Selling Systems – the secret to sustainable sales success: Sue Barrett
Sue Barrett, the founder of Barrett Consulting Group, is a well-known name in the sales circle for creating sustainable sales systems. She is an educator and a leading strategist. She is here to shed light on the selling systems that create lasting success. Sue reveals below how to remove chaos and build processes for sales that can be repeated and brings sustainable success to the business.
According to her, most sales processes are random in nature. Some ways allow you to model sales success. If you can shape sales success, you can repeat it with minor tweaks. It will make success repeatable.
What is a sales system?
A sales system is an open system that lives and breathes inside the organization and interacts with markets, clients, workers, and society. Marketing is the interface between customers and sales. A sales system is a well-coordinated super highway driven by:
It flows effortlessly between the customer and the organization.
Types of sales systems today in business
All the organization has some form of sales system. Some are well-polished engines, and some are not. Invariably there are two kinds of methods:
- An amalgamation of tools, vague guidelines with multiple salespeople is doing their own thing without a proper direction.
- A tightly managed team with a laser focus on numbers. With a set up of right protocols, and too many administrators with any breathing space.
Why do you create sales systems?
Either a business establishes the sales system by design or default. The question you need asking is, how operational is your sales system and is it working for you? Most execs try to reply to this question by lead to a deal conversion rate or the number of leads in the system.
Even though the numbers may look good, it fails to answer if the system will sustain itself if no leads are generated through external interference (new leads through cold calling, social media, and any other similar sources). Can it be sustained through an existing group of customers? The answer is no in most cases.
How do you turn it around? How do you convert the answer to yes?
The answer is creating sales systems.
Before creating a system, develop an understanding of your customer, have a feedback loop system in place that can help you align your sales activities, and prevent you from losing focus. The execs are mostly fixated on the number to find what they can control and what they cannot, and make the forecast more predictable.
The input and output measures that most execs focus on are:
- Input Measures are: behaviors, activities, and quality
- Output measures: numbers, quarterly targets, results
It makes it quite evident that somewhere down the line, sales get misaligned with business goals while focusing prudently on the number game.
How do you create a sustainable sales system?
When the sales fail, the business head finds fault with the sales teams, and believe that retraining them may solve the issue. Training becomes a quick fix for the problem.
The business owners forget that the issue may lie somewhere deeper.
Look at the whole business as a single unit and delve deeper into the way you carry out the commerce. Above, you see that sales do not exist in a silo. Sales are the result of all business processes working in synergy. So virtually everyone in the organization is contributing to sales.
A healthy sales system follows the below framework:
- Clear strategy and purpose
- A practical and standard set of tools
- “How we sell around here” processes
- “On the same page ” decision making
- Minimum standard of sales excellence
- Dramatic uplift with “learn to earn curve.”
- Transparency and ease of use
- Smooth induction and ongoing development
- Unity, common ground & relief
Key results that you can achieve even during a pandemic are:
- Increased Sales & margins
- Great culture
- Increased Customer Satisfaction
Three key benefits that organizations get out of a great sales system are:
- The Clarity in goals and future
- A Consistent stream of revenue
- A synergy of organization-wide Communication.
However, this system has failed to be the new normal because the whole organization sometimes does not make sales as everybody’s business. The organizations lack genuine motivation or drive to change or improve. Therefore, many organizations fail to achieve their full potential.