Stay in sales long enough, and you’ll encounter problems.
Problems finding qualified leads, problems getting them into conversations. Problems getting them to commit to meetings. Problems getting their commitment for next steps.
To sales leaders, this often sounds like, ‘our leads are poor quality,’ ‘no one is picking up the phones,’ or ‘folks want prices and delivery timelines that we can’t meet.’
Too many salespeople assume these problems come with the sales profession. We sat down with David Masover, a sales leader who’s been solving problems for decades, to ask how he solves sales problems for teams.
He explained that solving sales problems doesn’t start with the problem itself, but rather comes from looking at the causes of the problem.
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: The first step to fixing a sales system is to ask, “Am I consistently following a process in that area?” If everyone on our team is doing something different and experiencing the same problem, then the easiest step is to get everyone performing from the same system so you can determine if that problem is the actual issue.
Just because a process exists in a spreadsheet or in a CRM doesn’t mean it’s being used by every salesperson on a consistent basis.
Assuming that we do have a basic process in place, we can then use a repeatable system to solve any sales problem.
R – Repeatable: In order to make solving sales problems repeatable, we need to ensure we are defining terms the same way so we have clarity on the problem. Is your team even in agreement about what the problem is? If folks are using the same terms such as ‘qualified’, ‘lead’, ‘prospect’ or ‘meeting’, is there a shared understanding of the definition of those terms?
If your team is using a system or can agree on one to try, it’s important to visually map it out.
Without laying out the system salespeople are using, it’s tough to pinpoint a specific area or areas that may be causing the sales problem you or your team are experiencing.
I – Improvable: Improving a sales improvement process requires a baseline to improve from. Once a change to our previous system is implemented or a new system is stood up to solve the problem, we may see improvement but we won’t know how much or in what area unless we first establish a baseline from the results we were getting before.
How many of your vendor-supplied leads were ending up qualified, for instance? Without knowing that, we won’t know if a new system is actually having an impact.
Measurable: To ensure your system update actually solves a problem, David recommends tracking the conversion between each stage of your improved system. Is the change you made actually leading to better results from one stage of your pipeline to anther? Examining your conversion will be critical in measuring any improvements you make along the way.