Picture it. You’re a trainer who has never been so sure about implementing a sales process for the sales organization. In fact, it makes perfect sense. The representatives can now have a consistent go-to-market approach and messaging with their customers that aligns with today’s current marketplace conditions.
Additionally, all your training plans can be designed to carry this sales process within the at-home study and the in-person training programs. Figuring out how to launch the sales process might just be the hardest part. You talk to upper management and explain how a sales process works, the reason for having a sales process and of course the benefit to the organization. The leaders nod in agreement and you have the go-ahead to proceed. All you have to do now is launch it…sounds easy right?
Here are 3 things to keep in mind to prevent your new sales process from failing before it even starts.
1. Launching a Sales Process Has Many Steps
Imagine you decide your goal is to run a 5k this year. On Day 1 of your training and preparation, you wake up, stretch a little and start off with a sprint down the road. After about 2 minutes, you find that you are already losing your momentum. You didn’t get very far and you’re already exhausted. The same could hold true for launching your sales process.
First, you have to be 100% sure of the process that you are choosing. Ask yourself if it aligns with the company’s culture, the marketplace you are trying to access and if it’s overly complicated. If you are going with a tried and true “off-the-shelf” sales process, begin with a pilot group and have the sales representatives give their initial feedback to you. Work on gathering feedback on the key messages you are delivering and see if they resonate with your customers. Take a slow progressive move towards implementation. It might be fun to have a big launch party. However, sales and company habits will not change overnight.
It takes a lot of work to get conditioned to run a 5k and it also takes a lot of work to condition a sales team to change their sales technique. This is especially true if they feel the one they are using right now happens to work.
2. Implementing a Sales Process Requires Buy-In from Many Departments
Now that you have your pilot launch team in agreement that the sales process is showing potential, it’s time to start working with sales, training and marketing in combination. I would highly advise bringing in an outside party to aid in the collaboration between departments to avoid the build up of departmental silos and resistance.
A third party can also help diagnose where your organization has the most resistance during the sales process and also where the gaps in marketing strategy are located. As your sales process changes, so will the marketing approach and collateral. For example, if you have chosen to go with The Challenger Sales process, you have to lead with commercial insights. Where do these commercial insights come from? They can come from Advisory Board members, KOL’s, Marketing, Sales, and a long list of other sources. How do you know which insight will be impactful and which one won’t?
It takes a lot of collaboration and communication internally and with external stakeholders to determine what the right approach is with your commercial insights. Once you have determined how to start the sales call in your approach then sales, training and marketing specifically need to be in agreement and your training and sales materials should begin to reflect the changes.
3. Sustaining the New Sales Process Requires Hard-Work
You have now officially launched the sales process and everything seems to be on track. You put in a lot of hard work and it’s something you can be proud of – not so fast…
In order for this sales process to stick and not become a highly priced, nice to have, ticket item with no real results, you need to continue to drive the changes within the organization. Your best approach is to weave activities into other sales training and marketing activities. For example if the Regional Sales Managers are hosting quarterly meetings, you may want to integrate a sales process workshop. If you are hosting a webinar you may want some audience members to share their success stories. When you have your annual POA meeting, there should be a key note speaker or some other type of activity around sustaining your new sales process.
Running your first 5k successfully takes time, consistent effort, measuring your results and taking note of what is working and what is not working. To be able to sustain a newly launched sales process in an organization also takes the right mindset, a long-term vision, consistent effort and focus on making the changes over time.
For over 25 years, Ebix Life Sciences has provided customized education and sales training programs to hundreds of businesses in the healthcare and medical industry. If you’re interested in discussing a new training project, feel free to contact our team directly at email@example.com or fill out the form below. From there, we can set up an individual consultation to help better understand your needs and how we can exceed them.
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Jennifer Imerini has over 20 years of experience working in the healthcare industry. She has expertise in understanding and developing teams, processes, and infrastructure for marketing, sales training and physician education departments within major pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.