What is the Difference between ‘Milestones’ and a Sales Process?

Sales process and sales milestones, what is the difference

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There are plenty of organisations that are adamant that by having a set of milestones for their sales team, that they have a proper process in place. But the truth is, milestones are not simply enough.

Why? Well there is little point in saying ‘get prospect meeting’, ‘make follow-up call’ and ‘wait for decision’.

Sure, they are all valid parts of making a sale, but what about all the parts in between? How do your sales people get a prospect meeting, when do they make a follow-up call and how many do they make to nurture a sale?

And even in amongst these action items are even more questions and points that require validation – how does the salesperson ensure they are speaking to the decision-maker? What is a reasonable timeframe for the sale to take place?

Once you start getting into the actual steps required for a sale to take place, it’s not hard to see that there are more than five or six actions involved in the process. For higher price point items, it could even be as many as 10. The main thing is, for your business and your service/product, you need to map out what will take a salesperson right from engaging with a potential new customer, to the end result – a sale!

In this article from world-renowned sales leader Dave Kurlan, he talks about laying out all the steps over a baseball diamond – and this simple, yet easy-to-understand graphic reminds us that it isn’t just about hitting bases, but that all the things that take you to those bases are just as important too.

And here, in this piece, Kurlan notes that for a sales process to be effective, it needs to be customised, optimised, formal, and include the right sequence of steps, to-do’s, milestones and goals that must be achieved during a sales cycle. He also mentions 12 questions that every sales leader needs to ask themselves about their process, to ensure it is full-proof and operating as efficiently as possible.

NB. Don’t forget about what happens after there is a sale as there needs to be the consideration of service delivery, retention and, if possible, increasing share of wallet (which is one of the easiest ways for your business to grow revenue).

We coach our clients through this HIGH PERFORMANCE SALES PATHWAY to help them get clear on their strategy, transform their sales team and achieve sales growth, without stress and uncertainty of going it alone.


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