We’ve all worked in organisations where the sales team sometimes work by the seat of their pants, there’s no real direction from management other than hit your numbers and get that sweet dopamine rush for every deal you close, which then becomes the main driver above everything else. And guess what, sometimes it works, sometimes you get a great bunch of salespeople with a great product and you can just sell it. The problems begin when you need to scale the business, if the economy starts to go south or if you really want to start understanding what’s really working and what’s not.
I’ve always liked the story of the five blindfolded people in a room with an elephant, they’re all then asked to describe what it is to someone else outside the room, so they can guess what it is. The problem is that one of them is touching the trunk, one if touching the tail, one is touching the leg and so on. They’re all describing different parts of the same elephant, but nobody has the whole picture, making it impossible for anyone else to guess it’s an elephant!
Without a defined sales process all our sales opportunities are like the elephant, with everyone doing things their own way, no one person fully understands everything about an opportunity and isn’t able to articulate it effectively to anyone else. A sales process is the agreed framework and language we all need to effectively describe an elephant.
There are many different choices available to sales leaders when choosing a sales process and depending on what you are selling and who too will probably influence your decision. For example, if you’re selling high value software or services to other businesses (B2B) then something like MEDDIC is probably a valid option, however, this would most likely be overkill if you were selling low cost items to consumers (B2C). So, the first things to consider when looking at sales process is which one could fit your business and your go to market strategy the best.
At Workbooks we use MEDDIC, a slightly pared down version as we are not selling multi-million-dollar deals to large enterprises, but it does fit our business model. This isn’t intended to be a discussion on the pros and cons of the various sales processes, rather, that having a suitable well-defined process will really help drive your sales and improve communication across the business.
Once you’ve decided on which sales process you will use, it’s important that all the sales teams are fully trained on its application, taking them through example opportunities and typical use cases can help really visualise how the process works, what data needs to be recorded and how it can be used in your regular opportunity and forecast reviews. It should show how more effectively opportunities can be moved forward and how to identify gaps in their deal knowledge.
At Workbooks in addition to this, we also score each opportunity based on our deal knowledge, which is built upon each aspect of MEDDIC, with a larger weighting on the M (Metric). This means that at a glance we can all see which opportunities are scoring well, which need work and have deal knowledge gaps, which ones are stuck, etc.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, it’s really important that the CRM platform is used to review all opportunities and the data collected. This reinforces to everyone the value of following the sales process and gathering the relevant deal knowledge so that the right decisions can be made for each opportunity, such as what resources do we need to allocate to it, what re the next steps, what does the close plan look like, should we qualify out, etc.
Ultimately having a well-defined and implemented sales process will make your sales and marketing efforts more effective which means more sales, more revenue and committed and successful sales team!