You probably hear “believe in the process” all of the time. But what is this mystical “process” that everyone always speaks of? Is it how you work? Is it how a business works? What the hell is it? It seems more questions than answers float around “the process” no matter who you are speaking to. For some, I believe they just use the phrase to opt out of being questioned. Whatever it is, or how it may apply, the concept of “the process” does exist and it generally boils down to transformation. Trust, change, believe, that is transformation. You should trust the process, then you will see the process change things, and then you will believe in the process. From there the system just repeats.
With that being said, it is apparent that chemistry is required to make a positive process. We all make processes on our own, subconsciously or knowingly. Sometimes we create processes based off of what subconsciously works, as well. A process can help one, or many, stay focused and organized. A good process is generally comprised of what works and what did not work. A single person can make a process or an entire group can make a process. In my opinion, the more that proactively contribute to a process then the better the process actually is, because it is something owned by many which then involves a sense of pride because of the ownership. To create a good process you need to have a start, a finish, and multiple checkpoints in between.
The Starting Line
When making a process you need to think about what the end goal is but also how you are going to get the process started. What will you need, how long should it take to complete a process, and what should you expect. It is critical to be able to describe exactly what you are planning on doing and what the process aims to solve. If you cannot even talk about the process itself then you should not expect any results, period. Basically, the process helps you walk the talk rather than just talk the talk.
As an example, a sales process would consist of a 60 day funnel that involves engaging with prospects, spending time researching prospects and markets, planning how you will engage with them and overcome pushbacks, and then how the entire process will collaborate with other functions of your business. All star players do not just conquer one race, they conquer many races.
The Main and Final Stretch
Just like any game has plays in-between for each player to execute, a plan has processes and systems from start to finish. I like to see this as the entire “if/then process” which means that IF action A happens THEN reaction B happens. So on and so on. If you plan a marathon race then you need to plan the entire route right? You do not just tell runners “here is the start, here is the finish, first one there wins” right? The same applies to creating a process for business, or life, essentially it is a roadmap of how the process runs.
For example, you start your sales funnel off with searching for ideal clients, if you find ideal clients you then engage in clients with specific calls to action. During those talks, if the prospect feels a certain way about your product then you can respond with the necessary solutions to pushbacks. And of course, where it gets good, if the prospect agrees to become a client you then pass the necessary processes on to your administrative or project management team to provide the necessary services the client is expecting. Along all of these steps you have time allotments that create urgency internally and externally. You want to get a client to sign an agreement as fast as possible and you want to have your services rendered to the client as fast as possible, as well. If you fail to get that signature, well then you don’t get a sale. If you fail to render services ASAP to the client, well then you have an upset customer and will need to apply another process to recover happiness.
The Finish Line
Great! You got your first customer! Or in the case of using a process for yourself, you achieved your goal…let’s say you lose the 10lbs you were aiming to lose. While getting across the finish line does matter, it also matters how you cross the finish line. If you are going to make a process then not only do you need to have a timeline but you also need to have the ability to track, measure, and improve your process. This may sound nuts but, essentially you need an improvement process to apply to other processes that you make.
For example, if you have a sales team with a monthly quota and they all meet quota then you need a process in place to measure which rep did the best based on the amount of time to close, how many touches they made, and of course the value of their closings. Knowing these measurements will help you improve the process to squeeze more skill out of each rep, which of course, helps your brand and your team grow.
While the “improvement process” is essentially a central tracking system, it is extremely vital to ongoing success for a brand or even as a person. Because of this you do need to be a little flexible with every process in place because sometimes shit happens and you have to recalculate, or adjust, as needed to make sure you still make your goals. This also allows you to keep an open eye for opportunity which can help you become even more efficient, over time.
Once you have made a process you then need to own the process. Believe it, use it, speak of it, and watch it do its thing. In the case of business, most of the time your customers are not going to have a process of your own. In most cases, it is why they have become a client to begin with. And in other cases, your service may be to make a process with the client, in regards to consultants, marketers, etc. Regardless, it is true that “the process” works, it is just a matter of finding what the process should be for and how it will be applied.
If you have a process that you use in your company, career, or even at home then please feel free to share! You never know who else can learn from what you have made, because as stated above, sometimes the more people that contribute to a process then the more effective a process becomes.