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Sales Process Excellence

sales process excellence

Sales Process Excellence

by Barton Goldenberg

Process improvement is critical to maintaining a dynamic, growing, customer-focused business. Customers, the economy, business conditions, technology, and social norms are constantly changing. Thus, the need for companies to continuously evolve their businesses and business processes to meet new conditions. Yet, process development can be complex, time-consuming and overwhelming to many organizations.

ISM follows a rigorous 10-step approach, illustrated below, to enhance existing business processes and design/implement new, “to-be” processes. For more than 30 years, ISM’s approach has met with exceptional success.

sales process

Following is a case study, where we share a successful application of the ISM 10-step approach.

sales process

The Client

ISM’s client is a manufacturer that provides products and services for new construction, retro-fits, and tenant improvement projects. The company is a recognized leader in its industry, with a go-to-market strategy that includes direct sales and an international dealer network.
Projects are influenced by a network of architects, owners/developers, mechanical/electrical professionals, and general contractors. Recently, the company embarked on a multi-year effort to enhance business processes and leverage customer-facing technology to drive improved sales results.

The Commercial Challenge

Central to the company’s long-term strategy was enhancing their ability to win more work with existing resources, while concurrently managing a complex and growing sales pipeline. Additional Objectives were to:

  • Better prepare sales reps for specifier and dealer visits/reviews.
  • Help dealer and specifiers prioritize and manage projects.
  • Improve communications with dealers, specifiers, owners, and general contractors.
  • More accurately forecast revenues.

What We Did

The company committed strong executive direction and active sales management participation to the initiative. ISM was hired to provide senior-level subject matter expertise in the key areas of process development, technology implementation, and change management.

Using ISM’s 10-step approach, company participants dismantled and rebuilt a new enterprise sales process that included the best elements of existing processes plus critical new processes and technology components. Major tasks included mapping key sales milestones, defining core activities, establishing metrics for key steps of the process, and configuring CRM technology to automate the new sales process. Fundamental accomplishments included:

  • Used CRM to automate the entire sales life cycle, from lead, through project opportunity, to order, to create sales efficiency and competitive advantage.
  • Created a new lead-management process by integrating CRM with an external lead data source to improve the quantity, quality, and accessibility of leads. Enhanced lead management resulted in an improved opportunity pipeline.
  • Built a robust quote-review process with dealers and specifiers to maximize selection of company products. CRM automation provided information on demand to sales reps during the reviews.
  • Created a comprehensive dealer, specifier, and project profiles. These profiles gave sales reps the ability to capitalize on proprietary knowledge, better serve customers, and increase the probability of winning work.
  • Built a new sales forecasting process that allowed comparison of existing forecasts, based on historical trends, to new forecasts based on a forward-looking sales pipeline.

ISM also helped build robust training and communication programs, to accelerate change management and maximize adoption of the new sales processes/systems.


The company benefited tremendously from its process enhancement efforts. Key impacts included:

    • Increased sales growth, significantly higher than industry averages
    • More accurate forecasting of future sales, enabling adjustment of sales strategies to optimize results.
    • Practical benefits for sales reps and sales managers including:

– Reps better prepared and more knowledgeable for sales calls
– Enhanced ability to manage and prioritize leads, and project opportunities
– Improved ability to focus sales efforts and win more business
– Increased efficiency of internal communications and reporting
– Better management tools for sales rep mentoring

If you would like to review and/or enhance your sales, marketing and customer service processes, and leverage technology to drive process efficiency, thanks for giving us a call at (301) 656-8448 or contacting us at so that we may learn more about your needs.

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