Oakwood Temporary Housing, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, won a Stevie Award for Sales Process of the Year in the sales awards categories of the 2010 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
Oakwood, a provider of furnished and serviced apartments worldwide, knows that being successful in sales takes more than stamina and ingenuity: Having a process helps ensure reliability and success. Until 2009, Oakwood’s sales team had been functioning on the fly—doing what seemed right, with no metrics, no benchmarks, and no methodology. Based on the company’s experiences and research, Oakwood realized that identifying and institutionalizing its best practices would be a key driver in building its success.
As a result, Oakwood’s sales and sales operations teams instituted the “Sales Playbook,” a process that has completely transformed how they do business. The goal has been to achieve a best-in-class sales-and-marketing framework.
According to Oakwood, the main focus of this process was to teach their sales team how to “win fast and lose fast.” As a result, the team now spends less time on losing prospects and more focusing on winnable deals that positively impact the bottom line.
Oakwood had no overarching best practices or processes for the sales force to follow. They needed to create a system that would achieve consistent results and reduce time between qualifying and closing sales.
The system also needed to outline what “success” looked like for Oakwood, to identify top performers’ practices, and to propagate them among the masses. This system would develop a definition for managing opportunity that would provide clear, measurable objectives to determine if a sale was progressing.
Oakwood sales leadership conducted an intensive interview process and led a cross-functional team to identify top performers’ best practices. By combining those ideas with outside best practices, they decoded the tools and resources needed to gather, get, and grow business and to focus on the Single Sales Objective (SSO).
SSO moved Oakwood from an account-management mindset to an opportunity-management mindset and provided the objectives necessary to determine if sales were progressing. The system also defined a common language to articulate key strategic components.
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