And That’s the Point of a Process…

The definition of process:

a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end

The point of a sales process, then, is to take a series of steps in order to achieve a final determination about a potential project.

What or how you sell doesn’t really matter. The series of actions and steps you take shouldn’t differ even if you do completely bespoke consulting with every client.

I’d argue that it’s not the best way to build your business, but you’re deceiving yourself if you think that you can’t come closer to a repeatable sales process.

There’s a distinct difference between the process and the content you present. So for instance, you may always write a proposal, but the contents of the proposal may differ depending on the client.

Similarly, you always run a discovery process, but the specifics of what you discover may change depending on the outcomes your clients want. That doesn’t change the basic goal of discovery: to learn if your client needs your help, wants a solution, and if there’s a fit to work together.

Even if no two engagements you propose are exactly the same, your clients and their problems fit into a range of possibilities. Any population contains a distribution of individuals, meaning you’re less likely to be surprised than you think.

My take: saying you’re unable to sell with a process because you provide custom consulting is avoidance at best, or laziness at worst.

Do you think PWC, Deloitte, Accenture, or Razorfish don’t follow a sales process? Of course they do, and they provide thousands of solutions to a huge variety of clients.