We benefit from the existence of systems every day. Examples include the solar system, your digestive system, cardiovascular system and even the operating system on your device that allows you to read this newsletter. Utilizing systems to grow a business makes sense to most of my readers. Yet many are unaware that there are at least 3 fundamental systems to manage and achieve sales growth:
- Prospecting System
- Qualifying System
- Sales Template or Sales in process system
Prospecting - Most entrepreneurs know they need to generate leads or some proactive way to have conversations with prospecting buyers. An effective prospecting system measures efforts of the sales department to create those targeted conversations. Numbers of emails, dials, networking events and referrals requested are tracked by the salesperson’s manager to correlate which efforts are most successful and insure the company’s pipeline remains full. I see many companies push at the end of every quarter, forgetting that it’s the prospecting (not the pushing) that created those end-of-quarter opportunities. Great managers get proactive well before the end of the quarter.
Qualifying - Experienced salespeople use a system or process to identify which prospects deserve attention and which ones are likely to be time wasters. A qualifying system can also be used to measure the probability of a prospect becoming a customer. Managers know that all opportunities in the pipeline do not have the same probability of converting to revenue.
Sales Templates are valuable for companies that require more than one appointment or interaction. Most of my clients sell something complex that requires two or more meetings with the prospect(s) prior to obtaining a PO or retainer. Their prospects must make intermediate commitments before buying the product/service. For instance, a prospective buyer may need to sign an NDA, certify us as vendor, audit our facility, create a specification, purchase an assessment or design or some blend of all of these commitments before they become an official customer. These intermediate meetings and their sequence are not random. Ordering and completing these steps create a sales template or sales-in-process forecast that can accurately predict the likelihood of any given prospect becoming a customer.
Some salespeople scoff at the idea that they can use any system for selling, much less three. They forget that selling systems must be tailored to their industry, their company’s capabilities and their go-to-market channel strategies. The people doing the sales will always be important too but every management consultant would say that part of a company’s ability to grow is based on their systems.
© Copyright Sandler Training. All rights reserved.