There are lots of successful sales people in the world. Millions, in fact. But what is it that MAKES them successful? Ask ten sales people what they attribute their success to, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. Often, what looks like “sales mastery” can actually be – just a series of Random Acts of Success; with even some top performers – not really sure what it is that makes them successful.

This is the 21st Century and one thing is for certain when it comes to professional sales… the Gift of Gab alone isn’t going to cut it anymore. There has been a virtual TSUNAMI of increased competition in almost every market over the last few years. From Tea to Telecom and everything in between, market shares are being eroded by the sheer number of new players jumping into these existing and new markets. Who would have ever thought automotive-giant Ford – could eventually be competing against online juggernaut Google – in the CAR business?

But even in the face of these changing times and new challenges, many leading sales professionals manage to remain at the top of their game, propelling themselves continuously forward. So, what is it that keeps the very best sales performers in the World – at the very TOP? It’s not high-rolling Customers, million-dollar deals or top of the line training. What separates the top 2% from the rest of the world isn’t Talent or Experience, but rather the way they use them.

The very TOP PERFORMING SALES PEOPLE have a PROCESS. A defined, mature SYSTEM to their SUCCESS.

A SALES PROCESS is simply a SYSTEMATIC, REPEATABLE series of STEPS – that map out and track interaction with prospects; – from their first point of engagement with your business, through to a close – and beyond. Simple, right?

So, why would any selling professional NOT want to have a sales process? Many salespeople shudder at the thought of having to work within some sort of defined “process;” afraid that it might somehow “box them in” or hinder them in how they are used to plying their craft. Some prefer instead to stick with the natural ability and style that got them into sales in the first place and that they think is working just fine for them.

Having a sales process and using a sales process are two different things. Lots of salespeople HAVE a selling process. Maybe it’s from some form of sales training; their company adopting a branded program, with books and videos collecting dust on a shelf somewhere and the rep using the bits and pieces that work for them and simply ignoring the rest. Some salespeople have developed their own, unique process, that suits their personal style, abilities – and comfort zone.

Top-performing sales people are committed to fully and effectively USING a defined, mature and proven sales process; and they make it a natural part of everything they do as they pursue sales success.

Training leader Miller-Heiman’s research division, CSO Insights, recently published a report with respect to Optimizing Sales Performance. According to their research, sales organizations that adopt, implement and manage a defined sales process have a WIN ratio 15% higher than those who don’t.

Salespeople and Management who have the foresight and fortitude to adopt and stick to a defined ‘customer-centric’ sales methodology and process, reap many benefits:

  • Having a set of clearly defined steps and best practices to take suspects into prospects and prospects into customers
  • Better understanding and managing where the prospect is in the evaluation and buying process
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased productivity.
  • Enhanced sales effectiveness
  • Improved forecasting
  • Higher WIN rates

In today’s competitive and fast-paced market, outstanding, long-lasting sales success will not come without knowing and leveraging our strengths while consciously – consistently, improving on our weaknesses.

If you want to be among the very top sales performers, you MUST have a DEFINED STRATEGY and a STRUCTURED PLAN within which to bring it all to bear and become a SELLING POWERHOUSE.