Sales reps are goal-oriented people. Quotas, targets, deals—these are the numbers that matter and they want to hit. Every rep will have their own special craft and go-to techniques for closing deals. While there is nothing wrong with having techniques that work just for you, your company’s success cannot be beholden to individual inspiration.
Instead you need a repeatable process that will work team-wide, for every rep, every time. This isn’t something that comes easy, but with a willingness to analyze your internal processes and coach your team to better workflow, you can build a consistent, efficient, repeatable sales process that becomes the engine for your growth.
Replicability is the foundation of success
The best free-thrower in the world isn’t Shaq. It isn’t Steph Curry. It isn’t even Steve Nash. It’s this guy:
That’s not some wizened old guy from March Madness 1952. That’s Ted St. Martin, and he’s a retired dairy farmer from Jacksonville, Florida.
Ted holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive successful free throws in a row: 5,221. His secret? Process. A process honed over many, many years of practice:
- Always stand at the exact same place on the free throw line.
- Hold the ball like you would an egg.
- Bend the knees only slightly.
- Take a deep breath.
- Focus on the back of the rim.
- Exhale and let the ball go.
5,221 throws, easy. Ted taught this basic process successfully for decades, getting anyone to above 90% accuracy with their free throws. OK, so there might be more to it than that. But even with more steps in the process, it is still a process—“a systematic series of actions directed to some end.”
In free throw shooting, the end goal is landing the ball within the rim time and time again. In sales, the end goal is the deal with an ideal customer. Both can be achieved through a directed, systematic series of actions.
The advantages of developing this directed, systematic series of actions are twofold: consistency and efficiency.
Consistency & efficiency in sales
Both can be seen in Ted’s world record attempt. Over 5,000 throws in 7 hours meant that he had to be consistent—landing the ball each time in just 250 sq inches of real estate—but also efficient, saving energy to make sure his 5,221st throw was as accurate as his first.
Building a process automatically adds consistency and efficiency to your sales efforts. This applies to all aspects of your sales, from your reps all the way to your customers.
- Consistent reps: By building a process for your sales team to follow, it means every new rep can benefit from it. Instead of relying on that individual inspiration, reps have a playbook for both their personal and team success.
- Efficient reps: When you have a defined process that each rep follows, there is much less wasted time and resources within your team. As you nail this process down over time, you can optimize their workflow, increasing their efficiency.
- Consistent results: As a sales manager, you’ll have revenue and growth targets for the next 3, 6, 12 months. Without consistency in your workflow you’ll have no idea the opportunity pipeline or hiring pipeline you’ll need to hit those targets. If you have a sales process, you’ll know what will happen today, tomorrow, or next year.
- Efficient results: Low CAC means that you will increase your LTV/CAC ratio for each customer. This is the main lever for growth, meaning that you have more and more revenue to invest back into your product, team, and processes.
- Consistent customers: Cloning your high-value customers is the foundation of your growth engine. Developing a sales process allows you to target these ideal customers and get the same ones time and time again.
- Efficient customers: If your teams are well-aligned with your ideal customer profile, then this will cut your acquisition costs for each customer as they will naturally move quickly through your sales funnel.
In the second part of this series, we go through the three main elements of building a repeatable sales process, driven by data.
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Also published on Medium.