Have you ever visited a business and you can't figure out how they are still in business? Like the popular restaurant where the food is delicious, but the service isn't always great? Or your favorite hair salon, where you love the stylists, but sometimes the wait is unbearable?
Why is it that these popular businesses can perform extremely well on some days (or in some areas), but fail on the rest? At first, the answer seems obvious: the employees must be the problem, right?
Although firing the servers and the stylists may be the most tempting solution in the moment, it won’t solve the larger problem. When the only way the orders get from the server to the kitchen is with a shout, or when the only way stylists know they have appointments is by memory: the process itself is the problem.
And it’s not an uncommon one. In fact, 100% of companies have a process problem somewhere. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn. If you’ve got multiple customers complaining about the same issues, or if you’re losing more deals than you’re winning but don’t know why, here are some tips that might help.
1. Be more transparent.
Processes within companies and teams should be simple — not complex. Have a system in place to assign ownership to every step of your process, so everyone is aware of who’s responsible for which part.
2. Pave the way.
Sketch and set a proper sequence for each of your tasks. This way every task flows through the path you’ve designed, and everyone in your team executes each task without wondering what to do next.
3. Settle the details sooner.
Set up an approval process so your system can automatically take care of any pending requests. Have the right people involved from the very start.
4. Get the right info at the right time.
It’s not enough if your processes just happen; it’s equally crucial to know what happens at every stage so that deals don’t fall through the cracks. Start by setting up the fields you want to see as deals progress, and get the contextual information you need. Don’t rely on your memory: Let your system remind you of the necessary tasks at every step of your process.
5. Automate important actions.
Set up actions within your system to automatically perform tasks for you like sending an email, scheduling a call, or updating an order’s status. This way you don’t have to manually perform these tasks every single time you get a new lead or need to contact a prospect.
With the wrong sales process, your business will lose. But with the right sales process, your business will win (and keep winning). In our next post, we will point out some easy ways to improve your process so that it’s more efficient, accurate, and easily repeatable.