The Milestone-Centric Sales Process Competency – Improve Your Revenue by 18%!

The Milestone-Centric Sales Process Competency

If I told you that you could improve your revenue by 18% across your team, would that be of interest to you?  Of course, it would.  But it’s not me telling you that, it’s the Sales Management Association.  They’ve been collecting data for many years now, and there are 6 statistics from them that I really like to quote.  In my mind, addressing these areas are at the foundational level when you attempt to build a world-class sales organization:

Sales Management Association Statistics:

  1. A formal sales process improves revenue by 18%. 
  2. 3 hours per month spent on pipeline management improves revenue by 11%. 
  3. Trained salespeople bring in 9% more revenue. 
  4. Organizations that followed all three of the best practices above saw a 28% increase in revenue vs. those that did not. 
  5. A formalized sales process leads to a 65% increase in individual reps achieving their targets, and an 88% increase in companies reaching their goals. 
  6. A sales plan of action makes you 33% more likely to close sales at a higher rate. 

Source: Sales Management Association

Note the 5th statistic: “A formalized sales process leads to a 65% increase in individual reps achieving their targets, and an 88% increase in companies reaching their goals.” In a nutshell, that’s why we think this competency category is so important.  It’s at the foundation when you desire to create a world-class sales team.

The most successful companies follow a very well-defined sales process, and of course, we teach how to build one if you don’t already have one.  But what if you’re a seller, and your company doesn’t have a defined sales process?

How can you get repeatable performance on your own? 

It is of the utmost importance to have a customized, milestone-centric sales process that you personally follow. Without it, so much time can be wasted with a given prospect in a particular sales cycle when crucial milestones are unknowingly skipped. An effective process assures consistent, favorable outcomes and will generally prevent you from wasting your valuable time on opportunities that are unlikely to close, especially when sales cycles are long. Without a doubt, a powerful sales process with clearly defined milestones provides more consistent, predictable, and profitable results.

What Behaviors and Attributes Make Up a Milestone-Centric Sales Process?

These are some of the question areas that we use to determine if the behaviors, attributes, and skills are present for an individual seller:

  • Does the seller follow stages and steps when they sell?
  • Does the process that the seller uses have most of the key milestones in place?
  • Does the process have an adequate sequence to it?
  • Does the seller exhibit consistent and effective results?
  • Does the seller seem to waste a lot of time?
  • Does the seller follow an effective process?
  • Does the seller use an effective approach?
  • Does the salesperson know how to use a “sales scorecard” strategically?

Obviously, if they have a solid “CRM Savvy,” they would then ‘tend’ to follow a good process.  But many sellers look at using a CRM as more of a punishment than as a strategic asset.  Although your process might involve additional steps that are not uniquely called out in a typical CRM, it’s a great starting point to build discipline in your team.

There are a lot of “milestone traps” that a seller can fall into that can sabotage their efforts.  Here are some of the areas that are worth considering in your own efforts:

  • Do you control the sales process, or does the buyer lead you around by creating drama, challenges, and other roadblocks that can derail your campaign and strategy? And if so, do you have enough finesse and emotional control to nudge that buyer back into your desired process?
  • Are you wasting a lot of time with an unqualified prospect, either for business or non-business reasons?
  • Are you avoiding Purchasing at the start of the sales process, so that you don’t get trapped in a price-centric competition instead of a value-centric campaign?
  • Are you finding creative ways of uncovering the client’s budget as I presented to you in this blog post: /the-qualifying-competency-uncovering-client-budgets/?
  • Are you doing the appropriate amount of follow-up?

These are some of the behaviors that you can look for in your own teams if you haven’t taken advantage of our Tailored Fit Analysis to uncover your team’s strengths and weaknesses. If you would like to learn more about using competency data to drive your hiring, training, and coaching efforts, we invite you to watch one of our recent webinars: How to Implement Data-Driven Sales Enablement. View the webinar for free here: