Applying a productivity process to your business development for better results

Back to basics – the power of a strategic sales process that consistently makes you money 

Recently, I attended a conference that was nothing short of inspiring.

The speakers were innovative and inspiring. They gave us great ideas. But the big areas missing for many people are turning those ideas into a process. Specifically, applying them to one of the most important areas of your business – your sales process.

In other words, the A to Z of how you generate interested prospects and turn them into loyal paying customers.

Working with thousands of people in the area of sales, I’ve seen one big mistake time and again.

It’s not that they don’t get any customers. They all make sales at some point.  The only problem is they do it randomly.

Walk into any small business and ask them what their sales process is. Better yet get them to show you the process written down.

Most of the time you’ll get a blank stare. That’s because usually it’s ‘all in their head’. Or they’re still ‘working it out’.  Or they don’t even think you need that ‘process stuff’ because it kills creativity.

Here’s what I want you to consider: Unless you have a systematic sales process that you are regularly refining and tasting- then you are losing money you don’t need to.

One day you get a phone call from a potential customer, you say one thing. Another day your colleague says another. Now and then you send an email to follow up, or prepare for your first meeting with a customer. Now and then you try an event or a webinar that you think will add value. Occasionally you send out an e-newsletter.

If you get around to it, you’ll try for some Google ads or a bit of SEO on your site. Then you (sometimes) notice people are being referred to you. Sometimes you say thank you to the referrer. Sometimes you ask a happy customer for a referral or testimonial – and sometimes you just….don’t!

Here’s the sad truth. Systems will always win over random acts of human greatness. The oldest cliché in the book is that every single person reading this could make a better hamburger than MacDonalds. But not everyone would have a better system.

Business owners and sales people can make this so much more difficult than they need to.

The funny thing is that whilst people may think it takes a lot of work to put together a strategic sales system, they’re in for a surprise.

It’s surprisingly quick and simply to put your sales process in place. It’s certainly less work than running around without a process and losing money.

One client of mine has their whole sales process mapped out from A –Z. Their entire sales presentation is scripted down to the last word, the last slide on the PowerPoint. And every team member is drilled on it until they get it right. This process has been consistently worth millions of dollars per year.

To help your business put together a powerful, well tested, strategic sales system that consistently makes you sales – start by asking the simple question:

What does success look like?

How do you want your sales process to work?

Map it out and consider some of the following points:

–          how can you effectively test each part of your process to see which ways are more profitable?

–          how can you outsource the management of different parts of your sales process?

–          how can you implement this with your key staff to get them on board?

–          What are the key metrics to use to assess what’s working?

–          How much time are you willing to invest in this process each week? It does NOT have to be a major time consuming project

–          How could this be used to increase the overall value of your business (should you ever decide to sell or value your investment, or seek further funding)?

Enjoy experimenting and investing the time to see how high is high (:

Elliot Hayes

On July 5th, 2013, posted in: General, Productivity, Sales & Training by