It’s time to build a sales system and start creating sustainable revenue.
- Who closes the most deals in your company?
- How close is your second place sales person?
- If you lost either of those top two people, would your company sales be okay?
If you answered, “me,” “me” and “the company would be dead,” you are in major risk. If you answered a “me,” “a team member” and “the company would fall apart,” you are still in risk.
What if you could answer to question 3. “We would be great. We have a great system and we would just hire another good sales person.” Wouldn’t that be awesome?
When it comes to company sales, I don’t mess around! You can’t afford to mess around when it comes to company sales. We need to hit those numbers, and hit them consistently.
When I’m consulting with companies on their sales, they usually talk to me about people.
“We hired a guy, but he’s just not closing.”
“It’s so hard to find good salespeople.”
“I’d love to have someone else selling, but no one can close as well as I can.”
If you are serious about creating more consistent and sustainable sales numbers in your business, pay attention.
It’s probably not the people, it’s the sales system.
I’m always amazed how many business owners operate without a sales system. The business owner “does their thing” when it comes to sales and then eventually hires someone else to come in and expects they will produce the same results. Let me fast forward this scenario and tell you, they won’t. No one will ever sell as successfully in the company as the business owner. No one else has as clear picture of your vision, or shares your passion and knowledge. Your sales team will require a solidly constructed sales system.
How do you construct a sales system?
When I consult with a company to build their sales team I take them through a 5-phase process.
Phase 1: Investigate the intuitive process of the current sales team.
It’s amazing that companies can get to 3 million in sales, without building a sales system, but it happens. Even if you have sales and they are strong, with a system they would be better. Often times there are one or two people inside a company that are selling really well. Investigate what they are doing to break down the process. Listen to their calls, watch for trends. Ask the question, “How can this be duplicated by anyone with solid sales training and skills?”
The structural components are things like, the scripting, reporting, the internal software or system that the sales team will be using, defining the lead stages, and creating the action steps to move a lead from one stage to the next. This phase is heavy in production work.
Phase 3: Testing with the current team
If the business owner has been doing all the sales, or if there is a pre-existing sales team, we put them into the new system and let them work through any kinks. The goal in this phase is for numbers to either maintain or increase. If they go down, we need to re-assess.
Phase 4: Hiring the Sales Team
I recently heard from a frustrated business owner that the best thing salespeople can sell is themselves. I’ve been through many sales interviews that were so full of hype you would have thought this person was selling a million dollars a year. Salespeople are all likeable! It’s their job. They are good at presenting things in a way that you will relate to what they are saying. It’s their job! They are not however, all a good fit for your product, avatar or industry. So you’ve got to have a hiring process in place that really weeds out the ones that won’t work and helps you get to people with a proven track record. Hiring sales people is different from hiring a regular team member. Check out my blog post on How to Hire a Good Sales Executive for more tips.
Phase 5: Training the Sales Team
Your sales system can be amazing, the sales people can be amazing, but if your training isn’t, you’ll experience frustration. I recommend bringing in your sales people on a graduated performance scale. They won’t be spectacular in the first month, but you will see how their effort is in the first few weeks. I set effort benchmarks for their first month, and performance benchmarks for the following months.
Phase 6: Maintaining the Sales System
Your brand new, shiny, beautiful system will require loving maintenance. You’ll want your sales team meeting every week or every other week. You’ll want reports turned in and reviewed weekly. You’ll want monthly sales goals, regular and spiff incentives to keep up performance. And you’ll want to find ways to innovate your processes and make them work even better. This is one area of your business you can’t just automate and let loose! It is a hands on department.
Each successful salesperson in your sales system can bring in hundreds of thousands to millions of revenue depending on your pricing structure. If you have a hole in your system, I guarantee, you’re leaving millions on the table!