Three Must-Haves for Success in Sales

During formal and informal conversations with our customers, we often hear the question, “How many steps should there be in the sales process?” We know how important it is for the sales process to mirror how customers are buying, but the reality is there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Each business and its customers is unique and the number of steps in a sales process varies based on the complexity of your product or service, the industry you’re in and the preferences of your target customers. That being said, you can follow some general guidelines to help determine the optimal number of steps in your sales process.

Here are three stages, or milestones, that we find sales teams cannot live (or sell) without.

  1. Access to Key Players (Decision Maker): This is not a new concept but as budgets continue to be scrutinized, it becomes harder and harder to extend the reach of a sale to multiple levels of titles. Clearly articulate the far-reaching benefits of your product or service to complete this stage.
  2. Expressed Value:Once you have access, these individuals must understand the value that your offering provides. Without this, you will be dancing in the dark when it comes time to go into the evaluation phase.


  1. Approved Implementation Plan:During the stage of co-developing the opportunity with your customer or prospect, get your plan approved – not after the deal is signed. This sole step will help determine your position deep into opportunity development. Additionally, the seriousness of the participant gauges how sticky your solution will be thereafter.

I’ve previously shared this great example. A medical device customer of ours was having difficulties getting into conversations with key players in their existing customer base regarding a new offering they had obtained through an acquisition. The offering was an existing diagnostic test with a new enhanced feature. The challenge was that the enhanced feature provided a benefit that had never been completely commercialized.

We sat down with a cross-functional team from their organization and built a pro forma model of what impact the solution had on existing practices in the testing environment, and who would benefit from this. They went searching for data to substantiate their assertions of what value this add-on widget could provide. They found a reputable research company that had done a study that provided the information they were looking for. We were able to help build a dollar value and a testing value into a pro forma model (Benefit Summary). The Benefit Summary provided all involved with a complete understanding of the value of their new enhanced feature.

Next, we helped them to create a prototype of an Implementation Plan that correlated with how they could roll this out to their customers. Once completed, the sales process plan was delivered and executed with their main customers. As a result, they have successfully sold an additional 12% in total revenue on this product alone in an $80 million division.

What are you or your organization waiting for to drive more revenue? Let us help you define (or refine) these steps and start picking up incremental revenue now!