0

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 <<

2

What Is a Funnel?

what is a funnelWhat is a funnel?

In sales and marketing terminology, a funnel is a series of steps to filter and bring your many prospects to becoming a few qualified buyers. That's it, at the funnel's most basic level.

We can add upsells, downsells, cross sells and other elements to our funnel, but let's start with the basics.

I explain the three components of a sales and marketing funnel in this video:

Jason Kanigan Explains: What Is a Funnel?

 

So we see that a funnel contains three basic pieces. And if any one is missing, that funnel is 'broken.'

The Three Parts of a Funnel

Each of the three components of an effective funnel do a specific job.

First you need a Lead Generation System for bringing in traffic. Hopefully this traffic is at least somewhat pre-qualified; the more qualified, the better. But also, the more pre-qualified, the more expensive that traffic will be.

We are looking for larger numbers here. Prospects entering the funnel here will have to be filtered down to smaller numbers.

Second, a Qualification System is necessary. This component will filter leads from being unqualified prospects to those who are a fit for the offer.

Note that you are losing people as they progress through the funnel. This is normal and desirable! It is perfectly acceptable to have people who are not a fit for your offer to be gently and politely shunted aside by your funnel.

Third is a Closing System.

Written or VSL copy, graphics, layout and design...all these combine to comprise the Closing system.

Can you see how if all you're relying on is this piece of the puzzle, you are making life difficult for yourself?

Copy on a sales or landing page will qualify somewhat. But if you are getting a ton of traffic but only a handful of conversions, odds are your funnel is broken and you are doing a poor job of qualifying.

Can you see how by asking "What is a funnel?" and breaking the process up into each of these components, we can isolate them and see which one is working or needs improvement?

I frequently say, "Your traffic source is as or even more important than the sales copy."

Can you guess why, now?

That is part of the Lead Generation component. And if that part has been ignored, the quality of leads is likely to be low. Earning conversions off low quality traffic is tough work.

Final Thought On What Is a Funnel

Instead of throwing traffic from blind ad swaps or solo ads at your sales page and depending entirely on the Closing System to do all the work, build backwards from the revenue you want to generate.

You need so many sales to make the money you want to make over a period of time.

So, estimating at first but gradually building confidence in your estimates from real performance data, how many prospects do you think have to make it through the Qualification System?

And going back up the funnel, generating that larger number of qualified prospects waiting to be closed, how many leads do you think you need to enter the funnel's Lead Generation System at the top?

Leads >>> Prospects >>> Buyers.

We could estimate, for example--and this is an example, and likely not representative of what you will experience--you want 10 buyers this month at $297.

So that's the bottom of your funnel: 10 Buyers.

Moving up from there, we estimate a 2% conversion is what can be expected at this early stage in the funnel optimization process. We don't know how good our copy is yet. So 10/2% = 500 qualified Prospects.

Remember this is the path from qualified Prospect to proven Buyer we're talking about here, not the entire funnel. We could throw traffic at a Closing System and be very pleased with 1-2% conversion. But that's not talking apples to apples here.

Now we can go up to the top of the funnel. Those 500 Prospects...to get them, we initially estimate 1 in 10 entering the funnel will qualify for the offer.

So what have we learned?

We need 5000 Leads to enter the funnel.

If during the month we don't get 5000 leads to enter the funnel, and have sufficient time for them to pass through the process, we know we won't reach our revenue target. This tells us how much traffic to buy or direct.

By splitting traffic and qualification into two components, we can see a) how good our traffic source is, and b) whether our Qualification System works the way we think it should.

If you get through the month and you put 5000 Leads into the funnel, but only 300 Prospects made it to the qualified middle...you know that's where the problem is.

Keep in mind that these ratios are for THIS traffic source and THIS offer. Change variables and you'll change the expectations.

If you have any questions of your own about "What is a funnel?" please ask them below.

>> To get Jason's help with your funnel creation or optimization, click here. <<