For our recent guest Charles Bernard, founder and leader of Criteria for Success, a successful sales process is the key to a prosperous business.
Most companies have some sort of sales process, but it’s Charles’ goal to make sure that their process is a good fit and that it’s being used.
Charles defines a good sales process—or “playbook”—as one that leverages a business’s best practices. “It’s capturing your best practices and putting it in the right categories,” he said. He suggests using five categories to organize your sales process:
- knowledge hub.
He finds that businesses generally understand prospecting and selling, but he rarely finds one that has a strong support system. “I almost never see this, and it’s critical,” he said. “The support category outlines how managers, leaders, and other functions work hand-in-hand with sales. “If you don’t have that, sales is an island,” he said.
Integrating systems successfully and creating an easily-accessible knowledge hub are also essential to a sales process.
To document your sales process, Charles recommends creating a sales growth team comprised of representatives from across the organization. “That sales growth team represents all the vital interests of a company… when you get representatives in those areas working together, all of a sudden, sales is integrated,” he said.
The world is always changing, so processes need to be able to adapt to those changes. “If we have a process that we believe in, we can always go back to something that gives us accountability and confidence and gets us out of panic mode…It gives us a direction.”
The biggest issue in creating these processes is capacity, which is where WBN comes in. The businesses Charles works with have the talent and the know-how, but they need more capacity to move forward. “If you can get additional talent to come in and help develop, project manage, execute, that’s really going to solve that problem,” said Charles.
WBN has a number of clients who are using WBN talent to perform research, make sales, and even gain back previous clients through outreach. Having a WBN assistant(s) to take on these tasks frees up the sales team and executives so they have more time to commit to clients and prospects, generating more revenue for their business.
“[A] misconception…is that virtual talent is low-level,” said Charles. “And I think that’s a mistake if you think that way.” He refers to “assistants” from WBN as virtual talent—not assistants—for a reason. “That talent is locked and loaded…ready to execute just as well as someone who has been in your company as a full-time employee.
“We tend to underestimate what people are capable of,” he said. “This idea that ‘because they’re virtual, they’re going to provide less value or require more high maintenance,’ I think we need to test that theory and discover, potentially, that we may be able to get a lot more from people who are focused in an area…and they’re not distracted like a lot of our employees are who are juggling a lot of things.”
Find out more about Criteria for Success.