Just how difficult is selling? Most companies have conversion ratios that make me want to throw up.

Most salespeople talk with many more prospects than should be required to schedule a meeting and close a very small percentage of them. Despite the fact that only 26% of the sales population is any good, why does the remaining 74% have so much difficulty selling?

The sales process…

Only 9% of the 8,500 sales forces that Objective Management Group has evaluated actually have a formal, structured sales process.  And of that 9%, most of those sales processes were ineffective.  An optimized sales process can even make it simple enough for the bottom 74% to achieve success.  So why don’t more companies have an optimized sales force?

For one, the law doesn’t require it.  Two, many sales managers and sales VP’s claim that they do have one. And three, most just don’t know that they don’t have one and aren’t aware that they should.

An optimized sales process consists of steps (My Baseline Selling process has 4, one for each base).  Each step contains a combination of milestones, goals and actions.  Most companies have some of these but the two biggest problems are that key sales milestones are often misidentified or missing, and nearly always included in the wrong stage.

A well-trained sales force, following an optimized sales process, will always see the following results:

  • Shorter sales cycles
  • Higher conversion ratios
  • Higher average sales
  • Higher margins
  • Much less time wasted with tire kickers
  • Higher customer retention
  • More repeat business
  • More accurate forecasting

So what about your company? What is the current state of your sales process?  What are you waiting for?  How will you get started?

In essence, a formal, structured, optimized sales force clears the path and makes it easier for your salespeople to succeed.  Much like a Navigation system helps a driver get from point A to point B by identifying the most direct and efficient roads, the sales process shows salespeople how to get from point A to point B, C and D of the sales cycle.  Salespeople will avoid wrong turns, take the best routes, and follow the road signs that are currently missing from their sales calls.