Almost every successful business leader implements a system for finance, manufacturing, distribution etc. However, why is it so rare for sales directors to implement a selling system?
At Sandler, we understand a selling system as a process by which sales directors and business leaders can develop an opportunity from start to finish. Either closing the prospect’s file or closing the sale – then growing that relationship with systematic account management and referral generation.
A successful selling system allows sales directors to consistently achieve their financial targets, without wasting resources. As with any other system, a selling system too can be replicated across teams, geographies and cultures.
Do you find that the performance of your salespeople is often inconsistent? Perhaps your pipelines are more like pipe-dreams?
From my experience, the nearest most salespeople can get to a selling system is “quote and hope”. These salespeople have “happy ears” and are looking for any sign that their pitch might lead to a sale. They struggle to recognise ‘nos’ and spend far too much time on deals that the prospect had no intention of taking forward.
Not having a system to qualify or disqualify leads means wasting a vast amount of resources. This is an ineffective way to run a business. It will also be a major roadblock for hitting the financial targets.
Start with identifying successful behaviours and creating specific action steps, such as what to do and in what order. Recognise and eliminate the unsuccessful behaviours that have cost you business in past.
Very quickly it will become easier to focus on your prospect rather than worry about what happens next. You can stay on track and maintain the control over the whole selling process.
Having a selling system will also help you to quickly understand if that expensive new hire is worth keeping. The cost of hiring a salesperson who keeps on doing their ‘own thing’ is huge. Unfortunately, depending on your sales cycle, it can take several months to see who the non-performers are.
Business leaders who have implemented a selling system can tell their new hire from day one, ‘This is how we work at our company and these are the sales behaviours you have to follow’. This approach helps business leaders to understand if their new hire will be an A player by the end of week three (the latest).
By implementing a selling system that defines specific behaviours and actions, your salespeople will know where they are in the sales process for each opportunity at all times. Create forecasts that are based on well-qualified opportunities for better cash flow and resource planning.