When was the last time you tried something new in your sales process, even if you were already hitting your sales goals?
As we advance in our sales career, it becomes tougher and tougher to improve. Paradoxically, the thing that allowed us to be successful – our willingness to adapt and try new things – are still valuable in helping us make sales. Yet as we become comfortable with a few tried-and-true techniques, we stop trying new things.
On battlefields around the world, I saw folks dedicated to continuous improvement – because they knew if they weren’t getting better, they’d pay a heavy price. Many salespeople wait until their tried-and-true ways of selling begin to fail before they begin implementing new systems, and to often it costs them and their companies.
That’s why we sat down with Charles Reiling, CEO of Coastal One Advisors. He showed us that there’s always room for improvement when we’re adding to our sale skillset, and he even showed us the plan he and his team use when they’re implementing new processes!
Since 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: Charles said the trigger for this system begins with self-awareness and self-recognition. This comes from a ‘knowing’ that they’re becoming bored in how they prospect, sell, and generate referrals.
Another trigger may be what we’re seeing peers in our industry doing to get better results, whether that’s leveraging social media, hosting networking events, or even creating email campaigns.
As soon as we recognize there’s an area we could improve in, that’s the trigger to build a system to keep our sales up to date.
R – Repeatable: Because this system could apply anywhere in our sales process, Charles says that the first step in the system is deciding whether this system is something you can commit to for a period. Simply starting something without understanding what’s involved, he says, is a recipe for failure.
One we’ve made the call that we’re willing to invest the time and resources to implement this new sales system, Charles says the second step is to assess what results we want to see as we begin implementing this new process, script, campaign, etc. and on what timeline. This way, we’ll set timebound goals to tell us whether this new way of selling is worth continuing.
The reason this is an essential step is that it’s imperative we look at whether continuing down the path is worth it. Instead of throwing good money and time after bad results, this allows us to check in on whether this new process is indeed leading us where we want to go with more leads, faster conversion, more dollars per sale or whatever other area this system is supposed to improve.
I – Improvable: To improve this system, we can go back to what we were doing in the early stages of our sales careers: Inviting feedback.
Chares says to ensure we’re reaching out to people who are familiar enough with the new system we’re trying so they can give relevant advice. That allows us to pull our faces away from the glass and see things from others’ perspectives. We can reach out to both our sales team peers and from customers as we assess whether our new system is getting results we want.
M – Measurable: To measure the success of a new system, Charles says we need to track both the large wins (like sales) and the small ones (like the activities and numbers we know lead to new sales).
This way, we can enjoy the lifestyle we’ve built as senior salespeople and not grind through 80-hour weeks. If our new way of selling is producing those things that we know lead to new sales and we see we’re on track with our timeline, we can move back to our tried-and-true ways of selling until the next point in our sales cycle when it’s time to use this new system again.