Archives For sales process

Process Creates Profit

October 11, 2016 — Leave a comment

processAre You Maximizing Profit w/ Process?

Sales Is a Process That Must Be Built and Perfected

It’s tempting to wing it – shoot from the hip. A small percentage of sales people just seem to hit it out of the park without thinking or strategizing beforehand. But process always outperforms the average.

Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, told us that even an average process would outperform the average player.

In my Event Marketing Success Kit, I introduced a concept called the conversion blueprint for sales. A flow chart that moves sales reps away from flawed methods like, make 60 calls per day to get 1 meeting…and close a percentage per month.  Instead, I’ve systematized the process of attracting new customers, taking them through a series of steps that create justification and ultimately a decision to buy.$1 HC Book Ad

If one point of conversion is too low, there are strategies that can be used, and tips given to perfect that point. I’ve also given average conversion rates on each, giving the rep something to compare their success to.

It’s been said that the low income earners are working hard while the higher income earners own processes. McDonalds hires and trains low income earners while those who designed and improved the process have done very well for themselves. While sales is not like building burgers, it is a process that can be systematized.

Getting Started with Process

Need a place to start? Selling everything to anyone leads to hard work and chaos. On the other hand, finding an something to lead with can save you time and offer greater value through specialization w/ higher close rates.

For instance, if you know the assessment always leads to business (or converts 60% – 70% of the time as a client told me yesterday), then you know your system works best when you focus on moving people to the assessment first. From there you can branch out into many directions, but the sales are in motion at that point.  Your income naturally goes up.

As Collins points out, the process doesn’t have to be perfect. Better to start with something and tweak it as you go. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Start Up reminds us to build, measure, learn. Rather than building the perfect mousetrap the first time around, get something on paper, begin to work it, and perfect it as you go. In the end you’ll have a much better system.

For more on how to build the right systems to drive margin rich IT services, check out The House & The Cloud…The only book I know of that explains how to sell security services with a simple, easy to implement, sales process.

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

 

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When I have a great sales experience I take note!  How often does a sales person do a great job calling on you?  We’re all selling, learning how to sell better, etc.  But sometimes its fun to be sold to, just to see how others are doing as they do what we do…today was one of those days.

This morning, a rep from Paragon Construction came by to look at my roof…I have several companies coming by to review the project and deliver a quote, but he’s the first one in the process.  It was a great experience – a few points on my experience are worth noting:

1. It turns out that Chris Nguyen is not only selling, but he is one of the owners.  The thing that impressed me here was his passion for the business.  He didn’t show up with his “President” title – in fact, he doesn’t have a title on his card.  Only after he demonstrated a high level of expertise and customer care did I care who he was.

2. He took at call from his wife while here – this may seem unrelated, but his attitude towards his family was exceptional.  That tells me he isn’t just putting on a show to make a good impression – there’s some character in there.

3. His approach was completely educational.  No pressure to “act now” and no marketing manipulation tactics.  He spent his time collecting relevant data, educating me on what matters most, and giving me some recommendations on what to do about it.

4. By the time he was done, we had become friends.  My wife will tell you – I have a high degree of sales resistance.  I don’t cozy up to the sales person who pushes a friendship to get the business.

5. At some point his passion for his business was evident.  This wasn’t a sales gimmick, but rather a chance to share his vision with a potential customer.  In this end, people buy into your passion and excitement long before they buy into your product.  In a commodity business, which he is in, there are few points of differentiation.  In my opinion, Chris provided them.

© 2012, David Stelzl

We kicked off day 1 – the Making Money with Security workshop on Monday morning after a busy weekend of sight seeing.  One challenge that always comes up – can a sales rep or overlay rep conduct some type of discovery or assessment, or is this too time consuming?  It’s tempting to think that it would just be faster to take a traditional sales approach and sell the features…if someone hands you the money for product, go ahead and take it.  If you’re over quota and deals just keep coming in, go for it!  But with new prospects that are not standing there with PO in hand, justification will be required and a typical sales cycle may last for many months; 3 – 6 – 9…the assessment approach may last a few weeks if you find something urgent.

Following class, our good friends the Tan family treated me to a river boat tour, dinner at local “hawker center” (which is like an outdoor food court with all kinds of local food stands) in the downtown China town district.  Here are some of the pictures… (CLICK)