Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French.

The sales process is the backbone of a company’s sales operations.

In this article, we describe the mistakes made by sales managers in the implementation of the sales process. So it is assumed that the company has defined a procedure for formal and structured sales.


Mistake # 1: The sales process is not integrated with CRM

Even an effective and well-structured sales process is useless if its steps are not integrated into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Without this integration, your salespeople cannot follow the steps and see where the opportunities lie.

The first stage of implementation with the CRM is to associate the different opportunities with good steps to allow sorting, tracking and management. To keep the system up to date, you should ensure that salespeople enter the necessary information in the CRM. Hold them accountable.

Mistake # 2: Coaching is not based on the sales process

Coaching and sales process should always work together. In your role as a coach, you should reinforce the established sales process.

Coaching should help your sales team understand whether a stage has been executed, which validates that an opportunity is at a more advanced stage in the sales process. In addition, by placing the sales process at the center of your coaching, you help your salespeople consistently and fully integrate it into their daily practice.

Mistake # 3: The failures are not identified

When a salesperson tells his sales manager that “everything went well” and he stands by that answer, he makes a mistake. This answer has no value: it does not allow the opportunity to reflect on the sales process.

As a sales manager, you should never assume that “everything went well,” simply because the salesperson said so. The sales process is set up precisely to leave nothing to chance and allow an objective evaluation of concrete opportunities for sale. Since no execution can be perfect, it is up to the
sales manager to find flaws in the activities of the sales team, using the sales process.

Mistake # 4: All elements of the sales process are put forward simultaneously

During the implementation of a formal, structured sales process, several changes in the execution of the sale must occur to respect that process.

The mistake that is usually made by sales managers is to integrate the sales process in a single block. Yet every step of an optimized sales process is essential to achieve good results. Each element of the process must be established effectively, and this necessarily requires a separate step devoted to focusing on just one item at a time.

The proper integration of the sales process is an essential condition for its operation. Without proper training, support and coaching, salespeople cannot absorb the methodology that should inform their execution of the sales process.

Key Takeaways:

Even a perfect sales process becomes worthless if:

• It is not built into a customizable CRM that integrates each of its stages
• Sales managers do not provide all the support and training necessary to perform its steps
• It is not used by all of the sales force
• It is not used as the basis for sales managers to coach their salespeople
• Salespeople do not have the necessary Sales DNA to perform all the steps
• The salespeople are not held accountable by their sales manager to apply it systematically

Want to know more about “Sales DNA”?

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If you enjoyed this, you may also want to read these Braveheart posts:

Sales Leaders: The Next Step is Most Important in the Sales Process
Sales Managers Aren’t Spending Enough Time Holding Salespeople Accountable
A CRM Alone Won’t Fix Your Sales Management Problem