What you can learn from one of the most famous cats in literature
I’d like to share with you one of my favourite parts of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’ This book may seem childish, but it hides great lessons for life and, of course, for business.
“Alice arrived at a fork in the path and saw the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree.
`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ asked Alice.
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where,’ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.”
If you know what you want to achieve, you need a well-defined business process.
There are companies that do not know where they want to go and, therefore, do not seem to care too much which path to take. However, successful companies have a very clear and well-defined map of where they want to be in three months, one or five year’s time.
A very important part of that map is the business process that we could define as different steps that, when repeated, will allow your sales team to turn prospects into repeat customers who are satisfied and loyal to your company.
In another article, we already talk about the sales funnels and pipelines as the best forms that a business process can take, but in this article we will focus on the multiple benefits of having a well-defined one for your company.
A joint study by Vantage Point Performance and Sales Management Administration reveals the following data:
- Companies that defined a formal sales process reported a 18% increase in revenue growth compared with those that didn’t.
- Companies that spent three hours per month managing each rep’s sales pipeline saw 11% greater revenue growth than those that didn’t.
- 61% of executives admit their sales managers have not been adequately trained in pipeline management strategies and techniques.
- 44% of executives think their organization is ineffective at managing their sales pipeline.
Benefits of implementing a business process
In addition to the benefits shown by the above statistics, your company can achieve many others.
One single optimised and easy-to-follow method
They say that a problem generally has more than one solution. But this is not true when it comes to sales. You could have 25 salespeople and every one of them would have their own “solution”: their tricks, methods, way of thinking… Are all of them effective? Not at all.
Selling is an art, but it is also a science and you cannot afford to let members of your organization use methods that will give you bad results. A business process develops a unified method that seeks to use the best principles and the best techniques to obtain the best results.
Control of results and better continuity
By having a unique process, it is easier to obtain valuable information about the performance of a person or a team. This allows you to get global data that can give valuable information to your organization.
You can improve individual or team training in those phases of the process where you detect that you are getting worse results. For example, if the sales closing percentage is very good, but it is difficult for a client to agree to arrange a visit, you already know where you should focus your efforts to improve results.
Improve internal communications within the company
A unified and systematic process allows not only better communication between teams (for example, it is good for a salesperson to know how long it takes for the warehouse to deliver an order), but also within the sales team itself.
This will make it easier for new salespeople, who will have clear indications to follow. This reduces the time they will take to learn and perform to the best of their ability. The more senior employees may advise more specifically because they all follow the same guidelines.
More accurate sales forecasts
A repetitive and systematized process means greater consistency in sales. For example, knowing the average closing percentage will make it easier to calculate the impact of increasing your sales force by three more salespeople. Because of all this, the forecasts are more accurate and realistic.
Better client experience
You cannot risk losing sales or damaging the relationship with your customers because some salespeople are too aggressive, and others are the opposite.
Customer experience is one of the key factors in the current market and will gain more prominence in the coming years. They will be demanding an attentive and personalized service from you.
A standardized process will have taken into account all the variables and will indicate to your salespeople, for example, how long to wait before contacting a customer who has not responded to a first call or email, and how many times to keep trying.
A unified business process provides all your staff with a guide to best practice so that they will execute them with confidence and obtain the best results in their daily work, which will result in multiple benefits for your company.
This process should be constantly reviewed in order to refine any small detail that allows you to do even better.