Sales is a process.
I’ve heard and said these words more times that I can remember. “Sales is a process” is the mantra of sales trainers, the hero and main character of countless sales books, as well as a shape-shifting chameleon that takes on different forms, labels, acronyms, and layers as the complexity and length of the sales cycle increases.
Sales outcomes are predictable based on how salespeople leverage, execute, and move deals through the sales process. Follow a well-designed sales process with qualified opportunities in the buying window and you will close more deals. It’s the truth, and it’s a guarantee.
The sales process is an indispensable technique.
- The sales process, when fully leveraged, guarantees a higher win probability. Therefore, it just doesn’t make sense to ignore it.
- Most salespeople are familiar with the sales process, are aware that the sales process is important, and understand the consequences of skipping steps.
- Most sales organizations have defined and perfected a simple, easy-to-execute sales process with steps that are appropriate to their sales cycle and product complexity.
- Most companies provide sales process training for their salespeople.
So why—after all the investment that companies have made teaching salespeople the sales process—do salespeople ignore it?
Many talented, educated, well-trained salespeople consistently crash and burn in the sales process, which is why you’ll find sales managers banging their heads against the bricks if you drive around to the back of an office building.
Failing to leverage the sales process is not caused by a flaw in sales process training. The problem isn’t logical, it’s emotional—a symptom of low sales EQ (sales-specific emotional intelligence).
Lack of emotional self-control is the fundamental reason salespeople fail in the sales process. They are unable to regulate and manage their own disruptive emotions, which include impatience, fear, desperation, eagerness, doubt, hope, insecurity, ego, and attachment. These disruptive emotions impede situational awareness, causing salespeople to ignore, skip, or mangle steps in the sales process.
Sales EQ unlocks ultra-high sales performance.
What separates ultra-high performers from the masses of average salespeople is their ability to marry intellectual understanding of the linear sales process with sales-specific emotional intelligence.
Sales EQ is the key that unlocks ultra-high performance. It’s the meta-skill of 21st century sales. The awareness and understanding of human influence frameworks, along with the ability to manage one’s own disruptive emotions within the context of the linear, logical sales process is the rocket fuel of sales performance.
The impact of sales-specific emotional intelligence on sales performance is more essential for success in sales today than at any other point in history. Companies that invest in developing and improving sales-specific emotional intelligence in their salespeople will gain a decisive competitive advantage in the hypercompetitive global marketplace.
Jeb Blount is the author of eight books, including Sales EQ (Wiley, March 2017), Fanatical Prospecting (Wiley, November 2015), and People Follow You (Wiley, November 2011). He is a sales acceleration specialist who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying a more effective organizational design.
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