When I walk into an organization that is either struggling to generate sales or wanting to take their revenue to the next level, the number one hurdle to their sales success: NO Sales System.
I have sat across from CEO's and VP's of Sales that cannot articulate how they got their current customers, how they get more customers or even what the plan is to keep these customers.
Why do we need a Sales System?
According to Dictionary.com, a system is any formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure.
A Sales System is a process in which you progress an opportunity from beginning to end, whether that ending is closing the deal or closing the file. This process allows you to produce consistently, a desired outcome and in turn, you achieve the result without wasting resources - time, energy, money, etc.
There are several things going wrong when salespeople are not closing deals.
- The prospect is in control of the entire process
- This prospect should have been disqualified long ago
- Not recognizing issues before they become a major blockade in closing the deal
More often than not, it is not solely a matter of the salesperson's "skills". Rather, they are not using a repeatable, scalable, and proven system that will help them be effective and efficient.
From a sales management perspective, if there is not a Sales System in place you cannot effectively and efficiently manage your team. Using the system will allow you as the manager to recognize and then replicate successful behavior and rid your team of "trash" that is getting in the way of increased revenue. Trash = wasted time, money and energy.
Benefits of a Sales System
First, and most importantly, salespeople need to maintain control over the entire sales process. Having control does not mean you are going to bully your prospect into buying! To be in control of the sales process means you have the ability to elicit specific behaviors and actions from beginning to close. You know what actions and steps need to be taken to get the prospect to close quickly. Stay in the system, every time, lather, rinse, repeat! Once your prospect takes control, it becomes a tug-of-war for control, and the sales process becomes too long or worse, you lose a deal.
Speaking of time, wouldn't it be nice to have a system in place so that you can qualify or disqualify an opportunity early in the process? Imagine being able to tell a prospect that they are not a good fit for YOU! Now, you can better spend your time going after the RIGHT customers.
Early on in my career I would get to the point of the client signing on the dotted line, only for something to pop-up and the deal is dead. How frustrating!!! Using a Sales System allowed me to recognize issues quickly, and proactively attack potential issues before they became roadblocks to my commission checks.
A lot of salespeople often want to get promoted. I mean, why wouldn't you? There is an opportunity for bigger checks, attendance at high-level meetings, maybe an office instead of a cubicle, membership to the Country Club; no matter your reason for wanting that promotion, there is a BIG reason you are not getting the promotion. - you are not replicating yourself. Show your boss or your boss's boss that you can create additional successful revenue generators. When you have a Sales System, managers or those that strive to become one can more easily strategize or debrief a sales call with the system that has action steps that are specific and in a common language.
Sales Managers MUST ALWAYS know where their salespeople are in the sales process. With defined, actionable steps, you can track where they are in the Sales System and have the ability to create better reporting, forecasting, and coach your team more effectively when they get stuck in the process.
What does an effective Sales System look like?
Great question! Obviously, it can look a little different for each organization. The best way to develop a Sales System for your organization is to evaluate your current "process." Write out a description of what that process typically looks like. Sit down with your team and decide - does our system give us one of these four outcomes, and only these four?. If not, it is not an efficient, effective system.
- Get a referral
- Obtain a clear, sound understanding of the future
Let's sell something today,