Whether salespeople know it or not, they’re using processes when they sell.
Unfortunately, if those processes aren’t systemized, then they’re rarely updated and often hurt sales more than help them. What worked pre-pandemic won’t have the same effect today.
In order to ensure we’re capturing what’s working across our pipelines and keeping it up to date, we have to regularly examine the processes our sales team uses. that’s why we sat down with Nick Sheehan, a sales leader who teaches others how to effectively systemize their own businesses and franchises.
He advises that we ask: Is this achieving the results we need? Is it doing it fast enough? And are we providing more value than our competitors? Only through assessing our systems can we hope to have the answer to those questions – and fortunately, improving a sales system is a system all of its own.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: Nick recommends assessing the problems you’re encountering to determine if, and where, you systems need to be updated. Often problems occur because of a lack of systems, because a salesperson isn’t abiding by a system that does exist, or because a system was never built for that part of the sales cycle and each salesperson is doing something their own way.
R – Repeatable: If we’ve determined the problem we’re encountering that needs a system update, Nick says to repeatably assess and improve a sales system, we have to map out our existing system to determine precisely where our system is going off track.
That means laying out each step of the system and being able to track how many prospects, meetings, or activity has occurred on each step. That ensures that salespeople are using the system and shows us where our bottlenecks might be occurring that are derailing our results.
For instance, a lack of meetings might be the problem. To determine where our ‘appointments’ system is failing, we need to know how many leads are entering outreach, how many we’re contacting, and how many are accepting meetings. We may book 100% of our contacts into meetings, but if we’re only connecting with 10% of our leads in conversation, then we know our meetings don’t need a system update – rather, it’s our outreach that needs to be revamped.
I – Improvable: To ensure we actually improve our systems once we identify a problem, Nick advises we assess whether it’s a training, leadership, or salesperson issue.
If it’s training, then it means we have a system but salespeople are not consistently executing it. We can schedule training and dry-runs to ensure salespeople understand how to use the systems they’re being provided.
If leadership is identified as the issue, it means that we are not holding salespeople accountable for using their systems. This means that systems exist but leadership is not ensuring they’re being used.
If it’s salespeople that are the problem, then it means leadership is tracking implementation, training exists and the salesperson has demonstrated that they can execute the system. At that point, we need to decide if the salesperson is still the right fit for a systems-driven organization.
M – Measurable: To measure whether our system update is making an impact, Nick says to go back to when you mapped out your sales process and re-examine your conversion numbers. Is the bottleneck you noticed cleared, or at least improved? If not, then you know that you system update needs re-assessing.
By ensuring you are updating your systems, you and your team can ensure you’re keeping up to date with a changing world – and continue to provide the value your prospects and clients need today instead of what might have worked yesterday.