10 Steps to Guided Selling (aka How to double pipeline generation without buying another tool…)

Guided Selling, or Sales Orchestration as we sometime call it, is nothing more than building a deliberate and repeatable process for sales and sales development teams to follow. It is fundamentally about the removal of wasteful activities that add little or no value. None of the information provided here requires tools or technology beyond a functioning CRM, but it will require some hard work. As they say, 'some assembly may be required...'.

Goals of Guided Selling

The goal of guided selling is to ensure every salesperson is doing productive work every hour of every day. But rather than focusing on the salesperson and applying techniques, tools and methods to extract more productivity from them individually, it focuses on building a streamlined and highly-efficient process that ruthlessly eliminates time-consuming, low-value and repetitive tasks. We deliver more productivity by removing work from the salesperson; it's that simple. We are taking responsibility as a management and operations team for organizing, completing and automating tasks that consume many unproductive hours every day for our sales teams.

10 Steps to Guided Selling

A summary presentation of the 10 Steps to Guided Selling was delivered at the American Assoc. Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) Leadership Forum in Chicago on Thursday April 21, 2016. The webinar and blog series will provide detail, guidance, templates and tips on how to implement this in your organization; here are the steps with a brief synopsis:

Board/CEO-friendly first step...

Developing an understanding of your customer base gives you an empirical definition of success, allows you to calculate the size of your target addressable market, define targeted marketing campaigns for the next 12 months, and above all, understand the strength and weaknesses of your content.
Calculate your personas...

Personas should reflect the people that you interact with during successful and unsuccessful sales cycles. Despite titles, LinkedIn profiles, social media and other research tools you don't know a prospects view, intent or role until you have a discussion. Being well-prepared for that discussion is pivotal.
Organize your prospects...

Allowing and expecting salespeople to chase prospect data around your CRM database means that you are failing, and is the second biggest time-waster for salespeople. Delivering prospect data consistently and reliably to salespeople through CRM views, reports and consoles is table-steaks for marketing and sales operations.

No follow-up, no chance...

There are literally hundreds of sales automation and CRM systems on the market today for different industries, use-cases, organization sizes and roles, and yet they all share one common piece of functionality; the task, to-do, reminder, tickler, note, memo, record, notice, jot, directive, minute, etc. There is a reason.
For training and education...

The value of playbooks is often the internal process you go through to create them. By engaging all the sales and marketing stakeholders in the discussion, you can drive consensus on personas, value propositions, use-cases, customer references, discovery questions, qualification criteria, objections & rebuttals, etc..
For coaching and execution...

What playbooks are to training and education, Conversation Guides are to coaching and doing. This is all the information your salespeople need for effective engagement with customers, and none of the stuff they don't. Turns out it is harder to remove content than add it, but we'll cover some simple techniques to do this.

Measure facts, not opinions...

Abstract marketing funnel terminology is not helpful to salespeople. The status of sales activity, and the status of the marketing funnel are both very important to understand, track and measure; it's just that we think they should be done separately! We'll show you a simple way to do this that improves visibility and keeps everyone happy.
Consistent and daily...

By developing and publishing playbooks and Conversation Guides you will have simple and effective mechanisms to train and coach salespeople. As living documents they can be inspected and updated quickly. We'll show you how training can actually be the mechanism to improve these documents at the same time as improving individual performance.
Inspect what you expect...

By isolating the key conversion metrics that make sense to salespeople, we can streamline performance monitoring. Better yet, there are some simple ways for salespeople to self-inspect their work and ensure they are following your process on a daily basis, so monitoring focuses on performance and not system compliance.
Not leaving when they're learning...

There is a lot of discussion about Millenials entering the workforce and their demands for instant gratification and career advancement. Guided selling offers a crash-course in the execution, organization and measurement of effective sales teams, that plays well with the Millenials desire to acquire rapid knowledge and experience.

Your Logo Here...

This process has been developed over several years working with, managing and interacting with sales teams at many of our customers. The mechanics improve and refine wit every project, so we are always open to suggestions and feedback about the process. What have you found that work and can be used by your peers?