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5 Big Sales Process Blunders

What do sports radio, TikTok makeup tutorials, and your therapist all have in common?

They are all going to tell you to “trust the process.”

Here at SellingBrew, however, you’ll hear us talking less about trusting the process and more about refining the process.

Every sales process is made up of a series of steps and sub-steps. Each of those steps and sub-steps is a potential opportunity for improvement. And we strongly encourage you to tweak them to maximize your organization’s profitability.

But sometimes those tweaks go awry. In fact, we’ve had the opportunity to see quite a few B2B firms whose process improvement efforts went catastrophically wrong. Often, those teams made one of the five biggest sales process mistakes:

  1. Making a business case for tactical automation based on a strategic improvement. In the same way that buying Photoshop doesn’t make you a graphic designer, buying an automation tool isn’t going to make you a master strategist. Automation is a tactical tool, not a replacement for strategy. And promising management that a new tool will lead to strategic gains is a recipe for disaster.
  2. Expecting automation to take the place of process development. Automation isn’t going to create a process for you. You need to have a process before you can automate it. You can’t circumvent the need for process development.
  3. Addressing symptoms instead of true root-causes. It’s all too common for a company’s set of sales processes to become a jumbled mess over time. Why? Because they create new processes instead of dealing with underlying problems. For example, if the leads from marketing are poor, don’t just create a new process for qualifying leads. Instead, you need to figure out why the leads are poor and help marketing figure out how to improve them.
  4. Adding more resources to address a poorly designed sales process. Adding more team members to a crappy process isn’t going to make the process any better. In fact, it’s just the opposite. More team members are just going to gum up the works even more. Again, make sure you are addressing the root cause of your problem, which in this case is a bad process.
  5. Focusing too much on personal pain points with little business value. Just because a particular step in the sales process irritates you doesn’t mean that that’s where you should focus your efforts. Maybe you dislike a particular piece of collateral that gets emailed out or maybe the team finds the demo boring. Updating those things isn’t necessarily the best use of your time. Instead, take a step back and see if your irritation is related to a larger issue. Often, addressing the larger issue yields excellent business results while also improving the things you find irritating.

If reading about the wrong way to do sales process improvement has whetted your appetite for learning more about the right way, check out the full webinar on Sales Process Improvement. You’ll find additional tips in How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel.

Your sales team members are likely going to be trusting the sales process that you give them. You owe it to them to make sure that process is as effective as it can be.

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