Recently a sales leader asked me for some advice about coaching reps on sales process:
One of my sales reps was diligently trying to follow the sales process we laid out for him, but he was missing the buying signals of this customer. I could see they were ready to move to the contract negotiation stage, but the rep continued to take the buyer through unnecessary steps.
I’m concerned a rigid approach to process could hinder our ability to win deals, but I also believe in the value of sales process. What are your thoughts on how the sales process should be properly used?
First and foremost, I applaud this sales leader for using a sales process. Without a process, sales reps would wing every deal – and the sales leader would have no mechanism to gauge, manage, and optimize performance on a consistent basis.
That said, no sales process can be considered a one-size-fits-all solution. Yes, you want to provide a consistent and repeatable process for your folks, but it should never override the buying signals of your buyer – nor should your rep ever abdicate good ol’ common sense.
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