The trend for manyÂ years has been toward technology-based Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs) and yet research conducted by the Garner Group (see diagram below) has shown that the benefits a company can realize from any such innovation are dramatically higher when four vital components are in place together:
* Technology (CRMs for example),
* A clearly defined sales process,
* Training and personnel development
* Performance-related compensation.
For example, often companies will invest thousands of pounds in CRM technology, sales training and performance-related compensation packages for their salespeople, yet forget about defining the sales process. As a consequence the investment made in other areas cannot be maximized unless there is a process in place to underpin these three factors.
Equally, having a solid and robust sales process in place, efficient CRM technology, and an ongoing training program will not guarantee success if your sales team is poorly compensated and inadequately motivated by the lack of a bonus scheme.
But we do not just need to consider the sales teams, because it is now a widely accepted fact that you canâ€™t divorce the competence and performance of the salesforce from the competence and performance of the organization as a whole.
As an example, in a customer-focused organization, everyone is part of the sales process, which is why an organizationâ€™s culture should breed collaboration and sharing of knowledge, so that every department works openly and efficiently together to support the overall sales process.
When a consultative sales process has been defined, sold to the sales force and supported by other departments within an organization, the stage is set for transformational performance improvements. Just like you need to put in a solid foundation when building a house, the sales process is the foundation for future sales success, but do remember -
â€œA sales process requires constant monitoring to ensure it is being properly implementedâ€
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