You Said It Was Important - Here Are Your Sales Systems On
Tracking Conversion Ratios
FROM BULLETPROOF SELLING:
To start measuring anything, you have to have a standard to hold people accountable to. This is how we build systems, standards and processes to measure analytics against: CHAPTER 1:
TRIMming Hope From Your Sales Strategy
WHILE MANY BOOKS have been written about sales tactics, processes, and strategies, few – if any – exist about how to turn those tools into systems. What made the people I studied around the world successful wasn’t the fact that they’d been trained in the best processes. Many salespeople are provided with sales processes that are custom-made for their industry but are still not finding the success they’re striving for.
The chief reason salespeople fall back on hope as their strategy isn’t a lack of tools and processes, it’s that they have no way to ensure those tools and processes are consistently used. Jeffrey Gittomer, a titan in the world of sales training, has often said, “Sales is a process.” I don’t disagree with him, but there’s a difference between processes and systems. It’s the latter that we’ll be focusing on. So before we walk through how to systemize every aspect of your sales, from pipeline creation to prospecting to closing, we need to understand what a system is, and what it isn’t.
Many sales leaders believe they have plenty of sales systems in place, and when results lag, they blame their salespeople for not using the systems they’ve provided. While complacent salespeople do exist, they don’t tend to last long in the sales profession. When we interview salespeople, we find their systems aren’t really systems. Instead, they’re loosely defined processes that are occasionally used. It’s no wonder so many sales leaders fall back on hope as their strategy.
To start, let’s define what a sales system is, so as we work through the steps of standing up your own Bulletproof systems, you’ll have an expert’s insight into what makes a system different from a process, strategy, or tactic. Because we’ll be ‘trimming’ hope from your sales strategy, it’s only fitting that we use the acronym ‘TRIM’ to define a sales system.
T – Trigger
Every sales system must have a ‘trigger’ event, or some external event that brings the system into play. Whether it’s researching a prospect, launching them into a sales campaign, prepping for a sales meeting, conducting a discovery session, or issuing a proposal, Bulletproof systems are linked to external events in a sales cycle. While a single system may serve multiple events, it’s imperative that each system be tied to one or more trigger events so a salesperson knows to launch the system. This also ensures sales leaders can follow up with their salespeople to verify a particular system is being used with prospects.
For instance, if a system is created for debriefing sales meetings and 10 sales meetings are conducted in the course of a week, then 10 meeting debriefs should have been run as well.
Once a trigger event has occurred, the appropriate system is launched on a prospect’s account so the salesperson can execute its steps. After sharing these insights with thousands of business leaders and salespeople, we’ve learned if a system does not have a trigger event associated with it, its likelihood of being used will be minimal.
As we explain the sales systems our clients have found most successful throughout this book, we’ll also identify common trigger events that bring those sales systems into play.
R – Repeatable
A system that’s not repeatable isn’t a system, it’s a fluke. As we work to identify the areas in your sales processes systems could benefit, we’ll also need to ensure that the systems we create can be replicated across your prospects.
It does take time to create, stand up, and implement a sales system. Therefore, to ensure we get appropriate ROI (return on investment) from our systems, we must also ensure that we’re standing up systems for the tasks our salespeople actually encounter in their sales cycles. The systems we walk through in this book cover the most common activities salespeople engage in, from prospecting to conducting sales meetings to generating referrals, but you’ll also be encouraged to examine the other places in your business model that would benefit from creating systems.
One of the most critical and often overlooked parts of making a system repeatable is where it lives. A repeatable system is not dependent on a salesperson having to remember dozens of best practices. Rather, it can be called upon and used by any salesperson with access to it. This is why housing systems within the company CRM is a topic we’ll cover throughout the book.
I – Improvable
One of the key differences between a Bulletproof sales system and a process is that most sales processes are static. Once they’re created, salespeople are expected to use them until they’re told to stop – and we’ve often found salespeople are rarely held accountable to use even the processes they’re provided with. The systems we share in this book are based on systems used in the most dangerous and challenging places on earth: combat zones.
In those environments, static processes don’t last long. The teams I studied regularly update their own systems so they could stay alive. The systems we’ll be sharing throughout this book are all improvable and not meant to be written in stone. As economic changes, pandemics, or a new generation of salespeople and prospects enter the scene, systems that used to work often cause more harm for sales than good.
Throughout these pages, you will learn how to actively elicit feedback from your sales team and uncover gaps when they appear. There is also an entire chapter devoted to updating any sales systems that become out of date.
M – Measurable
Measuring systems applies in two areas: the efficacy of the system and how often its used.
First, sales leaders must be able to measure how many times any given system is being used. While this doesn’t have to be actively tracked in the same way that deal conversion and time-to-close ratios are, it is important that sales leaders have the ability to monitor whether salespeople are using the systems they invested time in creating.
For instance, if a campaign is created for ‘cold’ prospects, sales leaders need to be able to measure how many prospects that campaign is used on. If salespeople didn’t use the campaign system, we know we have a coaching problem. If the system was used on every new prospect entering our pipelines and we aren’t happy with the results, we know we need to modify the campaign system.
Second, if a system does not produce measurable improvement in time saved, sales cycle shortened, or perhaps most importantly, sales made, then it’s time to modify the system.
While systems are not new to the world of sales, there’s a reason they’re not as popular as they are in every other area of business. The top manufacturing companies on the planet couldn’t live without their systems, and yet salespeople, for the most part, are unaware of the power systems can have in achieving their goals.
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About Bulletproof Selling
We are a leader in systemizing sales processes and solutions for salespeople, teams and organizations. We systemize selling processes so salespeople can replace hope with certainty, close more deals and provide more value to their clients.