Hi, I’m Nick Maslanka. I’m a senior sales consultant with SPI. We help our clients in a lot of different ways, but ultimately, we’re in the business of helping our clients produce and create predictable and profitable sales organizations. I work a lot in the technology and software space. I also work with a lot of clients in the industrial and manufacturing space as well.
What are client issues around creating sales methods?
I think that many of our clients who deploy a process and a methodology struggle in a couple of different ways. Some of the most effective clients have gone to the length of tailoring and building the sales methodology and the process around their business. Then, they go to an additional length to not focus as much on what the book says, per se. Instead, they focus more on what their top performers and the peers within the sales organization do really well. It’s much more about, “How do me make this part of our business?” versus deploying a training event. I think those are some of the things that our clients struggle with and some of the ways that we’ve been helping them through that process.
When our clients deploy sales process and methodology really well, we see them do a couple of things. Number one, they tailor and build it around their business. They take proven approaches and best practices and really make it specific to their world. Additionally, we see them form almost a steering committee that’s comprised of executives, top performers, and sales managers. Basically, people who are really change agents within the business. We see that that becomes something that owns the implementation of that process and methodology. They’re less concerned about managing the event and managing the implementation, and much more around the work that takes place afterwards to make sure the business really starts to move in that direction.
How do you help clients process the methodologies?
When it comes to taking a process and a methodology and making it specific to your business, it’s important to not engage only with top performers – people who understand your business, your clients, and your prospects really well. Build and weave that into the core of the methodology of the process. But, it’s also important to build it around the rhythm of your business. We want to make sure that the process and the methodology accurately represents the way, the steps, the process, and activities that you have when you’re engaging with your customers. The way that we do that is by engaging with folks who are very knowledgeable within your organization, in order to understand what some of those things are. Also, develop and validate it with really core stakeholders within your business, to make sure that it accurately represents the way that you engage with your customers.
Why does the approach make sense?
One of the things that’s unique about SPI is that we don’t start with a blank sheet of paper or an off-the-shelf approach. What’s unique and what a lot of our clients value is that we’re taking something that’s been proven, tested, and ultimately, tweaking certain components of it to make it specific to our client’s business. Again, that accelerates the time to deploy it and get it into the hands in the field. Also, it makes it much more successful. There’s a level of buy in, because people see and feel different aspects of the way that they sell built into that process and methodology.
What is the impact for clients after using your methods? What are the results?
When you see this start to take form within the business, a couple of things start to take shape. First, communication becomes a lot easier. It’s easier for a salesperson and a manager to communicate. It’s easier for managers, other resources, and executives to communicate because everything starts to mean something consistently within the business. There’s an element of collaboration and efficiency that takes place there as well. Additionally, people are able to organize themselves better around opportunities. They know what has to take place in order for opportunities to close. They know what has taken place up to that point in time, and they certainly know what needs to take place in order to close that business within the organization.
Our clients realize some efficiencies in terms of sales cycle length. We certainly see an average deal size increase, because, again they’re able to organize themselves better around those opportunities. There’s also a little bit more intelligence around opportunities. We see people start to qualify out of deals that may not be good. They better identify which deals they should be working on versus others that they shouldn’t. All of those certainly positively impact the business and we see things like higher percentage of quota attainment and overall business revenue improve as well.