The Importance of Process (and it’s Not What You Think)


Funny little things set me to thinking. And usually about all things sales, or refereeing, or golfing, but, in this instance, it was sales… and sales process in particular.

Recently, I was arriving in Bangalore for a session with a group of new hires. In any country there is an arrival process, and India was no different in many respects. But one aspect of the process caught my eye because I had never seen it before. As we were heading out of Immigration towards Baggage Claim, they were scanning our handheld and carry-on bags on the way out of the airport. Much like any airport does on the way in, but this was on the way out. . .I was perplexed by this. But, even more so by what I saw next.

It seemed they had all the routine people and procedures in place… scanners, x-ray machines, security guards. But what was fascinating was that no one was really paying any attention to the bags as they were going through the scanning process. I remarked about this to a fellow traveler, an Indian citizen, and he shrugged and said, “that’s life here and we just live with it.” The process was set in motion, everyone was abiding by it minimally, but no one was actually watching to ensure that they caught what they needed to catch.

This is where my mind went next. How often do we set in motion processes in our sales world and actually pay them the respect and attention they need and deserve? I’m talking about things like, consistently applying and coaching ValueSelling with Deal Reviews, Planning Sessions, coaching calls, etc., where we run the risk of short-changing ourselves to our own detriment. Do we let things slide by our “scanners,” do we take a cursory glance and see a few checked boxes, are we taking another’s word for it that the deal is really, truly and honestly qualified? How often do we, in this busy hyper-connected world, take an approach that is less than consistent to ensure that we are doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done?

To quote Simon Sinek from a recent interview, “It is not about intensity, but it is about consistency.” Only by ensuring that we have a process that we can stick to and evolve can we truly drive sustainable results.

David is an accomplished ValueSelling Facilitator, Coach, and Practitioner with over 25 years of applied ValueSelling experience. He leverages his leadership experience by guiding sales professionals to become more effective, efficient, and relevant.