Profitable Sales Growth in Six Steps — Step 2: Incorporate the Customer into Your Sales Process

Mike Moorman, Kelly Tousi


In sales, a primary principle of success is to put the customer first. In practice, however, many salespeople fall short.

“Often when we work with salespeople, they say, ‘I already talk to customers about their needs and provide them with solutions,’” Moorman says. “The reality is that sales professionals are rarely doing these things as well as they need to be.”

Consequently, these companies follow a sales process that reflects the way they want to sell, not how the customer prefers to buy. That’s one reason why, when working with B2B sales teams to help them improve sales effectiveness and drive organic sales growth, ZS Associates uses the term customer engagement process instead of sales process.

“We want to highlight the fact that sellers must always align their efforts with how the customer wants to buy,” says Kelly Tousi, a Principal at ZS Associates. “It reminds our clients to consider how they’ll provide value for buyers.”

The biggest challenge related to adopting a customer engagement process is the culture change, rather than formulating the process itself. “The quality of the customer engagement process is important, of course,” Tousi says. “But it’s not nearly as important as getting the buy-in from the organization and getting salespeople to execute it consistently. There’s more value in that consistent execution than people realize.”

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About the Experts

Mike Moorman is a Managing Principal at ZS Associates and is based in the firm’s Chicago office. He is the leader of ZS's Private Equity practice as well as the firm's Go-to-Market Strategy and Transformation practice area. During his tenure at ZS, Mike has consulted globally with more than 40 organizations across multiple industries including high tech, transportation, financial services, industrial products, consumer goods, energy and life sciences. His primary expertise is in business-to-business sales force strategy, sales effectiveness transformations, and sales force mergers.

Kelly Tousi is a Principal at ZS Associates and is based in the firm’s Evanston office. Kelly is a leader in ZS’s Medical Products and Services area. She is also a sales effectiveness practices leader, and has worked with numerous medical products companies on the use of key performance indicators to diagnose and improve sales productivity.