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Strategic Discipline Blog

Sales Discipline – Missing a Structured Process?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Jul 5, 2010

Last blog we discussed the Fourth Discipline, developing work process flow charts.  Would it surprise you to discover that 91% of small to midsized business don’t have a formal structured sales process?  One of our strategic partners is Objective Management Group.  OMG is the originator of sales force evaluations and have evaluated over 8500 different sales forces, and 450,000 sales people.  Most of the businesses they evaluate are larger companies since in order to evaluate sales teams; you need four or more sales people and managers.  The 91% number comes for their evaluations of these 8500 companies.  You can imagine what that number might be for sales teams smaller than 4 people.

Discipline resized 600

One of the critical departments and process for any business is sales.  Yet according to this research fully 91% of companies don’t have a formal structured sales process.  Is this because they feel sales is an individual talent that is governed by other factors beyond a system?  Or is it possible that upon further inspection we might find that many of the other absolute critical systems in their business are not formally structured as well?

Do you agree with Jim Collins in Good to Great that “A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness?”  If so, then you recognize that a failure to document and flow chart your systems is a principal breakdown in your businesses ability to reach its growth potential and it’s own greatness.

By adding the fourth discipline of work process flow charts to priorities, meetings and metrics there is a clearer connection on what your priorities, meetings and metrics should focus on.  If you’re managing a sales department, perhaps your first prioirity is to document and flow chart your sales process.  Once achieved you can begin to manage the system, focus your meeting rhythms on the metrics your sales people and system should be reaching each day and week, and make your priority to deliver accountability to these numbers with each of your sales people.

If you’re not managing a sales process, what systems in your business need this scrutiny?  Is your business more likely to have a structured formalized system in place in customer service, operations, marketing, delivery, or administration?  Is it time you reviewed your business to determine the critical 4-9 systems you need to be monitoring more closely?

Topics: Work Process Flow Charts, Objective Management Group, priorities, Sales Evaluation, Sales Discipline

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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