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Map Your Way to Sales Success By David Masover

Have you heard the old joke about the husband and wife on a cross country driving trip? The wife says “honey, I think we’re lost”. The husband replies, “yeah, I’m sure we are, but we are making great time!”

Are you lost in your sales career? Are you coming into work everyday and reacting to what is put in front of you or are you following a map to reach your destination?

These kinds of generalizations used to drive me crazy, until I realized what kind of a map was needed. For me, in my sales career, and for the salespeople I work with, that map is a process map – a map of the sales process.

There are so many sexy things to talk about in sales.  Sales process is not one of them. Following a map also sounds a lot less sexy than Rambo charging into the woods ready to defend himself and later to take revenge, but in the end, things didn’t turn out so well for Rambo!

Sales is a bit of a mystery to those who don’t sell, and to most who do. What exactly are you supposed to do to generate business? Are you insulted by this question? You’re a top earner, you have been in sales for years, etc.

OK – try this one: If you needed to double revenue in the next 90 days, where would you start? If you can’t answer this in 60 seconds, then you need a better handle on your sales process. You might not come up with the perfect answer, but you really should know exactly where to start looking.

* Where are your leads coming from, and how can you increase the quality and quantity?

* What are you doing to get meetings to talk about new business, from both new and from existing clients?

* Are you really qualifying in a disciplined way before you get into the meaty (and time intensive) part of the sales cycle?  What exactly are the qualifying criteria you need to see before moving forward?

* What do you need to know before you present a solution, and how do you and the prospect both know that your information gathering is both done and done in a complete way?

If you can’t answer questions like these in a concrete way, then you can do better.

So how does this seemingly negative post fit on a sales motivation site?

* Because when you take charge of your sales process, you will be happier on the job because you have a clear direction, and you know that you are driving towards it with every move you make.

* Because when you take charge of your sales process, you make more sales with less effort, because you don’t waste time on the back end of the process with unqualified prospects.

* Because when you take charge of your sales process, you won’t chase every possible sale that is in your pipeline for lack of better opportunities – because you will fill your pipeline too full to go after them all, which you shouldn’t – just the qualified ones.

* Because when you take charge of your sales process, you will sell more effectively in less time, allowing you time to spend your commissions on a gym membership that you will actually use; spend time with friends and loved ones; and enjoy all of the other fruits of your labor.

Can you imagine – being a top earner at work and having a life?  Now if that isn’t motivating for you, then work twice as hard and retire 10 years sooner, or never, but twice as rich as you can imagine.

Increased efficiency and effectiveness don’t have much sex appeal at all.  But neither does driving around in circles, lost without a map.  The benefits of driving towards a goal with precision and discipline can be as sexy as you make them, but you’ll get there much faster with a good map.

Make one!
David Masover is a sales consultant and the author of “Mastering Your Sales Process“.  You can read a portion of the book at no cost here, or visit him directly at DavidMasover.com.

-What are your thoughts on the ideas above? Is there anything else you would like to add or share that might be helpful to your fellow sales professionals?