Updating Your Sales Process
Despite what people say, there is no tried and true process for sales. You have to continually adapt and change the way you do business. You need to understand the million little intricacies associated with the art of conversation and people to succeed in business, especially sales. That being said, it helps to assess your current methodology and see what can be improved.
Salespeople fall into this trap where the more experience they have, the more infallible their process becomes. Obviously, the longer you work at something, the more efficient you become at it, but that's not always a good thing. Once you learn the various shortcuts that come with the industry, the "people" aspect of your work begins to slip. You might find you're short with gatekeepers because you “know” how it will go once they've said a trigger word. It's important not to get stuck in this mindset. Gatekeepers aren't robots, they are people, and there's a variety of ways to appeal to different people.
How Do You Reevaluate Your Sales Process
If you’re looking to improve your skills, you might find a top-down approach helpful for reevaluating your process. You need to break down your current process into different phases and reflect on them one-by-one. You would typically start with the first step, prospecting leads, then move to initial engagement, your pitch, follow up options, and finally closing the deal.
Start by considering what areas you struggle with the most. Maybe you have a killer prospecting method, but when it comes to closing, you could use some work. By focusing on your weaknesses and finding new ways to change your approach, you can build new skills and grow your professional career.
You might also find your work more engaging by trying new methods. After years of doing the same thing over and over again, something new can refresh your sense of enjoyment in work.
After identifying your weaknesses, the next step is tracking. You'll want to keep track of your success through an Excel or Google spreadsheet. This allows you to AB test very different approaches. By tracking this data over time, you can start to see what processes make the most sense.
Fine Tuning Your New Sales Process
Whenever you change your sales process, there will always be some adjustment pains. This is the time to start fine-tuning these “start-up problems.” Try to be a little more critical when evaluating the new process. For example, Let's say you're working on following up with a client. Voicemail might have been your go-to but now you want to see if emailing works better. A new problem from changing your method might be messaging. The way you worded a phone call might come off wrong without the same tone and voice inflections.
This is where your spreadsheet and AB testing can come in handy. You can see how your message is performing over time and start to adjust for a better result.
Continuous improvement is based on self-reflection and understanding that there is no "One Way" to go about sales. It's an intricate process that takes time to develop. That being said, you're a unique individual too. Maybe a methodology that works for an extroverted salesperson isn't something that will work for you. You should consider the type of person you are and develop your approach based on that. Most people do this naturally, but keep this in mind as you go about revamping your sales process.