Periodically re-evaluating your sales process is beneficial for any top salesperson. When you’ve been selling the same product for awhile, you learn what works and what doesn’t to close a deal. All the training in the world can’t beat out the experience of selling your product – you get good at doing what you do, and you know how to excite customers.
Tacit knowledge encompasses things that come through experiential learning – for instance, you can’t ride a bike by reading a book about it. It is a sign of improvement and achievement. However, with experience comes laziness. Once you know how to cut certain corners, your work becomes sloppy. You are rude to a gatekeeper, you cut off a client, and so on. Some people have incredible discipline and can overcome this naturally, but this is (frankly) a rare trait. It is essential, then, to intentionally re-evaluate your sales process from time to time.
Re-evaluation is a process of comparing the things that you learn through experience with the general framework of what makes a sales call successful. Below, read some ways that you can think over your sales process and master the art of selling.
What Does Re-Evaluating Your Sales Process Look Like?
You may be wondering if retooling your sales process is worth the time or effort. The answer to that depends on the nature of your selling strategy. If you are already a top performing salesperson already, it may be fruitless to delve too deep into your strategy for success. But for those who are not at the top, consider your entire sales process from a top-down approach. Consider aspects such as prospecting leads, the sales V, and closing. Before getting granular, pinpoint your successes and failures, and learn from both.
Where do you struggle the most during your sales cycle? Some people are more proficient at cold calling than they are at closing, others are brilliant at building rapport. All of these aspects alone are crucial, but closing a deal requires all of these to work in harmony. Building out an excel sheet and determining the metrics for your own success can help you visualize this into real data and charts. By recording this information, you will be able to make valuable decisions on where you struggle the most.
Re-Evaluating Your Sales Process Through Fine Tuning
Once you have determined the parts of your job where you struggle, fix them! If you notice that your cold calling has been fantastic in the past but is now lagging, think about what is changing. Are you putting in the same amount of time into this part as you were once doing? Think about the script that you began with, and consider how you have altered it. Perhaps your tone isn’t as strong due to the repetition of the same lines over and over.
Time management, word selection, and tone choice may seem like minor aspects in the grand scheme of things, but can have drastic effects on the metrics of your calls. People form opinions in seconds, and once those opinions establish themselves they are very difficult to alter. A strong opening can make all the difference.
Once you determine where your weaknesses lie from a broad perspective, get granular and dig deep. Think of your sales process like a machine, with each part a cog in that machine. When a part wears out over time, you will want to replace those parts to keep the machine reliable and functioning.
Am I Overthinking Things?
Re-evaluating your sales process is an exercise in reflecting on your experiential knowledge. It is entirely possible to overthink your calls to a nonproductive spiral. But a little self-knowledge has never hurt anyone. The oracles of Delphi had the aphorism “know thyself” etched on the Temple of Apollo. Reflection is and has always been crucial for development.
Continuous improvement is based upon the four principles of identification, planning, execution, and review. While this is normally applied to companies at large, you can implement it on an individual scale as well to maximize your results. It makes your sales style agile and adaptable to changes that might occur in the market, and keeps you in peak performance. It can also be extremely beneficial for performance reviews. Bringing up a spreadsheet with numbers on your own metrics, and explaining how you made changes to improve on those numbers, is a great way to show off your skill and your sense of self-management. With a little coaching from a mentor, it provides the foundation for sales greatness.