Are your sales people Witch Doctors?

Sales is a process.  This is one of my most basic beliefs about sales.

I have never understood why so many people treat sales as if it is some form of “black magic”.  In every other job you are expected to follow a process but in sales this expectation is somehow waived.  

I cannot imagine software companies in today’s world saying “we don’t need a process, we’ll just jump in and start coding” and yet this is the standard applied to sales.

There are innumerable examples of IT sales people that have not worked out and in many cases (especially in smaller companies) management has no idea why.  When you dig into these situations it turns out that management had no idea of what process their sales person was supposed to be following and no way to measure their interim results.  All management could see was either a sale was made or one wasn’t.  Managers just kept waiting and waiting until one day they finally lost their patience and the company chewed through yet another sales person.

If any of this sounds familiar, you need to think about your sales process.  Document it; have people follow it and measure their progress.  Sales is not “black magic”…it’s a process!

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