7 Steps to Customize Your Sales System
One size fits nobody, especially when it comes to sales.
I have taught the High-Tech Sales Model to hundreds of salespeople, but I tell every single one to tailor the system to their company.
If you are a sales leader, I suggest starting with a proven sales process, and then gathering your top sales thought leaders for a sales process development workshop using these 7 steps.
Step 1: Ask each person to break the current sales process into the typical, major phases and action required.
Step 2: Compare results and discuss the phases as a group. Expect divergent opinions. Allow for discussion and work toward a consensus model.
Step 3: For each phase, define the sales goal and a reasonable test for completion.
- Ensure each test for completion is customer-validated.
- Measure customer activity, not sales activity.
- The best way to ensure quality as well as quantity is to verify the completion of the phase with the customer. For example, this means shifting away from measuring how many proposals the sales team produced to how many mutual action plans were agreed to by customers.
At the end of each phase, it should be noted that there are two possible outcomes. The first is your stated goal. The second is a “no.” It’s important to remind the salesperson and the buyer that “no” is always okay.
Step 4: Develop tactics for each phases. Specifics are important. What is obvious to one person may be an epiphany to others.
Step 5: Develop tools for each phases. This may include:
- Perfect discovery call checklist
- Planning template
- Negotiation preparation work sheet
- Or anything that helps you hardwire the sales process into the nervous system of your company.
The tools required are typically a function of the activities required at each step of your sales process. Keep it light!
Step 6: Inventory the knowledge and skills required for each phase, and ensure you have a training plan to deliver the required knowledge, as well as a coaching process to build the skills over time.
Step 7: State with clarity the ethical underpinning of your selling system, and introduce those principles to your salespeople along with the process and tactics.
Your system derives its power from the thought you put into your sales process, but even more from the ethical underpinning on which it is based. The impact of sales tactics is driven by the intent behind them.
Once completed, you will have a documented sales process that your salespeople can follow for each sale and that your managers can use as a basis for training, coaching, and managing.
If you’d like more on this topic, my book Developing Your Sales Team, is a more detailed guide available on Amazon.