If sales was a production line – how much wastage would you tolerate?

Think about this – if the typical sales process was measured in the same way that manufacturing was, how much wastage or how many product failures would you be prepared to put up with??  If you measured wastage in your sales process and figured out that around 60%+ of sales effort was wasted, how much time would you really sink into fixing this problem?

I was presenting to 30 small business owners from around Sydney last week doing a session on understanding the sales process in detail. I love hosting this workshop as it gets people to really drill down into their sales process and look for holes or areas to improve.  For most, this is the first time they have attempted this simple but not easy task.

I start with a large sheet of paper (A3) and get participants to list on the left side all the ways their company generates leads, you know, the web site, sales people, telemarketing, direct mail, radio, TV, news papers, Yellow Pages, tenders, proposals, cold calling, referrals, networking, newsletters, building signage, uniforms…….

The I get them to pick the most profitable source of leads and we then concentrate on this one strategy and drill down into how the process works. Lets take telemarketing for example:

  • who are you targeting, is it geographical, based on business size, industry type, decision maker level etc…
  • where do you source lists, i.e. who has lists of your perfect client
  • when you call what is the script your team use and is it effective
  • when you book an appointment what do you send out, info pack, company profile…
  • who confirms the appointment
  • when you turn up, what is the process…..

The list goes on.  We break each section down and then clean it up, improve it, add bits and then put it back together.

Why do we do this – every business failure comes down to a lack of sales.

So get to it, design your sales pathway your Yellow Brick Road to sales and stop wasting time and $$$$ in doing something less efficiently that you really could do.

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