RFP?
In Shari Levitan’s new book, “Heart and Sell,” she discusses the power of process and checklists, and provides another perspective on their power. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “Process frees your mind so you can open your heart to the prospect.” In other words, instead of thinking about the next question to ask during the sales conversation, the process salesperson is focused on the prospect. They’re not worried about the next ninja sales move because---they have a process.
Take a look at recent sales conversations and outcomes. How many could have been improved by incorporating the power of process and sales checklists?
p.s. Sales managers - time to add our next Ei Sales Management® Boot Camp to your checklist!