It always baffles me how many people believe sales is the easiest role in the business when I believe it’s probably one of the most intricate as there are so many moving parts. While it’s easy to look in on a sales system and think it’s just about making phonecalls and closing deals, the sale process starts at marketing and from there, it can either go very right or very wrong.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure in improving many sales systems for customers. I have come across many patterns, however the one that always stands out is the huge cost of the sales system, where a large proportion of this is truly unnecessary. I have worked with clients where above 90% of the sales process didn’t lead to a sale, and of the small percent that did, it wasn’t always a valuable sale with a valuable client. This is where you start to see the complexity and along with that, the high cost of the sales process.
One thing I will say though is the sales systems have typically the most adhoc processes in a business, especially when you have multiple
- Products and product families
- Account managers
- Sectors / client base
- Ways of selling and working
- … to name but a few
This is where sales systems can really benefit from taking a systematic approach to improving performance, that is looking at all the key variables that you can control, listed in the video. There is so much wasted activity in the sales system therefore wasted effort, resources, money and time. Everything you do in the sales system has to lead to improvements in
- The waterfall cycle (1st contact to sales order)
- Value for you and prospects (perceived high value / Win Win prospects)
- Sales funnel effectiveness