How Do You Audit Your Sales Process?

In the past year, I’ve been a prospect—and ultimately a purchaser—fairly often. I’ve been making some major home repairs, replacing important technology, and interviewing suppliers for things I plan to do in the near future.

Throughout each meeting and conversation, my curiosity is fully engaged. My awareness is not only on what I need to buy. I stay present to my emotional reactions, level of engagement, and how the salesperson listens and responds to my comments and questions.

I’ve learned two important lessons:

  1. The companies that win my business treat me as a valued customer long before I say yes.
  2. No matter how amazing the company is, some aspects of its process can derail the relationship and the sale.

As a result, I’ve been consistently auditing my sales process, and revisions are needed.

What about you and your team? Have you analyzed your sales process recently? What improvements might you uncover?

I’ve said “yes” to suppliers that:

  1. Gave me direct access to a customer service representative before I became a customer. This person was available to me by phone, email and text. They supported me in making big decisions around getting my old house off oil, encouraged me to contact them anytime, and consistently buoyed my confidence in the project and its outcomes.
  2. Provided consistent communication. Whether I was speaking with an electrician or someone in accounting, the conversations were polite, cheerful and clear.
  3. Did their research. My purchase of technology related to the work I do and how I do it. The sales process, which included visiting my website, reading articles I’ve written, and viewing my LinkedIn profile easily won my trust.

Things that had me doubting my choice of supplier included:

  1. The totally unanticipated. This is different from the unexpected. In my case, there were a lot of questions I should have asked … but I didn’t know I should ask them. Assumptions were made about my knowledge and understanding of the projects. In both cases, this caused some tense conversations.
  2. Being in a hurry. Sales goals are a necessary part of every business. However, meeting these goals should never influence the treatment of or communication with a prospect or customer.
  3. Inflexibility. There are numerous ways to do almost everything. Disregarding my choice of how to communicate or how to pay invoices destroys trust and eliminates referrals.

We can learn a lot about our sales process by observing what happens when we buy.

For example, I’ve uncovered that I’ve been making a damaging assumption. While I know that my workshops and webinars deliver a healthy return on investment, the results are amplified when management also attends these sessions. For some reason, I had stopped including this request in my sales conversations and proposals.

My audit of my sales process continues!

What are your thoughts and experiences? Include them in the comment section below so we can learn from each other.

Closing a sale is the natural outcome of inspiring great conversations and listening intently to our potential customers.

This natural approach still involves a process – a plan that moves potential customers through a journey of discovery with you. So ... what's your process? And am I the right sales coach for you? Let's find out.

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