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The Sales Boss by Jonathan Whistman

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CHAPTER 10 Know Your Sales Process and Your Numbers

What creates success for a salesperson at your company? Where do leads usually come from? How do they progress from interest to sale? When I ask this of mediocre sales managers, I am often told: “It depends; every case is a little different.” When I probe a little deeper, this is usually code for “I don’t teach a system.” In every case, it is a sure sign that the team is underperforming.

As a manager of the team, you must not only know the typical selling processes but you must also understand the numbers around these processes and have a strong opinion about what works and why. You will allow individual flexibility, but you need also to teach a system for selling. Yes, every case is a little different. Yes, every salesperson has unique quirks, personality, talents, and magic. You must, however, sort through all of this to have a road map to give your team. You will set the standard, and you’ll decide how much deviation from the standard is acceptable as the team adds their quirks, personality, talents, and magic.

I think of a sales process and the people charged with carrying it out like a serial TV show. The topic and style of successful shows take many different formats, but all of them share some basic DNA. Think about a successful TV series. They all have:

  • A premise or overarching plot line. Think: Crime scene investigator takes justice into his hands by vigilante murders. The premise must be “big enough” to handle the ...

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