The two things that hold most organizations from meeting their potential are people and process. As a sales trainer and consultant, I have met hundreds of CEOs, Business Owners, Leaders, and Sales Managers spending an unbearable amount of time wringing their hands to figure out how to build a sustainable sales model and forecast predictable growth and revenue. In speaking with the people in these roles and trying to help them accomplish this goal, I ask lots of questions about their current process and team. Typically, after a few minutes of grilling, I hear this all-too-common response “I don’t know if I have the right people, and I don’t know if they’re doing the right things!” And there it is, most sales leaders have some serious question marks about their people. “Why is this person not hitting their number?” or “How is it this person is so wildly successful?” But, digging deeper in discovery with these leaders, asking more detailed questions about their structure and process, it becomes clear that most companies (less than 25%) have any defined sales process based on current best practices!
Without a defined sales process based on current best practices, you will always have question marks about your people. Without a straightforward process, you’ll never know precisely why some of your people consistently hit their goals, others never do, and the worst, the ones that hit so many peaks and valleys, it feels like they are riding a roller coaster.
The best way to resolve the question marks about your people is by documenting your sales process. Starting with the most basic, defining the one to three significant benefits (what your customer gets), then building a profile of the ideal customer to include their Demographic (size, industry, etc.), Geographic (where they are), and Psychographic (how your best customers think). Once those two things are done, the next step in the process is to create a “Need to Know List”. This should include everything you need to know about a prospect, customer, or client to do business with them successfully. For simplicity, you can break it down into the following categories:
What do I need to know about:
- Relationships & Roles
- Their Organization & Culture
- Their Business Growth & Competition
This is by no means the only thing you’ll need to document however if you can capture the majority of the “Need to know” items, you can then start to craft the questions you’ll need to ask to uncover those items when engaging with your prospects. If you were just to have these items, you’d likely be head and shoulders about the majority of your competition. Less than 25% of companies in the US selling B2B have a defined sales playbook!
Other topics to address in your Sales Playbook can include your Leadership message, call types, time allocation and expectations, the definition of lead funnel & opportunity pipeline sales stages, common objections and responses, and so much more.
If you’d like more information about building your sales playbook, contact us via email at Les@LesLent.com and put ‘Playbook’ in the subject line.