Have you ever tried to make chili by throwing all the ingredients together in a giant pot, stirring and then slow cooking all day? If you had, you’d know that is NOT the best way to cook chili! First you brown the meat, if you were an onion lover like me then you’d add onions during this stage… to get the most flavor.
After the meat is browned and fully cooked you then drain the fat (if healthy eating is important to you) and then you add the chili seasoning followed by the rest of the ingredients, which could vary depending on where you’re from and personal preferences. If you were to rush through the process and skip browning the meat first, you’d find the results are remarkably different.
When you change the process, you change the results.
When you cook, whether it’s chili, key lime pie, chicken noodle soup, etc., there is a necessary sequential process that is recommended to follow to get the best results. Typically, that process is provided with the recipe and cooking instructions. When you change the process by skipping or rearranging steps, the results also change. This logic also applies in B2B sales.
Whether you sell software, media, heavy equipment, real-estate, insurance, technology, etc… there is a necessary sequential process salespeople must follow to get the best results.
For instance, it would be completely illogical for a salesperson to cold call a prospect and upon hearing a voice on the other end immediately introduce themselves, and then profess to tell whoever answered the phone that they’ve been able to identify an incredible solution to a challenge they know they’ve been working to overcome, so they’d like to schedule an appointment to present them with the idea and contract right away! Whew… just thinking about that warp speed, insane sales process blurs my thoughts. This process jumps over several necessary steps and would almost certainly result in a lost opportunity… probably forever!
A Logical Process
“A systematic series of actions directed to some end,” is Merriam-Webster's definition of process. In sales it can serve as a road map or a guide to a desired result and it’s a fantastic step-by-step list of actions necessary to achieve success. Which means, just by following the process correctly, the probability of success greatly increases. This applies to all salespeople… the veterans and newbies alike! Click here to download our How Selling 7-Step Sales Process.
The power of a logical process is extremely valuable. And while it can produce measurable results (and often does), it’s also a series of steps aimed to help salespeople get into action and move from one step to the next… and then all the way through the entire sales process from prospect to close. Again, it’s a means to an end that dramatically increases the probability of success!
Sometimes it’s necessary for salespeople to act their way to the right thinking… rather than think their way to the correct actions! And when you have a strong sales process to guide you through the necessary sequential steps, it’s easy to get started!
Analysis paralysis is real, and can threaten the success of a salesperson’s career. I’ve heard many great sales managers tell their salespeople, “Sometimes you just have to get in the car and drive!” I agree, and I strongly encourage them to follow the How Selling 7-Step Sales Process step-by-step.
You Can Do This
I remember feeling so incredibly tired and out of shape after my third son was born. I desperately wanted to feel strong, healthy, and vivacious again. I knew everything I needed to do to get back in shape, however analyzing my plan before I put it into action started to become an excuse. I decided to act my way into the right frame of mind to achieve success. I simply put on my workout clothes and drove to the gym. It had been so long since I’d even gone to the gym that I decided the act of driving there (in my workout clothes) and walking into the lobby was success for that day!
After walking through the doors, I would determine if I was ready to take the next step and start working out. If I felt like it, great! If I decided to turn around and walk out, my mission was still accomplished. I needed to get into action… and following a sequential process to regain my strength after my son was born saved me! I didn’t have to think about what to do next, I just followed a logical step-by-step process.
The Next Steps
Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is necessary and wonderful; however utilizing the “throw it up in the air to see what sticks” approach to convert prospects into clients is a mistake. Managers and salespeople… you should always consider the means to the end you’re seeking and make certain the path you’ve carved will take you where you want to go and deliver the results you’re working to achieve. And if you’re consistently coming up short, not meeting your budgets or achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself or your team, take a look at the process you’re following.
Perhaps it’s time to stop and ask for directions… don’t wing it! Learn a proven sales process! Download the How Selling 7-Step Sales Process now!