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.
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.
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