A uniform sales strategy could make a salesforce easier to manage so how to get started? Unfortunately, this is an impossible dream.In his book titled, “Cracking the Sales Management Code” Jason Jordan recalled a client that attempted to launch a single sales process for his company. Here’s the story and the pitfalls of this strategy.
Attempt to create a single sales process
The client wanted Jordan to revamp the training curriculum for their frontline sales managers.Higher-ups believed that their current training module was too generic.
They wanted to modify the frontline activities of their salespeople.In the beginning, it felt like the request was on the right track. The trouble began when Jordan was asked to develop a single sales methodology for their teams. They thought that if everyone was using the same strategy, then managing them would be easier. Right? So they asked…“What is the best sales process for the company?”
Missing or misaligned process
Having a single sales process is problematic because salespeople have unique roles. A channel sales manager must focus on proposing systems and strategies for their sales teams. On the other hand, business development representatives research new potential partnerships. Meanwhile, a data analytics manager may aggregate data to guide the sales strategy of the organization.
The demands of each selling role make it impossible to create one strategy that works for everyone. Each role comes with their own sales process and metrics. A misaligned sales process could get your teams further away from their goals because they’re not using metrics and strategies that are relevant to them.How will you measure their success?
How will sales managers manage their resellers, brokers and partners? How will the sales reports improve the performance of their indirect sales agents? A lot of things won’t be possible without the right strategy and metrics. That’s why Jason Jordan wants managers to find the right sales process based on the roles of each person on the team. After all, salespeople usually perform activities that are exclusive to them.
When sales teams are following processes that are relevant to them, they can easily improve their performance by looking at the metrics. Otherwise, they won’t be able to function properly. In the long-run, this may lead to doubts and dissatisfaction with leaders of the company who are not in tune with the realities on the ground.
The Consequence of a Mismatched Process
Your sales results will fall apart when you’re using a mismatched process. If you need a clearer picture to visualize the potential consequences, here’s what could happen.
Ignoring the sales process
According to Jason Jordan, a mismatched sales process will be ignored by the sales team. Sales executives often complain when a new tool and process has a low rate of adoption. However, the proposed process could be irrelevant to their selling roles. For example, an account manager won’t be able to follow the process of a customer service manager. Similarly, a business development manager can’t adjust to a channel management process.
They don’t specialize in these processes and it is not applicable to their roles and responsibilities. An account manager manages accounts instead of calling new prospects or potential new partners. In the same way, an opportunity manager finds opportunities instead of selling to the most number of people in a defined territory.
While account managers and opportunity managers can adopt the proposed sales strategy, they’ll minimize its implementation. They’ll focus on implementing the past strategies to be able to meet their sales targets.
Sales executives and managers will know that implementing a new sales process is very expensive. Millions of dollars are spent acquiring new resources. HR personnel even spend time and effort to recruit promising sellers and training them.
Additionally, they also have to train their current sellers to adopt their new strategy. When management does not get their desired results, they’ll likely pour more money into the initiative. They’ll acquire more resources and adopt technological solutions that won’t solve the core problem in the long-run.
Investment in new tools and CRMs won’t pay off when partners and resellers won’t use them. You can keep pouring money to implement the new strategy but don’t expect high returns.
Communication is key
There are lots of things that can go wrong with a missing or misaligned sales process. Sellers could ignore it when it’s not relevant to them. While an organization can acquire the latest technologies and resources, the investment might not pay off.
You can keep training sales teams but don’t expect adoption. How to avoid this? The key is communication. Communicate with your account managers and sales managers. Conduct meetings and interviews to determine the right sales processes based on different roles.
Their insights are valuable because they promote your products to those who talk to the end-users so get their direct managers involved in strategizing your next move.This blog post was inspired by the book “Cracking the Sales Management Code” by Jason Jordan. We understand that sales managers and executives have a busy schedule so we’ve summarized his main in our mini e-book.