Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Essential Sales Process?

The Essential Sales Process (ESP) is a solution sales process framework for B2B sellers built on lean and agile principles.

How does the Essential Sales Process work?

The Essential Sales Process (ESP) uses cards and checklists to create a highly flexible, visual and actionable sales process. ESP separates out different aspects of a sales opportunity to provide a holistic, and accurate, view of status. Each aspect provides a different view onto an opportunity, and is tracked independently of the others.

What are the Aspects in the Essential Sales Process?

Aspects are the seven key areas of a sales opportunity that need to be considered to obtain a complete picture of an opportunity’s true status. Aspects are tracked through states, which represent increasing levels of maturity.

What are the States in the Essential Sales Process?

States are the maturity levels of each Aspect. As we learn more, and achieve more, within each area of an opportunity, maturity increases and the States advance through their sequence. States are tracked by the completion of checklists, which are based on achieving valuable outcomes.

Do I have to use all the Aspects for a given opportunity?

You can use as many of the Aspects as you feel are appropriate for any given opportunity. Smaller, simpler opportunities will require less process overhead, so fewer Aspects. Larger, more complex opportunities, will have greater challenges and therefore will benefit from a more rigorous process, with more Aspects. The Essential Sales Process allows you to select and use only the relevant Aspects and thus “right-size” your sales process.

Is it necessary to complete the checks in a specific sequence?

No, the Essential Sales Process does not dictate what order you achieve the desired outcomes in. How you choose to work, prioritise your activities, and deliver value to your customers, is for you and your team to decide. There is however, a natural progression of the States within each Aspect.

Why did you create the Essential Sales Process?

The Essential Sales Process was created to provide a leaner and more agile approach to sales, one that avoids the inflexibility of traditional approaches which are typically linear and monolithic. Our aim was to create a process that can be universally applied, empowers sales teams to own their way of working, yet still provides sufficient guidance and governance for teams to be successful.

Why are there no specific sales techniques in the Essential Sales Process?

The Essential Sales Process (ESP) focuses on the “what” rather than the “how”. Put another way, ESP is based on outcomes rather than activities. We believe that sales people and sales teams are generally highly trained professionals, and do not need to be told what to do and when. However they do benefit from being reminded of the important outcomes that are required to be successful, especially in fast-moving, complex sales situations.

How is the Essential Sales Process lean and agile?

The Essential Sales Process (ESP) is a very visual approach, providing a high level of transparency. Transparency in turn enables greater collaboration, and better decision making. ESP also breaks the sales process down into Aspects, States and Checks – the granular nature of these makes it easier to set focused, short term objectives, which can be tracked in short iterations or sprints. Also, by empowering teams to right-size their process and adapt their way of working, ESP helps remove wasteful process steps, so teams can focus on delivering value to customers.

Can the Essential Sales Process be used with an existing sales life-cycle or process?

Yes, the Essential Sales Process (ESP) can be mapped to any sales life-cycle or process. By rigorously defining the stages of a sales life-cycle using ESP, strong governance is achieved, leading to more accurate forecasting. For help on using ESP with your existing sales process, please contact us for a no obligation discussion.

Can the Essential Sales Process be customised?

Yes it can, but we recommend doing this with our help – if you are interested in customising ESP for your own needs, please contact us for a no obligation discussion.