You’ve probably heard of Lean and Six Sigma process improvement methodologies that can shape your entire business to eliminate the waste of resources and product defects.
Once an organization commits to this level of optimization, it’s just a matter of time before they approach the sales department looking for similar benefits.
The difficulty is that converting your sales function into a predicable, scalable engine calls for an entirely different approach compared to other areas of the business.
To address sales pipeline and revenue ceilings, many business leaders overspend their budget with solutions that appear to have promise but don’t deliver the anticipated ROI that justified their investment.
The most common misfires I witness are buying the latest sales tools, hiring additional salespeople without a well laid out plan, bringing in a new sales leader with the expectation that they will be able to fix everything, etc.
On the surface, these strategies may lead to temporary sales improvement, but without a well-structured sales system in place, the systemic problems will resurface, negating short-lived success.
We all understand the concept that if we build a house on a cracked foundation, it will eventually threaten the building’s structural integrity.
Similarly, before you rush off to invest in a new CRM or add more sales personnel, read this article to learn how a proven sales system is an essential platform to build upon.
Continue reading to learn more about:
- How a sales system creates a platform to enable scalability
- Why sales role clarity is critical to successfully operate a sales system
- What steps are necessary to tailor a system to your unique environment
What Does a Well-Oiled Sales System Look Like?
A well-oiled sales system is data-driven, customer centric, and aligned with a company’s broader business strategy.
It encompasses a series of interconnected strategies, tools, and activities designed to identify, engage, and convert prospects into long-term customers. The sales system’s purpose is to maximize revenue generation by minimizing inefficiencies and friction points.
Most companies have parts and pieces of a sales system in place, but typically not a cohesive engine that draws all the functions together.
When designed properly, a sales system guides, supports, and governs sales operations so revenue generation can become predictable, repeatable, and scalable.
A productive sales system provides a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities for sellers and managers. Without clarity on key accountabilities, performance can become unmanageable.
Role definition and clarity are critical to the success of a sales system because they assign ownership to the various functions of acquiring, nurturing, and retaining customers. Non-sales roles that interface with customers also need to be defined, such as customer service and subject matter experts. This ensures that all customer interactions work cohesively toward shared goals.
If you haven’t reached this level of clarity within your position descriptions, you will find helpful guidance in this previous article I wrote called, “Unleash Sales Productivity with Key Accountabilities”.
For effective operation, a sales system also needs to be aligned with the nuances in each unique business. Sales environments can vary significantly when it comes to growth objectives, market demand, product complexity, price positioning, sales cycle length, competitive pressure, etc. These variables need to be considered when designing a sales system that will effectively guide, support, and enable scalability.
Curious to gauge how your sales system ranks? Click the banner below to take my self-serve assessment that generates an insightful report filled with tips on how to optimize your sales environment.
The Benefits of a Proven Sales System
With a proven system in place, organizations can plan their sales goals with confidence, knowing that predictable results will follow. Furthermore, a sales system can bring stability, which allows businesses to withstand market turbulence.
These benefits are only realized when an experienced sales manager drives adoption of the sales system and creates a sales culture of high-performance and accountability.
There needs to be sales management ownership of the operation, enforcement, and continual evolution of the sales system in response to changing market conditions.
For example, with a clearly defined prospecting plan and sales process, every step from generating new leads to closing the deal becomes intentional and replicable. This eliminates guesswork, creates high levels of time efficiency, and allows the sales manager to coach sellers based on a defined methodology.
Sales reps no longer need to invent their approach with each new prospect. Instead, they have a proven game plan to follow, leading to consistent and predictable results.
Moreover, a streamlined sales system can expand your sales recruiting candidate pool. Instead of looking for that high-end needle in a haystack salesperson, less tenured recruits can be methodically onboarded.
Not only will this enable new hires to contribute to the company’s sales efforts more rapidly, but your enablement approach will develop employee loyalty.
In essence, a well-oiled sales system can transform sales from an art that relies predominately on an individual’s talent and intuition, to science that can be taught, measured, and continuously improved.
This ultimately leads to more predictable sales outcomes and a more resilient business.
How Do You Design the Right Sales System?
Designing the right sales system starts with accurately evaluating where your current system stands in comparison to best practice standards.
Unpacking the intricacies of your business, understanding your market niche, and your product/service’s unique selling proposition are all vital steps when it comes to gauging your sales system readiness for heightened growth.
This is the purpose of Phase 1 within my High-Performance Sales Organization Transformation Process – Discovery & Gap Analysis. The insights gained through this discovery process defines how a sales system needs to be designed and tailored to support each unique sales organization.
The right resource to execute on the discovery, design, and people positioning phases should have a track record of successfully revamping sales teams – not just once, but multiple times and ideally across multiple industries.
To learn more about how to avoid pitfalls when designing and operating a high-performance sales organization, review my previous article called, “How to Set-up Your Next Sales Leader for Success”.
A sales system is not a one-size-fits-all model.
As stated earlier, a large scope of varying factors need to be accounted for to ensure a successful sales system design.
If you would like to set up a preliminary consultation call, I am happy to point you in the right direction regarding next steps to evolve your current sales system into a powerful enablement platform.
You may contact me through any of these methods: (773) 203-7086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.