A central part of competence is the completion of each of your marketing and sales processes. When any step of either of these processes is not completed, the next step, to some degree, is wasted effort in trying to make up for that last step which is incomplete.
The Marketing Process
The marketing process is a series of steps that result in a lead that can be handed off to sales and turned into an opportunity. Its result is a prospect who is now interested and has a fair degree of understanding of how your product or service could help them.
If marketing is falling short on completing their process, the lead isn’t totally a lead when it reaches sales. The salesperson then must work that much harder to overcome the lack of marketing. When leads are bad, the salesperson has to practically be a genius in order to make up for that lack of marketing and bring the sale somewhere near a close. Salespeople also get into unusual discounts, favors, and other odd solutions in order to try and close deals.
You can see, then that the marketing process steps are the foundation required to result in a competent sales process.
Marketing Creating Trust
Throughout our training at SELLability, we put a great deal of focus on the subject of trust. It must be created very early in the sales process for each of the sales process steps to be successful.
But in fact, trust must be created prior to the sales process even coming about—it must be created by marketing, through its different efforts. The sales department relies on a database of prospects that have never met them before, who already have a degree of trust. That trust is established by marketing.
When that trust isn’t established, the salesperson may have to start from scratch and try and accomplish marketing’s incomplete job in order to do their own. But when marketing is competently accomplished, the first meeting with the salesperson will already have some trust. The salesperson can then build on that as the sales process goes along.
Into the Sales Process
Competence continues, then, as the salesperson completes each step of the sales process. And just as with the marketing process, every stage of that sales process must be thoroughly done in order for sales to be competent, and for closed sales to actually happen.
Of course, if a salesperson is going to complete a sales process, they must first learn it cold. They should drill the sales process regularly, so they become better and better at it. They must fully understand the result of each sales process step and make sure they achieve it. They then go on to the next step.
As you can see, competence is a result of completing processes, first in marketing, and then in sales. Companies should focus in both areas, define their processes, and make sure that all of them get done, done, done!
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