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You Become Your Customers [As a Salesperson]

You become your customers, so beware!

Most people starting a business have an "I'll take what's available" mindset. They got this from job hunting, and the problem with it is that they're choosing their opportunities from the things they can currently see.

Now we've discussed how critical your Reticular Activating System is when it comes to filtering all that data out there down to the survival-relevant few. That better level of customer is standing right there next to you, but you can't see them because your RAS blocked them out!

The same thing happens with salespeople. They land the new job, settle into their role, and get told by the old hands, "Here's our target market."

After all, it has always been so.

open sign, open for business, choose your customers, sales tactics, positioning, target market, define target market

Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Now if you're an operational excellence guy like me, those are trigger words. Any time I hear, "But we've always done it this way," I get curious. "Oh? According to whom? For how long? Why?"

But especially if you are a business owner, and a new business owner, realize that you have far more control over your target market than you may have realized.

Most people abdicate this responsibility.

They go out into the market and take what comes.

How You Become Your Customers

Price level? We've discussed this for years, how people make up a number that fits their money tolerance.

The size of their standard customer's business? Whatever they encountered first and got accustomed to. Now it's ingrained and "obvious".

How those buyers pay? Are they always 30 days late from the invoice?

And here's the serious problem.

You accept this.

Whatever they give you, you take.

Their behavior alters your behavior.

After awhile, you've forgotten any of this is in your control. It just "is".

They pay 30 days late? Well, now you pay 30 days late. That's just how it is.

You become your customers.

So choose wisely.

Don't take surface appearance's word for it.

Dig.

Get to know your marketplace.

Look for niches, levels, types of customers that aren't readily apparent.

Look for bundling opportunities of products or services, ways to add value, how you can really impress your ideal customer.

Don't simply accept the first thing you run into out there.

You have far more control over your target market choice than you think.

What would happen if you made a list of the desired qualities of your ideal customer... and then instructed your RAS to start filtering for that?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business development and conversion expert. Want Jason's help in defining your realistic, ideal target market? Book a consultation <<

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Salesperson Success: A Clear Picture of What It Looks Like

Salesperson success provided as a clear picture to sales staff is what’s missing in most organizations. What the poor salesperson normally gets is this:

  • No targets
  • No coaching
  • No managerial involvement
  • No feedback loop
  • Just a “Here’s your desk, your phone, your computer, the product manuals and the price list… off you go!”

I’ve seen it for over 20 years.

A salesperson is not like a cactus—you can’t simply put them in a corner, feed them leads like water from time to time, and expect them to succeed.

However, as a salesperson it will be most helpful for you to understand you’re running a mini business-within-a-business. You have the same issues as any founder, and you need the same systems working for you.

cactus without leads picture of salesperson success

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

The Systems of Salesperson Success

The place for you to begin is developing a revenue target.

Whether you know it or not, even if you’re on straight salary, you have a money target. This target must be met every month and it well exceeds what you are paid. Even if your employer hasn’t really thought about it...which is dangerous. And if you have a commission portion of your income, this is even more important.

Thus, to have a chance to achieve and exceed this target, you need to know your numbers.

You also need to be supported by the same four systems every business needs.

The first system is lead generation.

The second system is qualification.

The third system is conversion.

And the fourth system is fulfillment.

As a salesperson, just like a founder because you’re running your own mini business-within-a-business, you need to pay attention to these four systems.

The Four Systems Salespeople Need To Handle

Consider: how many leads need to come into your view so that you have a chance of success... which means hitting your revenue target?

Do you know?

Does the company provide you with that number of leads?

Or is it insufficient flow, and you need to figure out a way to drive leads on your own? (This is not such a bad situation as it may seem, since at least one other key system is taken care of for you: fulfillment. As long as the capacity is available and your employer is competent, you do not have to worry about delivery of the result your offer promises. This is a great relief and one reason to not start your own business.)

Is it clear how to separate those people the organization would prefer as customers from those who they would rather not get into a relationship with?

Is the process of turning some qualified prospects into buyers written down and understood? Is it put into practice the way it is documented?

And can you trust that the orders you take will be delivered upon in a high quality and timely manner? (As an example, I once took an order in the construction industry based on a specific delivery date requirement. I had gone to the production manager and asked to ensure this date was possible. Weeks later when the date came and went, I was the one who received the angry blast from the disappointed customer who was now badly delayed by our failure. The production manager shrugged when confronted. I quit soon afterwards as I could no longer trust their fulfillment system.)

Clarity On The Picture Is Key for Winning As a Salesperson

Getting clarity on and belief in these four systems is critical to your picture of salesperson success. You will hold this picture up as the standard by which to guide your actions.

Don’t have enough leads coming in from the company to hit your revenue target? Now you know you need to do something to get them.

Unsure how to qualify good prospects from bad? Now you know you need to do some information interviews inside your company to find out.

Struggling with converting qualified prospects into customers? Now you know you need some sales training and coaching.

Taking orders without being certain your employer can fulfill them in a timely and high quality fashion? Better get that taken care of.

Imagine the sense of personal power you’ll have when you absolutely know these four systems are handled. Every month, right on schedule, the right number of leads enters your funnel. You or your automated system (hint) filters them so the majority of your effort—remember the 80/20 Rule—goes into speaking with qualified prospects and converting some into buyers. You do this in full confidence and harmony with the fulfillment departments of your employer, who you trust to deliver a great experience and outcome for the buyer.

This is the picture of what salesperson success looks like, and the four systems that combined are the engine to support it.

>> Click here to book a consultation with Jason Kanigan <<

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When Should I Fill Out the CRM Info?

When should I fill out the CRM info for a prospect?

This common question needs a clear answer—and sales managers, you'll appreciate this post as a place to point your people to for the solid answer.

Over the years as a consultant to sales departments large and small I've seen two different answers to this question in action.

when should i fill out the crm info confused salesperson question business development staff woman raised hands struggling

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

The first has the business development or sales person putting the data entry off until later.

The second features the bizdev or sales executive getting that data into the CRM right now.

Having worked with countless organizations and seen the difference in effectiveness of these two approaches, I can tell you this:

Put the info in the CRM as you go.

Hazards of Not Entering the CRM Data Immediately

Don't chicken scratch it on a pad and then think you'll go back later and dump it into the program. You won't. Do it now and get it done and out of your mind. You'll thank yourself for developing this habit.

Those who leave the data entry until later run the risk of constant low level, nagging worry. The job is out there, still needing to be done. And what if your boss needs that info? If it's not in the system, it doesn't exist. Remember that. No matter how deep or powerful the information you discover about a prospect is, if no one else can access that data, you may as well have never uncovered it.

So get it into the CRM, now.

An Alternative Answer to "When Should I Fill Out the CRM Info?"

This is for salespeople, especially outside salespeople: if you are an awesome closer, and hate doing this "paperwork stuff", consider asking your boss to hire you an assistant. No kidding—it could save you and them a ton of expensive time and frantic worry. That data HAS to be in there so your manager can quickly see progress and status, and know when to ask questions and offer help. If your time really is better spent talking to prospects, then it should be a no-brainer for your boss to get you an inexpensive assistant to help with the data entry.

If you're an independent hired gun, consider hiring a VA for yourself. You'll probably be shocked at the time and energy they recover for you, doing tasks you believe are dull but they find rewarding.

>> Need help with your business development, sales or CRM process? Book a problem-solving consultation with Jason by clicking here <<